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Sequestration is here

President Obama will sit down with House and Senate leadership from both parties Friday, on the same day the across-the-board cuts, known as the sequester, go into effect. The talks are designed to be a "constructive discussion" about how to minimize the impact of the cuts, according to the White House.

On Thursday, Republican and Democratic sequestration alternatives were defeated in the Senate. The Republican proposal, which the Obama White House said it would veto, would have given President Obama the discretion to implement the cuts. The Democratic proposal relied on a combination of cuts and a tax increase on those making more than $1 million a year.

House conservatives signal support for effort to fund government

On Wednesday, key House conservatives signaled that they would support Leadership's plan to avoid a government shutdown with a six month funding extension. The current funding for the government expires on March 27th.

Some observers had seen March 27th as the next potential "crisis" date for Congress. Without a new continuing resolution, a government shutdown would occur. It was feared that some of the most fiscally conservative Tea Party members of the House GOP caucus would refuse to approve any new plan to fund the government in order to force a shut down.

Click here to read more top issues from this week.