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Obama Warns of Real Pain From Sequester

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- President Barack Obama reminded Americans Friday that the sequestration will take its toll slowly and painfully.

"Not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away," Obama said. "But the pain will be real."

Across-the-board cuts in defense, domestic discretionary, Medicare and mandatory spending went into effect early on March 1, totaling about $85.4 billion, according to figures by the Congressional Budget Office.

House Speaker John Boehner and Obama met earlier Friday morning to discuss the sequester. Boehner appeared publicly shortly before Obama's press conference, and said that he intended next week to push legislation through the House to prevent a government shutdown.

"The president and leaders agreed legislation should be enacted this month to prevent a government shutdown while we continue to work on a solution to replace the president's sequester," Boehner's office said in a statement.

Major U.S. equity markets were little changed to slightly lower on Friday while the president spoke to reporters as it appeared the sequester hadn't provoked widespread fear among traders.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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