In remarks just following a meeting with top lawmakers John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, President Obama made a statement on today's sequestration deadline in the Brady Press Briefing Room. The sequestration cuts will begin to take effect in the weeks to come, and the president said they are happening as a "choice that Republicans in Congress have made."

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"I told them to set it right, both sides need to be willing to compromise," the president said of the meeting. He said the government will do everything it can to keep the recovery going, but that "Washington sure isn't making it easy."

"We shouldn't be making a series of dumb arbitrary cuts to things Americans depend on ... It's unnecessary and inexcusable," he said, adding on the timing of the cuts that "not everyone will feel the pain right away. The pain, though, will be real."

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