U.S. President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to replace the automatic budget cuts, known as the sequester, "before it causes further damage."
In his weekly address Saturday, Obama said Congress finally realized the cuts also apply to them, as they prepared to fly home for the weekend. Travelers have been stranded for hours in airports and on planes this week because of staff cutbacks in air traffic control towers.
Obama said because of what he called "reckless cuts," travelers have been hurt, kids have been "kicked out" of education programs, and some military families are having to cope "under new strains" after already sacrificing enough.
Watch President Obama's weekly address:
In the Republican address Saturday, Representative Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania argued that the Federal Aviation Administration could have averted flight delays by cutting costs elsewhere and changing work schedules, but intentionally chose not to.
He also said some in the White House "thought inflicting pain on the public" would give the president leverage to avoid making spending cuts and to impose tax hikes on Americans.
Watch weekly Republican address: