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Senator Lamar Alexander talks about sequestration

By Karissa Manis, Producer, kmanis@wcyb.com
Published On: Feb 22 2013 10:14:12 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 22 2013 11:00:00 PM CST

Congress has one week to come up with a plan to avoid automatic spending cuts.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -

March first is the deadline to come up with a deal on the sequester.
     Republican Senator Lamar Alexander was in Greeneville for an event Friday evening.
     News 5 spoke to him about what it all means.
"The sequestration that you're hearing about is a decision the President and Congress made a year and a half ago, to reduce the growth of spending by 1.2 trillion dollars over the next ten years," he says.
And to do that, cuts need to be made, cuts that will affect all government funded businesses, such as national parks, social security offices, and Senator Alexander says, medicare.
"Medicare trustees have said that program is going broke because of over spending, and so there won't be money in that program to pay hospital bills."

Meanwhile, Senator Bob Corker has already laid out what he thinks about the cuts.
"Very crucial programs in our country that shouldn't be cut and there are others where more could be cut and laid out and sequester itself," Corker says.

     He says the problem is, spending is out of hand in this country.
     Back in Greeneville, Senator Alexander agrees.
     He told News 5 that the government is borrowing 42 cents out of every dollar that is being spent, and he says that is a major issue that needs to be resolved.
"I think the sequester, the spending reductions will take effect on March one, unless the President  does what Senator Corker and I have done which is to come forward with a plan to focus on the real problem, the runaway entitlement spending."

     Administration officials said once again they are open to a short term deal to head off these budget cuts.
But Senators Corker and Alexander say that just kicks the can down the road.