Mikulski said the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to take effect Friday could be avoided if Republicans support a Democratic plan, which reduces the deficit by $110 billion. The Democratic plan would have equal amounts of spending cuts and tax revenues through closing corporate tax loopholes. 

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Mikulski acknowledged that Republicans have said they will not accept any additional tax increases, but she pointed out that there are “lots of very juicy loopholes” that should be closed to increase revenue. 

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman, Mikulski, said the sequester will have a devastating effect on the economy and cause many sectors to furlough or layoff workers.

“If in fact people begin to lose their jobs or are furloughed and lose part of their paychecks, they’re not going to be spending money in their communities,” Mikulski said. “We are not only going to hurt our economy but there is an anti-incumbent fever spreading across the country.”

Sens. Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Billionaire Steyer to push for Dem House push Billionaire Steyer announces million for Dem House push MORE (D-Calif.), Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.), Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) Former Sanders campaign manager: Don't expect email list to be shared with DNC Adult film star: Trump and Stormy Daniels invited me to 'hang out' MORE (I-Vt.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayCDC director to miss fourth hearing because of potential ethics issues Week ahead: Lawmakers near deal on children's health funding Ryan suggests room for bipartisanship on ObamaCare MORE (D-Wash.) joined Mikulski on the Senate floor Tuesday in talking about how the massive spending cuts will negatively affect their states and the country.

Senate leaders Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems search for winning playbook Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response The Memo: Immigration battle tests activists’ muscle MORE (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Overnight Finance: Lawmakers see shutdown odds rising | Trump calls for looser rules for bank loans | Consumer bureau moves to revise payday lending rule | Trump warns China on trade deficit MORE (R-Ky.) are expected to introduce alternatives to the sequester later this week, but neither is expected to pass, let alone in time for the House to act.

Boxer said she believes the Democratic plan would pass a simple-majority vote, but that Republicans will likely filibuster the bill, which means 60-votes would be needed.

“We have an alternative to the sequester and I believe we have a majority-vote for that plan,” Boxer said. “I have a plea to my Republican colleagues. Do not filibuster this, too many lives are at stake and too many jobs are at stake.”

Economist have predicted that as many as 750,000 jobs could be lost this year as a result of the automatic spending cuts.