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Obama signs U.S. budget cuts into effect

  • U.S. President Barack Obama has signed into effect a series of spending cuts after last-ditch talks at the White House ended on Friday without a deal.

    With Congress adjourned for the weekend, the cuts came into effect by 11:59 pm local time on Friday.

    Obama blamed the deadlock on the Republicans' refusal to allow any tax rises.

    "We shouldn't be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things that businesses depend on and workers depend on," he said following the meeting at the White House.

    Between military and domestic programs, the spending cuts total $85 billion this fiscal year and $1.2 trillion over the next decade.

    Obama labeled the cuts "unnecessary" and "inexcusable".

    The International Monetary Fund has warned the cuts could dampen global economic growth while Obama stated that the cuts would harm the American economy and middle class families.

    "Not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away. The pain though will be real. Beginning this week, many middle class families will have their lives disrupted in significant ways," he said.

    Until then, Washington’s focus now shifts to the next budget battle on March 27 when a temporary federal budget that has kept the government afloat since 2012 is due to expire.

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