McConnell downplays impact of spending cuts

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is downplaying the risks that looming automatic federal spending cuts will damage the nation's economy. His outlook differs starkly from the dire warnings from President Barack Obama's administration.

The Kentucky Republican told reporters Friday in Louisville that the $85 billion in spending cuts are modest, and that deeper reductions are needed.

McConnell says the cuts will have some impact, but as for the overall economy, he says he doubts it will be hurt by what amounts to a 2.4 percent cut in government spending. He says most families had to curtail spending more than during the economic downturn.

McConnell says the president's successful push for a higher tax rate for top income earners is more likely to hurt the economy than the spending cuts.

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