US President Barack Obama is renewing pressure on Republicans in Congress.
He wants to head off 85 billion dollars in budget cuts due on March the 1st and staged a White House press conference with emergency workers to illustrate jobs likely to be at risk.
"These cuts are not smart, they are not fair, they will hurt our economy, they will add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls. This is not an abstraction, people will lose their jobs. The unemployment rate might tick up again. There is a smarter way to do this. To reduce our deficits without harming our economy. But Congress has to act in order for that to happen".
Obama wants tax reforms but Republicans are refusing to compromise. They say spending is the problem, and spending must be the focus.
Analysts believe an agreement is becoming less and less likely. It is predicted US growth will be held back and 750 thousand jobs will not be created.