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Countdown to sequester continues

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Updated: 2/26/2013 3:23 pm
WASHINGTON (NBC) -- With sequestration looming, President Obama Tuesday rejected Republican demands to target the $85 billion in federal spending cuts to lessen their effect.

To dramatize the effects of the seemingly inevitable spending cuts, and blame them on Republicans, President Obama went to a shipyard at Newport News, Virginia where workers could be furloughed.

"These cuts are wrong. They're not smart, they're not fair," he told them.

Workers fear sequestration.

"If we can't work and make money, then you can't go out there and shop," said Larry Washington.

"I'm worried about it, and we build good ships here and I love my job," added Mike Weaver.

Across the nation sequestration has millions concerned, and there's an anti-Obama backlash.

GOP leaders are charging the president is exaggerating the impact of the cuts.

"Fan the flames of catastrophe, then claim the only way out is more government, in the form of higher taxes," argued Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Another way out is targeting the defense cuts and education cuts to have the least effect, a plan House Speaker Boehner says he sent to Senate Democrats twice.

"We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something," Boehner said.

But the president rejected targeting cuts.

"There's no smart way to do that," Mr. Obama argued. "There's no smart way to do that. You don't want to have to choose between, do I close funding for the disabled kid, or the poor kid?"

With three days left there have been no reported talks to try and avoid the cuts.

-- Steve Handelsman reports
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