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BREAKING: President Signs Order Authorizing Budget Cuts

Ashlee Pitzl

BREAKING: President Signs Order Authorizing Budget Cuts

CREATED Mar. 1, 2013

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama signed an order Friday night authorizing the government to begin cutting $85 billion from federal accounts, officially enacting across-the-board reductions that he opposed but failed to avert.

The president acted four hours ahead of deadline.

Obama has insisted on replacing the cuts, known as a "sequester" in government budget language, with tax increases and cuts spread out over time. Republicans have rejected any plan that included tax hikes.

The White House says the reductions will soon result in furlough notices to government employees and will trim government spending on defense contracts and in domestic government programs. Active military personnel and anti-poverty and low-income assistance programs are largely protected from the cuts.