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Democratic, Republican senators go head to head on spending cuts, blame

 

Two top senators -- one Democrat, one Republican -- disagreed Sunday on which party is to blame for taking the country to the brink of massive federal spending cuts, but agreed they likely cannot be stopped before this week’s deadline.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said there was “no question” the cuts were coming but put the blame on Republicans.

“Unless the Republicans are willing to compromise and do a balanced approach, then it will kick in,” McCaskill told “Fox News Sunday.”

She also said the Republican-controlled House has failed to act and suggested the party was still fighting a “civil war.”

Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn told Fox that the cuts will happen but put the blame on President Obama, saying he has provided “no leadership” on averting the cuts, known as sequester.

“It’s an excessive, bloated, big government,” he said.

Congress agreed on the drastic, across-the-board cuts in 2011, after failing to agree on a more measured approach. 

Roughly $85 billion would be cut this year from the defense budget and other federal spending, should Congress fail to reach a compromise by Friday.

McCaskill, considered a moderate Democrat in a largely Republican-leaning state, argued that Republicans should agree on a compromise that raises revenue through changes to the tax code, but acknowledged that spending cuts also must be included.