SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is among several state leaders frustrated with the looming federal budget cuts. He was in Washington, D.C., Monday for the National Association of Governors meetings and spoke openly about his frustrations.
"We're finding ways to do more with less, (getting a) bigger bang for less bucks," Hebert said, during an interview on CNN. "Why are they having a hard time with that in Washington?"
We're finding ways to do more with less ... Why are they having a hard time with that in Washington?
–Gov. Gary Herbert
Herbert said he and other governors are frustrated at what some call the "manufactured financial crisis" being allowed to happen in the nation's capitol.
In front of a group of governors Monday, President Barack Obama pressured Congress to act.
"These cuts do not have to happen. Congress can turn ‘em off anytime with just little bit of compromise," he said.
In turn, Congressional leaders said they won't compromise on taxes.
"Listen, the president says we have to have another tax increase in order to avoid the sequester. Well, Mr. President, you got your tax increase. It's time to cut spending here in Washington," said Republican House Speaker John Boehner.
For Utah, the automatic cuts could affect education, airport security, civilian defense workers and more. From the governor's standpoint, they're coming due to a lack of leadership on both sides.
"I have to own that as governor. If I don't get results in my state, I'm criticized," Herbert said. "We're not getting results here in Washington, and there's blame to go around for everybody."
"I think the president has the opportunity to be the honest broker here and bring people together from both parties," the governor said. "He's not beholden to anyone."
At this point, it seems the uncertainty and frustration will continue. Utah many not fully know the consequences until they're staring state leaders in the face.