President Barack Obama will meet with Congressional leaders Friday to discuss the sequester, according to a White House official.
The meeting with top leaders will happen the same day the sequester formally takes effect. Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are expected to attend.
There is still no clear path to a resolution, with Democrats insisting on higher revenue in a deal and Republicans pushing for the opposite.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the administration hopes that Republican leaders will start listening to the will of the American people and show up Friday willing to accept a “balanced approach” including new revenue. He warned Republican senators that if they block passage of a Senate alternative by requiring a 60-vote threshold, they will be choosing the sequester over a balanced approach. Republican leaders have said the public will not accept higher taxes while blocking cuts that have already been passed into law.
Although Obama called the leaders last week in what Republicans described as their first substantive conversation of the year, the meeting Friday will be their first face-to-face meeting to discuss the issue this year, aside from a brief conversation on Wednesday before the unveiling of the Rosa Parks statue in the Capitol.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.