Automatic spending cuts would hurt Americans, White House says

WASHINGTON Fri Feb 8, 2013 12:33pm EST

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WASHINGTON Feb 8 (Reuters) - Automatic government spending cuts due to go into effect March 1 unless Congress acts to prevent them would bite deeply into programs affecting many Americans such as law enforcement, small business assistance, food safety, and tax collection, the White House said on Friday.

The administration urged Congress to blunt the effect of the reductions, which the White House said would slash nondefense programs by 9 percent across the board and defense programs by 13 percent, the White House said.

"These large and arbitrary cuts will have severe impacts across the government," the administration said in a statement.

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