On Friday morning, President Barack Obama met with the leaders of both political parties. Following the meeting with Republican House Speaker John Boehner, the Democratic Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader of the Senate Harry Reid, and the Republican Minority leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell, the president spoke to the American people via a White House press conference at 11:40 a.m. local time in Washington, D.C. according to ABC News to reveal that the sequester was not avoided.
The president repeated his stark criticism of the Republicans for the sequester not being avoided. He claims that the Republicans put special interests of the wealthy ahead of the military’s interests and the middle class in America. Obama maintains that there needs to be tax increases while the Republicans maintain that there need to be cuts. President Obama insists that his was the desire of the majority of the American people because of the fact that he was reelected – which he believes means that most people agree with his way of solving the nation’s economic woes.
As indicated by Obama’s first response to the first question at Friday’s press conference, even though he won’t give in to the desires of the Republicans, he says that the Republicans not giving in to him is why there is not needed bipartisanship is not taking place in the nation’s capitol. Much of what he said at the press conference is what he has already said as he has traveled around the country discussing the sequester which becomes reality on Friday, March 1.
The Republican leadership's response came from House Speaker John Boehner after the hour-long meeting with the president and other political leaders. He said that higher taxes will not be part of any deal to avoid the across-the-board spending cuts involved with the sequester. He went on to say that the discussion about revenue is over, in his opinion, because the issue is about "taking on the spending problem" in Washington, D.C.
The $85 billion in budget cuts are set to begin before the end of the day on Friday.