Treasury Secretary Lew: Sequestration Bad for Economy

Image: Treasury Secretary Lew: Sequestration Bad for Economy

Sunday, 20 Oct 2013 12:59 PM

By Amy Woods

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Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Sunday the deep spending cuts that comprise the sequestration are holding back economic growth, and President Barack Obama wants to change course.

"The president's made clear that we think you should replace some of the sequestration cuts with sensible, balanced entitlement and tax reforms and put us in the right direction for the future," Lew said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Lew pointed to a "faction" in Congress, specifically in the House, that took control of the direction of the debate that led to the government shutdown. Lew said the shutdown was "a little bit scary" and might have damaged the economy, but "I can't give you a number today of what it is."

"I know the direction," Lew said. "The direction is that it took an economy that is fighting hard to get good economic growth going, to create jobs for the American people, and it took it in the wrong direction.

"I'm confident that our economy can recover," he continued. "We need to make sure that government does not go through another round of brinkmanship. That cannot happen again."
Regarding Obamacare, Lew said the problems with the website will be fixed, and employees are working around the clock to correct the glitches.

"I think that there's no one more frustrated than the president at the difficulty in the website," he said. "The test is going to be in January. How many people are enrolled, and what's the quality of service that they're getting. I think that if we get that right, everyone will regret that the early weeks were a little choppy on the website. We're confident we're going to be on track to do that."

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