Looming budget cuts already affecting metro

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- More than $85 billion in spending cuts are set to go into effect Friday if politicians in Washington, D.C., can't come up with a deal to avert it. But the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank said the looming cuts are already affecting the metro.

From teachers and schools, to job-search assistance and military readiness, the proposed automatic spending cuts could affect everyone, including people like Deborah Love, a federal employee in Kansas City's Social Security Department.

"The reason my jobs important is because I effect peoples lives. Getting the people the checks that they've earned that they need and depend on is my focus," said Love.

Love, and thousands of other Federal employees, are bracing for possible unpaid furloughs as part of an $85 Billion reduction in federal spending.

"I'm just really getting a little tired of the people saying, well, this is essential, this isn't. Who's to say who's essential or what is. It boils down to people being able to eat," Love said.

Love says she hasn't had a pay raise in three years and bonuses, not a chance.

"I'm just really sick of them holding my dinner table hostage," she said.

The automatic, across-the-board budget cuts are scheduled to kick in Friday unless Congress and the White House can reach a deficit reducing compromise by then.

"I think they're just playing games and making noise," said Love.

According to a survey by the Kansas City Federal Reserve, the looming cuts are already impacting the metro.

Respondents to the survey gave these answers when asked why manufacturing activity is down from January to February.

One business executive says they are delaying all spending and hiring plans due to the unknown effects of sequestration. Another says the uncertainty is causing customers to hold back on spending.

The President will meet with top congressional leaders Friday in last ditch effort to strike a deal.

If that doesn't happen the President will sign an order directing government agencies to begin implementing the cuts.

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