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Rep Kline: Americans should expect big budget cuts, job losses

ST. PAUL - U.S. Rep. John Kline predicts there will be no last-minute agreement to fix massive federal budget cuts, an inaction that would cost many American jobs.

The Minnesota Republican said one study indicates 4,000 Minnesotans could lose their jobs when the automatic cuts, known as sequestration, hit next month.

“My expectation is that we will see the cuts take effect,” Kline said told reporters at the state Capitol this morning.

The cuts would come if Congress and President Obama cannot agree on a fix to federal budget problems.

Beyond that, Congress and Obama also must decide on how to deal with a federal budget, which expired last Oct. 1. Without a new budget extension, a government shutdown could occur next month.

A third problem comes between May and July, when the federal government will bump up against the federal debt limit. That will force politicians to decide whether to increase the limit.

Americans do not understand the seriousness of the situation, Kline said. “It is very, very complicated.”

In discussions about the federal budget, Kline said, some in Congress want to provide the administration and Congress some flexibility to decide what would be cut in sequestration. Without any changes, the cuts are automatic and federal officials would have no ability to decide specifically what is cut.

The military would feel the biggest impact if sequestration is allowed. Kline said that is good news for Minnesota, which has little military presence compared to other states.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.