WASHINGTON (AP) - The top Democrat in the Senate says that lawmakers should redouble efforts to replace looming across-the-board cuts to the Pentagon and domestic programs with alternative spending cuts and tax hikes.
The comments by Majority Leader Harry Reid came amid increasing resignation among both Democrats and Republicans that the across-the-board cuts will soon take effect. The cuts were an element of the so-called fiscal cliff that was partially averted this month with the extension of Bush-era tax cuts.
But the reprieve from spending cuts of 7 percent to the Pentagon and 5 percent to domestic programs was only temporary and will expire March 1.
Reid said the cuts should be replaced "in short increments" with spending cuts and revenues like repealing oil and gas subsidies that were discussed in earlier negotiations.