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'Jedi Mind Meld' Obama: Congress Failed to Act Pres. Obama with reporters on Friday following meeting with leaders. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

Obama: Congress Failed to Act

President Obama chided Congress for failing to agree on a deal that would stop “unnecessary” and “inexcusable” budget cuts from going into effect. Despite efforts to work with Republicans on Capitol Hill, the deadline to prevent the sequester has passed. And while the president noted that all $85 billion worth of budget cuts will not be immediately felt across the country, he warned that “many middle-class families will have their lives disrupted” and predicted that about 750,000 jobs will be cut. “Every time we get a piece of economic news over the next few months, as long as the sequester is in place, we will know that the economic news could have been better if Congress hadn’t failed to act,” he said. Asked why he couldn’t simply demand a deal from congressional leaders, Obama made a mixed reference to both Star Wars and Star Trek by saying he can’t do a “Jedi mind meld” on legislators. “I am not a dictator, I’m the president,” he said. “So, ultimately, if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner says we need to go catch a plane, I can’t have Secret Service block the doorway.”

March 1, 2013 11:46 AM