The sequester cuts have kicked in today and there appears to be no deal in sight.
The $85 billion in federal cuts takes effect today as House Speaker John Boehner left a meeting with President Obama and congressional leaders saying that tax hikes will not be part of any plan to reduce the national deficit. Boehner said Republicans would only be willing to close tax loopholes as a means to achieve lower taxes. Additionally, he said they would only agree to close the loopholes if the funds were not used in the place of spending cuts.
"The discussion about revenue in my view is over," Boehner said after the meeting. "It's about cutting the spending in Washington."
After the 52-minute meeting, Obama called the sequester "dumb, arbitrary cuts", adding that "These cuts will hurt our economy, they will cost us jobs."
Meanwhile, Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D) is calling on legislators to do what U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth has already done — take a paycut. Nelson is proposing legislation, called the Congressional Overspending Pay Accountability Act, which would cut legislators' pay by the highest amount that will be seen by a furloughed federal worker as a result of the sequester.
To see how the sequester cuts will impact Illinois, see our report here.