Obama Releases Hundreds of Illegal Immigrants
President Barack Obama warned that that the sequestration will affect Navy readiness. He made the statement at the Newport News Shipbuilding shipyard where the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln is scheduled for maintenance work. It has been delayed because of the budget crisis.
The $85 billion across the board budget cuts will take effect on Friday and would force the government to scale back on various services such as law enforcement, air traffic control, and food safety inspections. President Obama told workers that the cuts are wrong. They are unfair and not smart.
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency released hundreds of detained illegal immigrants as its way to save money in preparation of the sequestration. The move was criticized by Republicans as a dangerous political stunt.
Congress could prevent the cuts with a compromise but the deadline is fast approaching and the two parties have not agreed on anything that would replace the sequestration. The White House and the Congressional Republicans have not held any talks since the New Year.
Republicans want more targeted spending cuts than the ones in the sequestration. They criticized President Obama for overplaying the worries about the automatic cuts in order to promote plans to remove tax loopholes.
House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner accused President Obama of using the military department in his campaign to get support for his tax increases. The speaker is under pressure from conservatives not to give in to the president’s demand for additional taxes.
The Democratic-controlled Senate said that the House must work to pass legislation that would prevent the impact of the cuts. Republicans in the Senate have been struggling to come up with a plan to replace the automatic cuts. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said lawmakers should just pass a law that would give the president flexibility on how the reductions should be made but the president rejected the proposal.