— Minnesota Rep. John Kline, a member of GOP leadership in Washington, says automatic federal budget cuts neither side wants have a "better than even" chance of kicking in.
Unless Congress and the White House strike a deal, a set of previously approved across-the-board spending cuts is due to take hold beginning in March. The Republican-led House and Democratic President Barack Obama are at odds over what should be done to avoid the cuts without allowing the deficit to balloon.
During a Monday visit to Minnesota's Capitol, Kline said Republicans are insisting the so-called sequestration be replaced by prioritized spending cuts of equal or greater amount.
States with a heavy defense industry presence are expected to feel the biggest pinch from the automatic cuts. But Minnesota could still face a blow.