Sen. Menendez: 'March Madness Has A New Consequence To It'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There has been lots of finger-pointing on Capitol Hill now that the sequester has taken effect.

The automatic across-the-board spending cuts took effect Friday after neither side could reach a deal to avoid the sequester and President Obama signed the order.

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Democratic New Jersey lawmakers continue to blame Republicans for allowing the sequester to take hold.

“This is spiteful, it’s un-American,” Rep. Bill Pascrell told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.

Pascrell was asked whether he thinks the president bore any responsibility for signing the sequester order.

“The president maybe miscalculated that in cutting the military budget over eight percent, close to eight percent, that this would bring them to heel,” Pascrell said.

“Understand the context in which the president signed it – it was either that or have the nation default,” Sen. Robert Menendez added.

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President Obama did not meet with Congressional leaders until Friday but Menendez said despite that, the president is showing leadership.

“The president’s been reaching out to these individuals one on one, across time. This is not new,” said Menendez.

“March Madness has a new consequence to it,” the senator added.

The $85 billion in mandated cuts will be gradual for the most part, taking months for Americans to actually feel.

Obama called the cuts “dumb and arbitrary.”

“None of this is necessary. It’s happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. They’ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful tax loophole to help reduce the deficit,” Obama said Friday.

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Who do you think is to blame for the sequester? Please offer your comments below…