Obama signs order to begin spending cuts
President Barack Obama has signed an order authorizing the government to begin cutting $85 billion from federal accounts, officially enacting across-the-board reductions that he opposed but failed to avert.
Obama acted Friday, the deadline for the president and Congress to avoid the steep, one-year cuts.
Obama has insisted on replacing the cuts, known as a "sequester" in government budget language, with tax increases and cuts spread out over time. Republicans have rejected any plan that included tax revenue.
The government says the reductions will soon result in furlough notices to government employees and will trim government spending on defense contracts and in domestic government programs. Active military personnel and anti-poverty and low-income assistance programs are largely protected from the cuts.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
President Barack Obama plans to address the media after budget talks with congressional leaders at the White House.
The White House announced that the president will speak in the Brady Press Briefing Room at 11:35 a.m. EST Friday after ending a meeting with the lawmakers that lasted less than an hour.
Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi as a series of automatic budget cuts are about to go into effect. There were no indications of a breakthrough in their stalemate.