Severe spending cuts are now the law of the land and the battle has spilled into the weekly media messages from President Barack Obama and the Republicans, with both sides saying it's the other's fault.
Obama says the mandated cuts are "happening because Republicans in Congress chose this outcome over closing a single wasteful tax loophole that helps reduce the deficit."
In the Republican-controlled House, GOP lawmakers argue that bills they passed in the last Congress with little or no Democratic support absolved them of any responsibility. Those bills were never taken up by the Senate.
In the GOP address, Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers says "We've done the work and shown that these choices can be made in a responsible, thoughtful way."
Republicans are refusing any deal with more tax revenue and Democrats are snubbing any deal without it.