Sequester Hits Today; How Partisanship Is Ruining America (VIDEO)

[ 0 ] March 1, 2013 |

It’s time. The sequester hits today.

About $85 billion in federal spending cuts are set to start before midnight tonight, and even though President Obama is scheduled to meet with congressional leaders today, members of both parties say that won’t be enough to halt the cuts. Obama has until 11:59 p.m. to issue the order officially putting the cuts into effect. Democrats and Republicans are in a standoff  – pretty typical for lawmakers on most issues these days – over how to replace $1.2 trillion in cuts over nine years. Republicans oppose Democrats’ call for higher taxes on top earners to replace part of the spending reductions.

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Democrats and Republicans paint vastly different pictures of what March 2 will look like – Democrats are making the situation sound very dire – the White House is warning of potential crises for everything from air travel to Head Start to first responders – while Republicans are taking a bit more lax approach, pushing back on the idea that the cuts will have such a horribly drastic, quick impact and insist Obama is trying to scare people.

Either way, the Washington blame-game is being played – much to the dismay of many in America.

Former Sen. George Mitchell, a Democrat who has been named one to the 100 most influential people in the world, recently talked to genConnect about the importance of bipartisanship in politics today and of working together to achieve goals that best serve the American people:


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“There has never been a time in American history when politics wasn’t rough and tumble, with a lot of invective, a lot of difficulty, a lot of factions,” Mitchell said. “There isn’t any magic era that one can look at when it was all sweetness and light. But I do acknowledge and believe that it is worse now than it’s ever been.”

For reasons not least of which, Mitchell said, include the 24/7 news and media cycle that provide vehicles for negative attack ads.

WATCH: Bob Schieffer – ‘Partisan Divider Is Deeper’ Than Ever

“I don’t know that you can overcome the problems that arise from the tremendous sums of money, this sort of single-issue thing,” Mitchell said. “You’ve got a growing number of people who sort of feel infused with righteousness … reasonable people can disagree on issues without one being bad.”

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About Senator George Mitchell: Sen. George Mitchell is Partner and Chairman Emeritus at DLA Piper global law firm. He served as US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from January 2009 to May 2011 and in 2008, TIME magazine [...]
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