“Some of the cuts we agreed to will be painful … and I would not have made these cuts in better circumstances,” said US President Barack Obama after negotiations between American lawmakers.
“But beginning to live within our means is the only way to protect those investments that will help America to compete for new jobs,” he continued.
Just one hour before midnight April 8, Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada said that both sides have agreed on a 39 billion dollars in cuts, however stated that the sides failed to reach an agreement on federal funding for abortion, AFP reported.
Reid slammed Republicans for including a bid to curtail social programs. “Republicans want to shut down our nation’s government because they want to make it harder for women to get the health services they need,” said Reid during a speech on the Senate floor.
As of Friday afternoon, after talks with Republican House of Representatives Speaker Boehner, US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa told reporters “He told us ‘no deal.”
Boehner says that the main issue disagreed upon is the level of cuts.
If efforts fail to meet a full agreement by Friday midnight, some 800,000 federal workers will lose their jobs by Monday, as thousands of businesses with federal contracts will be affected.
President Obama has held several rounds talks with Harry Reid of Nevada and Republican House Speaker John Boehner in efforts to reach a compromise over the country’s budget to prevent a shutdown of the federal government.
The looming government shutdown has forced the US president to sign two gap bills with 10 billion dollars in cuts in order to provide more time for negotiations.
During previous talks, Obama met with John Boehner and Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid, trying to defuse a hugely significant showdown before a temporary government funding bill is set to expire Friday at midnight.
US nationals at home and abroad will be affected by the cuts and will only receive one week’s pay instead of two as of April. This includes US troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the region around Libya