WRAPUP 10-Obama formally orders 'deeply destructive' cuts, blames Congress

Fri Mar 1, 2013 10:49pm EST
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* United States staggers into another fiscal crisis

* Government agencies to cut $85 billion in spending

* Furlough notices for federal employees issued

* Possible disruption to air travel, food safety

By Richard Cowan and Alistair Bell

WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama formally ordered broad cuts in U.S. government spending on Friday night after he and congressional Republicans failed to reach a deal to avert automatic reductions that could dampen economic growth and curb military readiness.

As the United States staggered into another fiscal crisis, the White House predicted that the spending cuts triggered by the inability of Obama and lawmakers to forge a broader deficit-reduction agreement would be "deeply destructive" to the nation's economic and national security.

"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," Obama told journalists after his meeting with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders.   Continued...