WH orders agencies to prepare for possible spending cuts

WASHINGTON - The White House budget office has asked all federal agencies for information to finalize contingency plans for automatic spending cuts due to go into effect in January should the Obama administration fail to reach agreement to avert the reductions, the White House said on Wednesday.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the administration remained confident of reaching a deal to avoid so-called "sequestration" but that the Office of Management and Budget "must take certain steps to ensure that the administration is ready to issue such an order should Congress fail to act."
Carney told reporters that OMB earlier this week "issued a request to federal agencies for additional information to finalize calculations on the spending reductions that would be required."