The White House has issued a warning that automatic budget cuts scheduled to take effect in five days will have devastating impact on individual US states.
On Sunday, senior US administration officials highlighted possible direful damages to jobs and public services in the aftermath of federal spending slashes.
In its estimates, the White House showed how many teachers would lose their jobs and how many kids would be sent out of subsidized preschool programs in each state if USD 85 billion in cuts would go into effect.
Congress has until March 1 to reach an agreement with the government to stop the cuts known as “sequester”, which was created in a summer 2011 deal between Congress and President
The across-the-board cuts will take effect on the same day if the two sides fail to reach the deal.
However, Republicans, who support the cuts, said the warning signaled by the government was exaggerated.
“They've rolled out this great political theater about how cutting less than 3 percent of the federal budget is going to cause all these awful consequences,” Louisiana Governor , a Republican, said on a television program.
White House authorities have said the sequester law does not permit the government to be flexible in applying the cuts.
Republicans have also argued the sequester mechanism was the president’s own idea.
“The White House needs to spend less time explaining to the press how bad the sequester will be and more time actually working to stop it,” said Michael Steel, Boehner's spokesman.