Accessibility links

Breaking News

Obama Signs Order For Deep Budget Cuts

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the media about sequestration in Washington on March 1.
U.S. President Barack Obama has signed the order to implement $85 billion in spending cuts.

Obama had urged Democrats and Republicans to find a compromise, but with the deadline for ordering the cuts approaching at midnight Washington time on March 1 and with no signs of a deal he has signed the order.

The sweeping cuts, known as sequestration, were suppose to be a means to overcome differences on coping with the country’s $11.7 trillion debt.

WHAT'S SEQUESTRATION and what does it mean?

The cuts are part of a law passed two years ago that aimed to be so punishing it would force Democrats and Republicans to find a compromise.

The cuts slice 5 percent from domestic agencies and 8 percent from the Pentagon between March 1 and October 1.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP