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March 5, 2013

Efforts to avoid sequester fail; USDA says it will work to minimize

Today (March 1) is deadline day for the sequester, the automatic budget cuts of $85 billion that will hit the Pentagon and federal agencies. The sequester becomes official today when President Obama will be required by law to issue a sequestration order by 11:59 p.m. tonight. Meanwhile, Congress yesterday abandoned  efforts to avert the sequester and left Washington. President Obama and a group of congressional leaders, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)  met this morning for less than an hour, but, as expected, did not reach any kind of last-ditch sequester deal. Top congressional Democrats Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Vice President Joe Biden, attended the White House meeting. President Obama placed blame squarely on Republican lawmakers at a press conference today.  Republicans, for their part, said the fault was the president’s for insisting that increased taxes be part of the deal.  Read More

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