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White House Warns Tennesseans About Looming Budget Cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is warning Tennesseans about the impact of looming across-the-board federal budget cuts set to kick in Friday.

In his weekly radio address, President Obama said the so-called sequester cuts will slow the economy and hurt the middle class. He blamed the GOP for the impasse.

“Unfortunately it appears that Republicans in Congress have decided that instead of compromising, instead of asking anything of the wealthiest Americans, they’d rather let these cuts fall squarely on the middle class."

The White House says the cuts will mean job furloughs for about 7,000 civilian Defense Department employees in Tennessee, roughly 1600 fewer of the state's college students will receive federal tuition aid, 200 teachers may lose their jobs, and thousands of disadvantage Tennessee children and seniors could lose various forms of assistance.

In the Republican response to the president’s address, Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota took a different tack.

“The right way to address our deficit and debt and get past the sequester is not higher taxes, or just better spending controls, it’s by creating jobs.

Hoeven went on to urge the president to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline as a way to create jobs and grow the economy.