“This is not going to be a apocalypse, I think, as some people have said,” Obama said at a press conference after meeting with congressional leaders in a last ditch effort to stave off the spending adjustments. “It’s just dumb, and it’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt individual people, and it’s going to hurt the economy overall, but if Congress comes to its senses a week from now, a month from now, three months from now, then there’s a lot of open running room there for us to grow our economy much more quickly and to advance the agenda of the American people dramatically.”
The sequester – or the automatic spending adjustments set to kick in at 11:59 p.m. Friday, would reduce the rate of growth for federal spending by 2.3 percent.
Earlier in the press conference, Obama seemed to say the effect would be seen over the long haul.
“So every time that we get a piece of economic news over the next month, next two months, next six months, as long as the sequester’s in place we’ll know that that economic news could have been better if Congress had not failed to act,” Obama said. “And let’s be clear: None of this is necessary. It’s happening because a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. They’ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit.”
Another reporter asked Obama if he would sign a continuing resolution at the end of March to prevent a government shutdown.
“I never want to make myself 100 percent clear with you guys, but I think it’s fair to say that I made a deal for a certain budget, certain numbers, there’s no reason why that deal needs to be reopened. It was a deal that Speaker Boehner made as well and all the leadership made,” Obama said. “And if the bill that arrives on my desk is reflexive of the commitments that we previously made, they obviously I’ll sign it because I want to make sure we keep doing what we need to do for the American people.”