Optimism is in short supply as sequestration deadline arrives

Hopes of averting $85 billion in automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that take effect today have disappeared as Congress left the Capitol for the weekend. Congressional leaders are scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama today to talk about the matter, but the White House has expressed little optimism that the effort will provide any quick solution. In the House, Republicans are focused on a March 27 deadline for preventing a government shutdown.

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