(WASHINGTON TIMES) It’s the kind of risky procrastination that any teenager facing a book-report deadline would recognize.

With $85 billion in mandatory budget cuts due to start kicking in at midnight, President Obama will sit down with congressional leaders at the White House on Friday morning to discuss ways to avoid those cuts. It will be their first face-to-face meeting on the subject, although they’ve known for two months that the deadline was approaching.

Neither side holds out much hope that the meeting will produce a solution. But neither can the participants — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker John A. BoehnerSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — afford the political backlash of failing to meet.

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