Politics • Rising star for the GOP criticizes Obama's leadership.
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Washington • Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love says the federal government's impending spending cuts won't hurt her city, and she criticized President Barack Obama for a lack of leadership during the crisis.
"We're not going to feel this at all," Love said on ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, referring to the $85 billion in spending cuts that started Friday. "This is why I advocate for being independent, not being so subjective to federal funding."
Love, a rising Republican star who lost a challenge to Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson last year, says the budget for her 18,300-person city isn't dependent on federal spending and therefore able to handle the cutbacks.
The automatic cuts went into effect late Friday after Congress was unable to reach a compromise to avert the budget changes, known in Washington as the sequester.
"This is not about a right-left issue," Love said on the news program Sunday. "Both sides got us into this mess."
But Love blamed Obama for not stepping up with a plan that could pass Congress and stop the across-the-board cuts. Noting she has family in the "inner cities," Love said the Obama hasn't brought the help they need.
"This president is doing nothing to eliminate their pain," Love said.
Obama's top economic adviser, Gene Sperling, said that Republicans can't try to blame the impasse on the White House and Democrats because they, too, voted for the automatic spending reductions.
"I think it's most accurate that [Republicans] did propose an all-spending-cut mechanism that would have this type of harmful impact on defense and spending and on education and research," Sperling said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."
The White House cautioned last week that the spending cuts would cause disruptions in government services, including fewer programs at national parks, fewer loan guarantees for small businesses and a drop in education grants. Federal workers including some 46,000 in Utah could see furloughs.
Love is returning to the spotlight after losing her hard-fought campaign to oust the seven-term Matheson. She's slated to speak in two weeks in Washington at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a large gathering of activists where Mitt Romney is also expected.