Take a look at the history of sequestration from its first use in the 1980s to today’s cuts.
The supercommittee failed. Without a better plan, the spending cuts were supposed to go into effect Jan. 1, 2013 -- the same time tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush in 2002 were supposed to expire. Economists and others feared the combination of huge spending cuts, tax hikes and an economy still struggling to recover hitting at the same time would create a huge blow to the economy: the so-called fiscal cliff.
Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters
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