The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

February 18, 2013

Kline: Automatic budget cuts could take place

— 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.

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