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When Does the Sequester Go into Effect?

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- It had been widely assumed that the dreaded across-the-board spending cuts would go into effect at midnight on Thursday, as the calendar turns to March 1.  But that is not the case.

By law, President Obama must issue an order for the cuts sometime -- any time -- on March 1.  That means the true deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Friday. 

Therefore, the meeting Friday between the president and the top four congressional leaders will actually take place at least a few hours before the sequester order needs to go into effect.

On Wednesday, it was reported that Obama will meet with Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at the White House to attempt to negotiate a way to avoid the spending cuts.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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