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Looming federal budget cuts a job killer, says Rep. Kline

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Looming across-the-board federal spending cuts could cost as many as 4,000 jobs in Minnesota, according to Minnesota Republican Rep. John Kline.

The cuts, known as sequestration, are scheduled to take effect March 1 unless President Barack Obama and House Republicans reach a deal to fix the federal budget. Kline said House Republicans hope to cut $1.2 trillion in federal spending over the next ten years but he's opposed to doing it across the board.

"The trouble with sequestration is that there is no ability to set priorities," Kline said. "They just cut and so you can have very, very good programs that take a cut and a poor program that is executing poorly right next to it takes the same cut. We would rather have the ability to adjust those."

President Obama and House Republicans agreed in 2011 to the across the board spending cuts as a way to force an overall deficit reduction plan. They have failed to reach consensus on that idea.   Kline told reporters Monday there is a "better than even" chance the cuts will happen.