When will sequestration kick in?

WASHINGTON – As the threat of sequestration looms, Americans are scratching their collective heads trying to figure out when those budget cuts will kick in.

There have been conflicting reports about this very question. The White House announced Thursday that President Obama is meeting with congressional leaders Friday before the deadline. Republicans took the opportunity to criticize Obama for scheduling a meeting after the sequester starts, CBS News reports.

White House press secretary Jay Carney appears to have cleared up the confusion when talking to reporters.

“My understanding is it happens at midnight on Friday, 11:59,” he said.

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But according to the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, “on March 1, 2013, the President shall order a sequestration for fiscal year 2013 pursuant to section 251A of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985,” Bloomberg reports.

This effectively means that sequestration starts when Obama decides it starts.

Does that clear things up?

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