U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) arrives for a news conference with fellow House Republican leaders at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, February 25, 2013. Pressure is mounting on Congress and the White House to find a way to avoid a package of $85 billion in across-the-board-spending cuts, known as the "sequester," due to take effect on March 1. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
With the sequester deadline only four days away, President Obama will be visiting Virginia on Tuesday to pressure Republicans to strike a compromise that would prevent the automatic $85 billion cut in federal spending that White House officials say will have severe consequences to everyday Americans.
The President will be touring the Newport News Shipbuilding facility, the largest manufacturing employer in the state, where he is expected to speak and plead his case to the GOP. White House officials say the facility was chosen because if cuts were to happen employers like Newport News Shipbuilding would be hit hard, PBS reports.
"Across the board cuts would have potentially harmful effects industry wide, impacting jobs, economic demand and our military readiness," officials said, adding that 90,000 civilian Department of Defense employees work in Virginia and would be furloughed as a result of the sequester.
However, House Republicans are standing their ground and say they will not budge on the issue.
"The president says we have to have another tax increase in order to avoid the sequester. Well, Mr. President, you got your tax increase. It's time to cut spending here in Washington." House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said during a media address at Capitol Hill.
Boehner also said the country's fiscal deficit may be the biggest threat toward job creation in the country.
"If we don't solve this spending problem here in Washington, there will be tens of millions of jobs in the future that won't happen because of the debt load that's happening on the backs of our kids and grandkids. I came here to save the American dream for my kids and yours. This debt problem and the president's addition to spending is threatening their future," he said.
Republicans are about to introduce a plan that would allow the sequester to happen, reports say, but would give the President authority to decide where the cuts would take place.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was disappointed with his party's approach. He said the sequester and particularly the growing federal debt are national concerns that need to be handled in a bipartisan manner.
"Now is the time to grow up. Both parties need to grow up. We need to find a chance to do the big deal. I'll challenge the president: Mr. President, let's do things that will straighten out the long-term indebtedness of the country. Stop talking about between March and October. Talk about the next 30 years," Graham told CNN.