Lawmakers admit $85 billion in automatic spending cuts are all but sure to take effect by midnight tonight.
The president held a last minute meeting to address the sequester this morning, but even before it started Republicans said there would be no deal today.
Across the country agencies that rely on federal dollars are warning of dire cuts, but this isn't a cliff. It's more of a slope.
"Not everyone will feel pain of these cuts right away," President Obama said. "The pain, though, will be real. Beginning this week, many middle class families will have their lives disrupted."
House Speaker John Boehner was resigned to the cuts.
"While there are better ways to cut the deficit than what we are about to engage on, the House shouldn't have to act a third time before the Senate," he said.
On Capitol Hill the House Armed Services Committee called for action.
"We are telling the President and John Boehner when you walk out of that meeting this morning, do not cut defense by one more cent," said California's Representative Howard "Buck" McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
Many of their colleagues left Washington yesterday for a long weekend.