It is possible that Reid misspoke. We don’t like to play gotcha, but we also get suspicious when a politician’s aides do not respond to queries.
In any case, even if Reid was relying on the CBO estimate, 1.6 million is the high-end of a range for next year, not this year.
A more careful speaker would have chosen the midpoint — 900,000 — which is also the first employment number highlighted in the CBO letter.
While the dust has not settled on the impact of the sequester on employment this year, the available evidence shows that Reid’s claim that 1.6 million jobs already have been cut this year appears wildly off course.