Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) said this past weekend that sequestration – the mandatory across-the-board spending cuts put in place last year and set to go into effect March 1 – would have a disastrous effect on the middle class and the country’s recovering economy.

Speaking with MSNBC’s Alex Witt, Schiff said the cuts would jeopardize all the progress that the economy has made during the past few years and drastically cut jobs and economic growth.

“Frankly, it’s going to be a disaster for the country,” Schiff said. “If the sequester stays in effect for any length of time, it could mean the loss of 750,000 jobs. And, it is a purely man-made economic disaster. So I would love to say we can avoid it, and, if fact, we can. But I think the GOP is determined to at least let it go into effect for some period of time.”

The drastic cuts were approved in an effort to get Republicans and Democrats to reach an alternate, bipartisan agreement on deficit reduction.

Schiff said a recent proposal from Senate Democrats is a “serious offer.”

He’s said he’s dismayed by the fact that Senate Republicans won’t accept a plan that’s “half and half,” when most Americans think it’s fair.

“When you’re in a debate and have a difference, you try to split the divide down the middle,” Schiff said. “That’s what the president has offered and Senate Democrats have offered, and House Democrats have done much of the same thing.”

He’s said he’s frustrated with the “it’s our way or the highway” attitude expressed by opponents of the Democrats’ proposal.

“We should be able to get a long-term deal,” Schiff said. “It’s not rocket science.”

--Mark Kellam, Times Community News

Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam