LA CRESCENT, Minnesota (WXOW)—Ahead of President Obama's State of the Union Address, News 19 spoke with Wisconsin's senators, Republican Ron Johnson and Democrat Tammy Baldwin.
Both said they wanted to hear the president address the looming sequester: a package of about $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts set to take effect on March 1. That is unless Congress can agree a budget deal that would cut the deficit.
The president said in his address, those automatic cuts would be devastating, especially to the Department of Defense.
Baldwin says she's optimistic a compromise can be reached. Senate Democrats say they are working on a proposal that may be unveiled as early as Thursday.
"We know that we want to get past this crisis to crisis management of our fiscal house," Baldwin said. "And we have sequester March 1, we have a continuing resolution that expires March 27, but we also have an annual budget process. I attended my first budget committee meeting today and we're ready to get back to a regular way of doing things and moving our fiscal house as well as our economy forward."
Meanwhile, Johnson says he will only support a proposal with cuts that take effect this fiscal year.
"The Democrats approach will be pretty much the same old same old, which is increased taxes and then maybe talk about spending cuts that will occur 10 years in the future," Johnson said. "We simply can't delay these decisions, so I don't' think Republicans are going to support any plan that is going delay making the tough decisions in terms of: How do we reduce the role of government? How do we reduce lower priority spending items in the federal budget?"
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