Obama trained his aim on Congressional Republicans, marking their choice as agreeing to a balanced compromise of smarter spending cuts and eliminating tax loopholes or owning the resulting damage the sequester would have across the country.
Republicans have also repeatedly complained that the White House first suggested the sequester, while Democrats have said the sequester was proposed as a way to meet GOP demands that spending cuts accompany any debt limit hike. House Republicans last year passed bills to replace it. The Senate has so far not acted, but Democrats hope to have a vote on their plan next week.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.