The squabble over sequestration moves into the Senate chambers where debate over avoiding those across-the-board budget cuts is expected to begin Thursday.
Senate Democrats and Republicans will try to hammer-out a sequester bill as part of a last-ditch effort to prevent $85-billion in spending cuts from taking effect starting on Friday. But prospects for an eleventh hour compromise don't look promising.
"I don't predict that we'll have an outcome before Friday even if something moves through the Senate and I think that's highly doubtful at this point," Senator John Thune, (R) South Dakota said.
Thune says a more realistic goal for Congress might be to lessen the pain of the sequester by giving federal agencies more leeway in where to make the cuts.
Senate Republicans are calling for spending cuts only in their sequester remedy. Democrats want to include closing tax loopholes.
"I call on my Republican colleagues to vote for this reasonable plan that provides for targeted cuts along with raising revenue," Senator Tim Johnson, (D) South Dakota said.
But Thune says any calls for tax increases are a deal-breaker.
"And it strikes me at least the opposite thing you want to do is you want economic growth is to raise taxes," Thune said.
Thune calls the Republican plan "responsible," while Johnson calls the Democratic plan "balanced." But both parties may be too dug-in over the issue of taxes to beat the sequestration deadline.
Republican Congresswoman Kristi Noem agrees with Thune that it seems unlikely a deal can be reached before Friday. She says it's frustrating to see President Obama and the Democratic leaders in the Senate wait until the last minute to take the sequestration matter seriously.