WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says lawmakers have "the opportunity to do the right thing" and avert the sequester before a March 1 deadline.
Despite little sign of a deal emerging with Republicans, Obama says he does not believe it is inevitable that the $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts will take effect. He says finding a way to avert the cuts should be a "no-brainer" for congressional lawmakers.
Obama spoke in the Oval Office following a meeting with the Japanese prime minister.
The president says unlike earlier Washington fiscal fights, he does not believe the economic impact of the sequester will threaten the world financial market. But he says if the U.S. economy slows as a result of the cuts, the global economy will slow as well.