President Barack Obama called congressional leaders to the White House to discuss $85 billion in widespread spending cuts that begin on Friday.
There were no results after the meeting, but President Obama said the nation will get through the cuts. He believes the automatic cuts can be replaced but is arguing for a deal that includes more taxes.
The president said that although the cuts will not be felt immediately, middle class families will be affected in "significant ways." He added, "We shouldn't be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things."
House Speaker John Boehner's office said both Boehner and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell are willing to close loopholes in taxes, but only to decrease overall taxes and not to replace the spending cuts.
"The president got his tax hikes on January 1st," Boehner said after the meeting. "The discussion about revenue in my view is over. It's about taking on the spending problem here in Washington."
Both sides have agreed to legislation that will keep the government running past March while they continue to work on a deal.
A Democratic and a Republican proposal to attack the cuts were both rejected by the Senate on Thursday.
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