On the eve of these painful cuts lawmakers left town and pointed their fingers on the way out. Both sides failed to come to an agreement over spending plans. Now President Obama is likely to issue an order that will slash 85 billion dollars in Federal spending for the rest of the fiscal year, but republicans aren't claiming responsibility for the inaction.
"We've done our work. They've not done theirs. The house shouldn't have to pass a third bill to replace the sequester before the senate passes one," says Rep. John Boehner (R) House Speaker.
Democrats are criticizing republicans for the furloughs the cuts will cause.
"We might as well get a pink slip from the office of the speaker of the republican conference to 750,000 American workers laid out because of sequester implementation," says Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D) Minority Leader.
The President is expected to meet congressional leaders today at the White House, but expectations for that meeting are low. Observers say both parties will use this as an opportunity to emphasize their points before a government shutdown, but no one will leave as a winner.
President Obama must order the spending cut by 11:59 p-m. (eastern standard time).