Posted: 9:00 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013

Sequester timeline

By Jessica Wehrman

Washington Bureau

Chronology of how we got here:

August 2011: Congress passes the Budget Control Act, a bill that cuts the debt by $1.2 trillion in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. The bill established a joint congressional committee tasked with reducing the deficit. It also comes with a punishment: If the joint committee can’t come up with an answer, $1.2 trillion in sweeping, mandatory cuts to most federal discretionary programs over the next decade. Half of that would be absorbed by the Defense Department.

November 2011: The committee, which included Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio fails to come up with an agreement to reduce the deficit.

October 2012: President Obama, participating in a presidential campaign debate with GOP nominee Mitt Romney, says the budget cuts “will not happen.”

January 2013: Deadline for $1.2 trillion in cuts to go through. Congress, as part of a deal reached to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” of tax hikes and budget cuts, delays the budget cuts for two months.

March 1, 2013: The new deadline for the $1.2 trillion in cuts.