With a sweeping deal unlikely by March 1, Obama is pushing for a short-term measure that would delay the start of the cuts already delayed once over the New Years weekend and give lawmakers more time to work on a larger deal. Senate Democrats proposed a $110 billion plan Thursday to cut projected budget deficits over 10 years, and Obama on Tuesday endorsed the idea.
White House officials told reporters after Obamas remarks that he plans similar events as March 1 approaches and will travel next week, taking his case to audiences outside Washington.
Obama warned of dire consequences if the sequestration is imposed, including cutbacks in airport security, furloughing of FBI agents and compromised military readiness. But the travel which for Obama could include trips aboard Air Force One also comes at a price tag: Air Force One, a special Boeing 747 that typically ferries a president, costs an estimated $179,750.13 per hour to operate, according to a Congressional Research Service report.
But White House aides believe Obama has successfully made his case to the public on other issues, including a payroll tax debate, and said Tuesday that House Republicans have refused to act until pressured to do so by the public.
Obama will get help this week from outside allies as well: national labor groups, including the AFL-CIO and the National Education Association, will hold more than 100 press conferences, marches and rallies in 23 states to press Congress.
Republicans have criticized the White House for not engaging more with Congress. Obama insisted Tuesday that his door is open and that hes willing to work with anybody to get this job done.
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