Lawmakers on pending sequester deadline

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (LIN TV/WOOD) — If the federal government fails to act by March 1, massive, across-the-board spending cuts will go into effect.

The sequester will cut $85 billion from the federal budget. That breaks down to about 9% of non-defense spending and 13% of the Pentagon's budget for the next seven months.

While some federal assistance programs -- like Medicaid and food stamps, Medicare and social security, and military personnel -- are protected, a most federal agencies would be forced to make cuts. If the cuts go into effect, there will be layoffs and furloughs in the FBI, boarder patrol, food inspection and other agencies.

== Infographic: Breaking down the sequester==

Almost everyone agrees the sequester would have an impact on the economy, but there are those who say not making the cuts could have a negative impact as well. Others opposed to the cuts warn of deep cuts and job losses.

But the Republicans who dominate the West Michigan congressional delegation don't see it that way. They say government has to take a business approach.

Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) spoke with 24 Hour News 8 Political Reporter Rick Albin about the pending sequester deadline and what the cuts would mean for the nation if the sequester goes into effect.

Watch those interviews above.

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Michigan (change)

Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.
Offices & Officials

Governor: Rick Snyder
Lieutenant Governor: Brian Calley
Attorney General: Bill Schuette
Secretary of State: Ruth Johnson

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