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U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she does not know at this point what can be done to prevent what she calls a "mindless across-the-board approach" to cutting federal spending.
The Massachusetts Democrat was asked during a breakfast meeting of business leaders in Boston on Monday about the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect Friday unless a compromise is reached in Washington.
Warren told the New England Council she believes President Obama has offered a "balanced" plan that calls for revenue increases along with targeted cuts. But she said she did not know at this point whether a deal could be struck with reluctant Republicans in Congress.
"We seem to have a government that works only by holdout, and that only waits until the 59th minute of the 11th hour to say, 'Okay, maybe we will do something that's not catastrophic,' " she said.
The Massachusetts Republican Party blames the president, saying the idea for the sequester started in the White House.
"Instead of complaining here in Boston, Warren, Capuano, Markey and Lynch should head back to D.C. and talk to President Obama as the idea for sequestration originated in the White House," Tim Buckley, spokesman for the state's Republican Party, said in a statement. "They are too busy blaming others while America's economy suffers."
The White House says Massachusetts would stand to lose millions in funding for education, medical research, defense-related work and other programs.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom.
This program aired on February 25, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.
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