Obama, Senate Democrats Discuss Short-Term Plan to Avoid Sequester

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President Obama's call for a short-term plan to avoid budget sequestration dominates talks at Senate Democrats' annual retreat, with lawmakers saying they engaged in a lengthy discussion with the president about how to avoid deep cuts in domestic and defense discretionary programs next month. Democrats say they are strategizing on how to advance a “balanced” plan with tax revenue similar to what Obama endorsed and want to avoid the automatic spending cuts the sequester would force. Meanwhile, House Republicans block a Democratic proposal that would replace part of the remaining $85 billion in scheduled spending cuts going into effect March 1 with a variety of tax increases, including a new minimum tax on high-income households.

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