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It is the final day for US Congress to take action on the country's budgetary deficit before deep spending cuts in domestic and defense programs will kick in.
If the Congress and the US administration fail to agree on a way to avert the reductions, about $85 billion in government spending cuts are set to begin.
The cuts could slow the national economic growth for the coming fiscal year, which will end on September 30.
The savings, known as the 'sequester', could delay air travelers, cut education programs for the poor and weaken the readiness of the US military.
In the past few weeks, Democrats in the Congress tried to shift the deficit-reduction burden to the rich. However, most of the Democrats' saving ideas have been opposed by the Republicans, who oppose any tax increases to reduce deficits.
| Obama meets congressional leaders in bid to avoid sequester |
Fri 1 Mar 2013