They are finally going to have a meeting.
A congressional source with direct knowledge of the plans tells me the top four congressional leaders – John Boehner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell – will meet with President Obama at the White House Friday to attempt to negotiate a way to avoid the spending cuts that both sides have said should be avoided.
This meeting – the first one the president has had with Republican leaders to talk about the across-the-board cuts known as the sequester – could come after the cuts could technically go into effect (midnight Thursday). By law the order to initiate the cuts will come from the White House and must be issued some time on March 1st between midnight and 11:59 p.m.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney would not confirm the meeting, but the source told ABC News that the White House reached out to the congressional leadership Tuesday afternoon to request the meeting.
Related: What is Sequestration?
Update: It doesn’t appear Republicans expect much to come from the meeting.
As one senior Republican congressional aide put told ABC News: “If the President is serious about stopping the sequester, why did he schedule a meeting on Tuesday for Friday when the sequester hits at midnight on Thursday? Either someone needs to buy the White House a calendar, or this is just a – belated – farce. They ought to at least pretend to try.”
Watch my Good Morning America report on sequestration: