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Sen. John McCain not optimistic on sequester deal

PHOENIX — The clock continues to tick down toward March 1, when a package of massive federal spending cuts take effect automatically if Congress and the president can’t find a solution before the deadline.

Some call it the sequester, others say it’s fiscal cliff, part two. Sen. John McCain just called it devastating, adding that the cuts to Arizona could cost 49,000 jobs, with 35,000 in the defense industry alone.

“It’s outrageous and shameful and impairs the ability to defend our nation in these very tense times with great challenges to our national security,” he said.

McCain laid the blame squarely on the president for the situation.

“During the campaign the president said, ‘Won’t happen.’ And now he’s saying as long as we don’t raise taxes, etc.”

McCain said Arizona will lose almost $5 billion in state product in the sequester, with a majority of that in defense.