Mar. 1 - President Barack Obama heaped blame on Republicans on Friday for the failure to break a deadlock in efforts to avert looming automatic spending cuts and warned that a ''ripple effect'' would start hurting the middle class and the overall U.S. economy. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
After meeting behind closed doors with Congressional leaders U.S. President Barack Obama headed to the White House briefing rooms signaling that no agreement had been reached and the automatic cuts would kick in. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED STATES PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "This is not going to be an apocalypse, I think as some people have said. It's just dumb. And it is going to hurt. it's is going to hurt individual people, and the economy overall. But if Congress comes to its senses -- a week from now -- a month from now -- three months from now -- then there's a lot of open running room for us to grow our economy much more quickly." Obama says there are limits to what he can do. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED STATES PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "Even though most people agree that I am being reasonable -- that most people agree I am presenting a fair deal -- the fact that they don't take it means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what is right." Speaker of the House John Boehner signaled he would stand his ground. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE JOHN BOEHNER, SAYING: "Well, the president got his tax hikes January 1st. The discussion about revenue, in my view, is over." Government agencies will now begin to slash a total of $85 billion from their budgets between now and Oct. 1.