What is the WH doing to stop automatic cuts?
Economic adviser Gene Sperling weighs in
- Duration 8:12
- Date Feb 21, 2013
Economic adviser Gene Sperling weighs in
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As we've been pointing out the government will of course still grow but we are going in depth tonight on the impending specific budget reductions known as the the sequester the director of the president's.
National Economic Council Gene Sperling joined us from the White House briefing room a short time ago I started out by asking him.
If anything is being done now to stop sequestration.
-- A couple of different things you've seen both the House Budget Committee.
Leader Chris van -- you've seen the senate budget committee chair Patty Murray both put out.
She helps balance plans that would give us from runway four year keep to sequester from going into effect.
And then give us time to work together but what exactly this country needs which is a balanced approach to further deficit reduction as you know we've already reduce the deficit.
Over two and half trillion dollars in the president's made very clear pending and is again making clear today.
-- doubt we.
His offer to speaker Boehner is still on the table that would cut our deficit.
Another one point eight trillion dollars bringing total deficit reduction over.
Four trillion dollar so there is a path forward -- -- board.
There's no surprise it's bipartisan it's compromise it means there's going to be entitlement savings and there's also going to be some -- savings from closing loopholes and tax expenditures.
No one's gonna get a 100% of what they want but that's the balanced way forward that can help us avoid the self inflicted wound.
-- the sequester.
You know Republicans obviously have issue with a 2.5 trillion you talk about it we can go into that and we have on the show many times but.
About the senate Democrats they didn't move it out of committee but they never voted on that plan on the floor and as you know they control.
The senate chamber -- -- -- Well I think you'll see a vote coming up on.
On the sequester.
Had to put something that would.
Help delay that for.
Over the next year you've already seen the elements of short term balanced plan.
I want to get to a question about -- for authority.
Why not get these agencies like the Pentagon and the other agencies why not call for them to have transfer authority for this sequester the ability to move money around.
To be able be reached this 85 million dollars without.
Affecting personnel and having painful decisions that affect.
Brad anyone tell issue that there are some easy off ramp here is not being straightforward get this request or goes into effect in any form.
85 million dollars in cuts over seven months.
Two defense it is estimated that it would cost us 750.
Thousand jobs -- -- get a transfer authority.
Think that that's what I call that doesn't know that doesn't change anything because it's not about just who would be laid off it's about the contraction.
Can harm that it causes the economy and look there is no way that you can come up with some easy offer him.
That is gonna prevent the fact that if you have to cut.
Billion dollars in -- that a harsh arbitrary way over the next year that it is gonna be very harmful for education for national defense.
No matter how.
How you slice it.
OK so that's a non starter on transfer authority.
What what about the Warren -- this is the worker adjustment and retraining notification act.
Has defined it protects workers their families and communities requiring most employers with 100 or more employees to protect notification.
Last sixty days calendar days in advance of plant closing.
Closings aggressive layoffs.
In July of -- twelve Department of Labor labor -- just a letter.
To a number of contractors.
Many of them are saying that they didn't have to put out.
Notification -- then in September.
-- and be put out a letter and here it is saying that they in Denver unified these companies these contractors.
And said -- any resulting employee compensation costs for warn act liability.
As determined by a court.
As well as attorney fees and other litigation costs.
Irrespective of litigation outcome would qualify as allowable cost -- be covered by the contract and agency if otherwise reasonable and palatable.
I guess what Republicans.
Saw that as was -- the OMB was saying.
Don't send out the pink slip notices ahead of the election we don't want that notice.
Because the elections coming but now they're seeing it as.
This is a blank check for trial lawyers.
If somebody gets fired without the sixty day notice.
What's to prevent trial attorneys from saying the OMB or the government is going to sue and the the government's going to have to pay for it.
Well -- that was quite a lot in one step so let me try to answer.
I do believe that out last year we there was an understanding that the whole design of this sequester something we would have preferred.
Not to I have taken place we wanted to get an agreement.
We would have preferred if we hadn't fortunate -- to be a combination of revenue.
And specific spending but this is what happened and everyone understood the goal was to prevent it from happening and so I think the idea was is that.
Because the goal is to not go over and the class not have sequestration go off.
And there seem to be willing us on both sides that we there was less reason for us to be concerned.
That there was going to be this necessary harm unfortunately.
We've now gone through periods where those who control the leadership of the house -- of representatives are fairly explicitly telling people.
That they are quite content to have the sequester go off.
Then in those situations it's much harder to suggest that there is not a real worry that you're gonna have this type.
Of harm you guys don't but we are where we are -- -- budget office -- will -- an office the democratic Congressional Budget Office saying.
Jobs would I got -- so is the -- and they can pick up the tab if all these contractors -- soon.
You know what I will let the -- -- General Counsel -- I answer those questions I think the important thing people should understand.
Is that we don't have to go this way.
This president put out.
His offer to John Boehner today.
It had over a trillion dollars in spending cuts it was one point eight trillion dollars in additional -- or direction.
Two thirds of it isn't spending cuts yeah he's serious about spending we we -- want to compromise but this is our attention we don't have that compromise from both sides that is yeah.
Go out -- I've asked about the warn act and I know we got the talking points about.
The different points I was asked about the warn act in -- notifications.
And do you think this is a potential problem I mean.
If you did notice allegations didn't go out or for the election under.
Fortunately -- unfortunately.
I think that at this point there is much greater concern because unlike.
Last fall where both sides were not still saying that of course we -- -- work something out.
You now have the Republican -- suggesting people controlled leadership that they actually plan.
To have let the sequester go into -- fact that's not what we want that's not our message our message is let's work together.
And and have compromise -- senate popping point that's about specific.
Hard choices this president just put out about 400 billion in Medicare savings you know that's very difficult to do over ten years.
He would not be calling for that type of reform.
If he was not serious about reaching -- bipartisan compromise we just need a partner that is willing to work and compromise so we can help this economy and our fiscal path get on a stronger.
New way forward I appreciate your time if you can.
-- mentioned to the OMB General Counsel would love to have them on to answer those questions back the warn act as well.
We don't we also book TV ESP NEC here so we're happy to help -- anyway all right James thanks so much issue.