Sequester Q&A: For US, a new season of uncertainty

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The politics of sequestration have been fierce, the finger-pointing incessant. But just a week out from a March 1 deadline, there are no meaningful efforts in Washington to avert big automatic cuts to federal spending and a new season of uncertainty for a nation struggling to shake off a recession.

Blowing past the deadline could mean at least temporary layoffs for hundreds of thousands of public and private-sector workers and a slowing of the economy's already fragile growth. Programs like Medicare and Social Security would be exempt from the cuts. But look out for more hassle at airport checkpoints, less money for teachers and longer lines at the nation's borders.

A 2011 deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling was designed to prevent exactly this kind of inaction.


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