There could be some movement in Congress before those automatic spending cuts known as "the sequester" kick-in on Friday.
The issue may be coming up on the Senate floor on Thursday.
Senator John Thune of South Dakota says the Senate will likely debate competing bills aimed at avoiding the sequester or at least minimizing the effects of the cutbacks.
Thune says the Republican play offers responsible spending cuts while providing federal agencies with more leeway in how to put the cutbacks in effect. Thune says the Senate Democrats want tax increases, a non-starter to most Republicans.
Right now, the sequester would slash $85 billion from the federal budget in across-the-board cuts, if there's no agreement.
Thune isn't very hopeful that a compromise can be worked out. Even if both parties in the Senate are able to work out their differences, any bill that might emerge would still have to get the approval from the House. Thune doesn't think there's enough time for that before Friday.