Automatic defense and domestic spending cuts on horizon as President Obama returns to Washington

Sequester would cut $1.2 trillion from budget

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- President Barack Obama faces a tough week in Washington; Congress is on recess and there is still no deal to avert the sequester -- $1.2 trillion in automatic defense and domestic spending cuts over a period of ten years.

It is the reality that awaits him after his weekend visit to South Florida.

The sequester may put the jobs of as many as 10,000 teachers in question.

Air travel may be delayed if the Transportation Security Administration is forced to furlough some of its workers.

As many as 33,000 students in the Federal Work-Study Program may have to find another way to pay for their studies if $49 million is cut from the program.

"These problems seem so large [and] so out of your control but they will affect every individual," said Michelle Ray, a junior at Northwood University who is in the Federal Work-Study Program. "If that job is gone, what do I do? I have to find a job off campus. It'll change a lot of what I do."

The sequester, Northwood University President Tom Duncan said, could have a long-term impact on the United States economy.

"The economy is still a little soft. And so, people are wondering. What will the impact actually be? Will it slow the economy down so much that it will put us back into a recession? I think people are concerned about that," he said.

Congress is not expected to return to work until Monday, February 25th.

Some members of Congress said they would support a delay of the sequester.

"This is not your run-of-the-mill gridlock," said U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, (D) West Palm Beach. "We're talking about failure to act is going to cause a lot of harm to our economy and hurt a lot of people. Most legislators who I talk to on both sides of the aisle, we want to come together, we want to move things forward, but there's obviously something keeping that from happening."

Last week, government agencies sent the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations letters that detailed the impact of sequestration.

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