Obama warns automatic cuts will hurt many

He urges Congress to halt them, accept smaller steps to buy time

Posted: February 20, 2013 at 4:38 a.m.

President Barack Obama, accompanied by first responders behind him, speaks in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office building on the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, to urge Congress to come up with an alternative plan to avert automatic spending cuts set to kick in on March 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Barack Obama stepped up pressure on Congress to avert “brutal” automatic $1.2 trillion in budget cuts set to kick in March 1, saying they would harm the economy and curtail vital services.

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