WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In Washington, where there always seems to be a scary deadline looming, the next one is March 1st.
For now the battle is on for who gets blamed if there really are huge across-the-board cuts in defense spending known as "sequestration".
President Obama was in Annapolis, Maryland Wednesday rallying Democrats for the battle over defense cuts when house republicans sent him a message.
They passed a bill demanding Mr. Obama detail how he would cut the deficit to avoid the automatic spending cuts next month.
Without a budget deal on March 1st sequestration will force reductions in military training, cutbacks in operations, layoffs of civilian pentagon employees and layoff of civilians defense workers.
Deep cuts also loom in social services.
Some Senate Republicans are hoping to push the deadline back seven months, but House Speaker John Boehner said, in effect, he will not blink.
"At some point, Washington has to deal with the spending problem," Boehner said.