President Obama hosts meeting with governors to discuss sequester

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MADISON (WITI) -- Gov. Scott Walker took a lead role in the debate over federal spending cuts on Monday, February 25th, as he met with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. Gov. Walker was sharply critical of President Obama and says the White House could learn lessons from Wisconsin.

President Obama spoke to a meeting of the nation's governors and began on a note of agreement.

"The last thing you want to see is Washington get in the way of progress," President Obama said.

After that, there was disagreement between Democrats and Republicans. The face of that disagreement is Gov. Walker.

"The President and his allies now believe that the only way to continue economic growth is to continue to pour more money into federal government spending, and I think we believe there is plenty of waste, fraud and abuse," Gov. Walker said.

"These cuts do not have to happen. Ā Congress can turn them off at any time with just a little bit of compromise," President Obama said.

Sequestration was President Obama's idea, so Gov. Walker says President Obama can't blame Congress. Gov. Walker says the Obama administration should propose a way out.

"It is incumbent upon this president and his administration to provide alternatives to those cuts," Gov. Walker said.

On Sunday night, the White House released a report that detailed the impact of potential cuts. It showed Wisconsin would suffer cuts to teachers and schools, the Head Start program and even the military stationed in Wisconsin.

"This morning, you received a report outlining exactly how these cuts will harm middle class families in your states," President Obama said.

Gov. Walker says that was the problem -- that the governors got the report after the media did.

"You all in the media got it before we got it, so I think it's pretty clear, those were put out for political purposes -- not to educate the governors. Because you've got a meeting today scheduled with all the governors across America. If you were serious about having a discussion about the implications why give it to the press before you give it to the governors," Gov. Walker said.

Over the last two days, Gov. Walker appeared on national cable programs. He's been making the case that deep cuts need to happen but they should be targeted -- not arbitrary.

The Democrats say they'll propose bills that would delay the sequester from taking place.

The deadline is Friday.