Late Friday evening, President Barack Obama signed an order – as required by the “sequester” legislation – to enact broad cuts to federal spending, according to a White House release.
Those cuts will now officially go into effect at midnight Friday.
The low-key statement, unaccompanied even by a White House-authorized photo of the signing, comes after weeks of finger-pointing with little urgency from Democrats or Republicans to avert the cuts.
In the week leading up to Friday’s deadline, Obama administration had warned of the consequences of the sequester, with Cabinet officials taking to the airwaves and the president hitting the road to highlight the measure’s effect on jobs, education, and even delays for air travelers.
On Friday, Obama acknowledged that while the cuts will be “painful,” they won’t be completely catastrophic.
"We will get through this," he said. "This is not going to be an apocalypse, I think, as some people have said. It’s just dumb. And it's going to hurt."