Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire at the Capitol last month. The senators are among a group invited to dine Wednesday with President Obama.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
President Obama recently acknowledged the obvious: He doesn't have the supernatural powers necessary to do a mind meld, Jedi or otherwise, with Republican congressional leaders that would lead to pacts on fiscal policy or anything else for that matter.
But if he doesn't have the power to force meetings of the minds with his Republican opponents, he can at least still get meetings with them.
Popping up on the president's schedule all of a sudden was a Wednesday night dinner at a Washington, D.C., hotel with a group of GOP senators.
Hikers walk on the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall at Yosemite National Park in California. The National Park Service has to cut $134 million from sites around the country, including Yosemite, due to the lack of a budget deal in Congress.
Spring has come early to the Yosemite Valley, and the melting snow makes for a spectacular rush of water off the granite face of Yosemite Falls, the tallest in North America.
Early March is when park officials would normally be gearing up for the busy tourist season. Instead, they're figuring out how to cut $1.5 million from their budget. Without a budget deal, the sequestration has forced the Park Service to cut a total of $134 million from sites around the country.
People wait in a security line at John F. Kennedy Airport on February 28, 2013 in New York City.
Credit Spencer Platt / Getty Images
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the across-the-board spending cuts that went into effect on Friday are already causing headaches at the nation's airports.
"Now that we are having to reduce or eliminate basically overtime both for TSA and for customs, now that we have instituted a hiring freeze... we will begin today sending out furlough notices," Napolitano said, according to Politico.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
President Obama spent part of the weekend reaching out to members of Congress. He's still looking for some alternative to the budget cuts that he ordered on Friday. A federal law required the automatic spending cuts and they went into effect, despite widespread agreement that the manner of the cuts was not very bright.
Host Rachel Martin speaks with congressional scholar Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution about the economic and political impact of sequestration. He is the co-author of a book about political gridlock, called It's Even Worse Than It Looks.