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With just a week to go before the harsh budget cuts known as the sequester automatically go into effect, President Obama is scheduled to blitz eight local TV stations with interviews on Wednesday, in an attempt to pressure Republicans to make a deal.
“By speaking to anchors from stations around the country, the president will have an opportunity to focus on the harmful local impacts that will be felt if congressional Republicans refuse to compromise,” a White House official said in a statement.
Among the local news networks are ABC7 in San Francisco, KITV 4 in Honolulu, and KFOR in Oklahoma City.
As the Washington Post reports, “with no recent communication between the White House and congressional Republicans, much of Washington seems resigned to the cuts taking effect March 1.”
In the meantime, both sides are preparing to defer the blame for the cuts, should they go into effect.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that “more than three months after the November election, President Obama still prefers campaign events to common-sense, bipartisan action,” The Hill reports.
“Washington Democrats’ newfound concern about the president’s sequester is appreciated, but words alone won’t avert it,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. “Replacing the president’s sequester will require a plan to cut spending that will put us on the path to a budget that is balanced in 10 years.”
President Obama joined in: “If Congress allows this meat cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness.” He added: “Are you willing to see a bunch of first responders lose their jobs because you want to protect some special interest loophole?”
Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at email@example.com.More Jillian Rayfield.