Democrats and Republicans in Washington are once again approaching a showdown over how to reduce the national debt -- with Republicans calling for cuts in domestic spending programs and Democrats asking that tax loopholes be closed on the wealthiest Americans.
This time, the Republicans who control the House of Representatives are threatening to let the cuts take effect. “The sequester will be in effect until there are cuts and reforms that put us on a path to balance the budget over the next 10 years, period!” explained House Speaker John Boehner.
President Obama is warning the cuts would be brutal.
"These cuts are not smart. They are not fair. They will hurt our economy," Obama stated. "They will add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment roles. This is not an abstraction. People will lose their jobs.
Democratic Congressman Steny Hoyer blames Republicans.
"Thousands of Americans will lose their jobs or be furloughed, including teachers, researchers, law enforcement agents and military contractors. Everyone should be clear that sequestration is a Republican policy," he said. "And it is a bad policy.
1.showdown n. 摊牌；紧要关头；最后一决胜负
Another reason for unionists to shy away from an independence showdown is that the SNP's main opponents Labour and the Tories, are in no fit state to campaign on anything .
2.tax loophole 漏税；[税收] 税收漏洞；税制漏洞
To solve the deficit problem, Democrats and Republicans must make tough choices and look at every tax loophole and program for opportunities to save money.
3.furlough vt. 准假；暂时解雇
The agreement prevents a partial government shutdown, in which hundreds of thousands of federal workers would have been furloughed, and government services curtailed.