After weeks of inaction from Congress, forced federal spending cuts are set to take effect.
“It’s an absolute disgrace that we’re going home. We should stay here until the sequester has ended. This is a stupid way to do it,” said Rep. Eliot Engel, (D), New York.
Democrats and Republicans failed to reach an agreement over spending plans, forcing President Obama to issue an order that will slash $85 billion in federal spending for the rest of the fiscal year.
As lawmakers left Washington Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans would not accept responsibility for the inaction.
“We’ve done our work. They’ve not done theirs. The House shouldn’t have to pass a third bill to replace the sequester before the Senate passes one,” he said.
Democrats, meanwhile, are criticizing Republicans for the furloughs the cuts will cause.
“We might as well get a pink slip from the office of the speaker of the Republican Conference to 750,000 American workers laid out because of sequester implementation,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
The President is expected to meet leaders from Congress Friday at the White House, but expectations for that meeting are low.