BABYLON - Federal funding allocated to hurricane relief may be on the chopping block if lawmakers in Washington fail to confront a looming budget crisis.

If a deal is not reached by next Friday, nearly $3 billion in Hurricane Sandy relief will be cut. The cuts, which are set to take effect March 1, will also force unpaid furloughs across the nation and will threaten programs including Head Start and some senior food initiatives. 

President Barack Obama is urging Congress to avert the mandatory cuts, adding that he does not believe it is inevitable that the $85 billion reduction will necessarily happen. 

AP wire services contributed to this report.