Congress and President Barack Obama are running out of time to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff," which would result in $500 billion in spending cuts to the military over the next 10 years. The two parties need to reach an agreement on a deficit reduction plan, and after meetings late last week, both sides reported some progress, according to Military Times.
On Friday, Obama met with top leaders in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The discussion likely touched on everything from potential tax increases on the wealthiest Americans to ways to avoid sequestration – the much-feared slashes to the Pentagon budget if a deal is not reached. Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid all expressed optimism about the talks.
"I feel very good about what we were able to talk about in there," Reid told reporters. "We have the cornerstones of being able to work something out. We're both going to have to give up some of the things that we know are a problem."
Avoiding sequestration is important for a number of reasons, according to Politico. Not only could it impact military benefits and capabilities, it could also result in fewer FBI agents, prison guards and National Guardsmen.