Nightly News   |  March 03, 2013

John Harwood on the latest sequester talks

CNBC’s John Harwood joins Lester Holt for more on the sequester.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> for more on the budget impasse, we are joined tonight by cnbc's chief washington correspondent, john harwood . why don't i just put this question to you. why can't they get their act together?

>> underneath the partisan maneuvering, lester , thereville a deep philosophic divide u republicans want to shrink the size of government by more than the public supports right now but president obama can't force republicans to raise taxes to pay for government as it is and in that way, they reflect the contradictions of the american people , who collectively like receiving government benefits more than they like paying for it.

>> what's not going to get done while this standoff continues?

>> it may be that the two sides, lester , blow the whistle , take a timeout, work on things that they can agree on, like immigration. maybe even some gun control measures. but this fiscal debate could come back in the next few months, either because of the sequester backlash or because republicans decide they really do need to rein in spending on those big problgrams of medicare and social security and the only way they can make that happen is by accepting more tax increases, lester .

>> john harwood , good see you.