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White House doubles efforts to avoid looming budget cuts

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Cops, teachers, nurses & first responders have been summoned to DC to help them make their case

Budget cuts, included in a previous debt limit deal and intended to force a deal between Democrats and Republicans, are set to automatically take effect in a week. Representatives from both sides agree the cuts would have a negative impact on the country, but a deal to avoid the cuts still has not been reached. Politico reports on how the White House has been upping the ante:

For the last six months, the White House told the groups that will suffer the biggest blow if domestic cuts go through one thing: We’ve got this.
 
But a week before the sequester deadline, they’ve decided to change course, summoning cops, teachers, nurses and first responders to the White House for meetings on how to pitch their case to lawmakers on Capitol Hill reluctant to cut a deal.

Senior White House and Cabinet aides have been holding daily meetings this week focusing on the real-world implications of the budget battle and how to shame Republicans into coming to the table — even after the cuts take effect on March 1.
 
They’ve even turned their Cabinet members loose, dispatching them across the country after previously keeping them under a gag order on the spending cuts. The White House put the Office of Management and Budget in charge of the messaging on the domestic side of the cuts for agencies, keeping agency heads on a short leash when it came to talking about sequester — leaving Obama to do most of the talking himself. The Cabinet trips suggest the White House realizes they need to bring new voices into the fight as both sides jockey to avoid getting blamed for the cuts in the closing days.

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