Nightly News   |  March 03, 2013

Little hope for quick sequester solution

President Obama reached out to Congress over the weekend in search of a resolution to the sequester, but there still seems to be little hope for a quick fix. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

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>>> there is growing anxiety in this country among people who could be affected by those deep federal budget cuts starting to take affect. publicly, at least no sign of compromise today from either the white house or republican leaders. nbc's peter alexander is at the white house with the latest on all of this. peter, good evening.

>> reporter: lester, good evening to you. you're right no sign of comp pro. mice but the president's top economic adviser says the president this weekend did reach out to both democratic and republican lawmakers frying to find a resolution to the sequester but at this point, there appears to be little hope for any quick fix. like a slow grind, white house officials say the sting of sequester will be felt across america but perhaps nowhere more so than in northern virginia , where the shadow of the pentagon, federal spending drives 37% of the economy.

>> this is not a political game this is people's lives.

>> we got to be able to do our job if we have to days off?

>> reporter: ' mrmmy depot in alabama, 3,000 defense woernlgs will be furloughed more than 20% of their pay is slashed.

>> i got child care. a 2-year-old son.

>> reporter: in washington, the tax and spending stalemate shows no signs of giving watch house speaker john boehner insists there won't be any resolution if it means more revenue, after a tax increase on the wealthy earlier this year.

>> the president got his tax hikes, january 1st . he got his tax hikes. $650 billion with the tax hikes on january 1st . i'm gonna say it one more time. the president got his tax hikes on january 1st .

>> reporter: boehner's senate counterpart agreed.

>> so far, i haven't heard a single senate republican say they would be willing to raise a dime in taxes to turn off the sequester.

>> reporter: the white house is still relying on the public's power to persuade congress.

>> our hope is that as more republicans start to see this pain in their own districts, that they will choose bipartisan compromise over this absolutist position.

>> reporter: the next budget battle, a fight later this month to continue funding the government, at least on that, there appears to be consensus. the president this morning agreed that we should not have any talk of a government shutdown .

>> the president doesn't believe in manufacturing another crisis.

>> reporter: and members of congress say you lester, they have been getting an earful. consider the words of the democratic senator from delaware, thomas carper , said he heard from his most important constituent, his wife, told him why can't you guys get your act together? do you know what people think of you guys?