Not that worried? Congressional office getting few calls on the sequester

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

WASHINGTON — Sequestration is the dominant topic of conversation in the halls of Congress.

But according to one indicator, the constituents back home don’t really seem that worried about the looming automatic cuts set to go into effect Friday — cuts that President Barack Obama has been saying could have terrible consequences.

Despite Obama’s dire warnings about what will happen if the across-the-board cuts known as the sequester goes into effect, The Daily Caller has learned that the switchboards in Congress are not lighting up very much with calls from concerned citizens.

Over in the Senate, an aide for a swing-state Republican told TheDC, “Less than 10 percent of our calls in February are about the sequester, and the majority favor letting it go through.”

“It’s way behind a whole range of other issues,” the aide added.

Other legislators seem to agree that their constituents don’t seem to be very worried about it.

“I think most Americans are going to wake up Friday morning and yawn,” Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp said at a congressional conservative press conference on Wednesday, accusing Obama of employing “scare tactics” when discussing the sequester.

While warning about the sequester, Obama has said it “will jeopardize our military readiness [and] eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research.”

At a Tuesday press briefing at the conservative Heritage Foundation, Republican Studies Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Scalise compared the president to “Chicken Little,” and fears over the sequester to fears over the Y2K computer bug that famously fizzled in 2000.

Sequestration refers to the $85 billion in cuts to the federal government’s discretionary spending set to go into effect on March 1, unless Congress passes some sort of legislation preventing it.

Leaders in both parties are against it, saying it is the wrong way to cut spending. But they have been unable to agree on how to replace the sequester: Obama and Democrats have been adamant about wanting another increase in tax revenue on the wealthy — something Republicans refuse to go for.

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