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Phoenix mayor fears recession if sequester takes effect

PHOENIX — The country is facing across-the-board budget cuts on March 1, unless Congress votes to stop them.

The action is called a sequester. Democrats are calling for more taxes to offset the cuts, something that Republicans are balking at. President Barack Obama wants a balanced solution that combines both spending cuts and more revenues.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is glad that Obama talked about the potential sequester during his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

“I think that the president and Congress need to not accept sequestration, which is this massive cuts that would result in massive job losses,” he said.

Stanton said a sequester would be devastating for Arizona.

“We cannot lose close to 50,000 jobs in the state of Arizona over the next few years. It would send us back into recession.”

Stanton is also glad that the president talked about immigration during his address last night. Obama renewed his call for sweeping immigration reform.

“It’s important for me as the mayor of a southwestern city that is soon to be a majority Latino city that [we get the] immigration issue behind us and done the right way,” he said. “Passing the right kind of comprehensive reform bill and moving on is incredibly important.”

Emotions were high at a Senate immigration hearing in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. Protesters interrupted Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano as she spoke. After the protestors were taken out of the hearing, the former Arizona governor claimed that the U.S. border has never been more secure.