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U.S. President Barack Obama laughs while speaking to the media in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, March 1, 2013. Obama said the automatic spending cuts set to kick in today will be a ?slow grind? on the economy and that it may take weeks to win over enough lawmakers from both parties to reach a deal on a replacement deficit-cutting plan. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images Bloomberg