President Obama will seek to inject fresh urgency Tuesday morning into discussions over how to avoid deep, automatic cuts to domestic and defense spending that are set to take effect in 10 days.

A White House statement said Obama, surrounded by firefighters and other emergency personnel, will press Congress to pass a short-term measure that would delay the cuts, known as the sequester, for a period of time until Congress can pass a permanent fix.

It added that Republicans would be blamed for the economic damage from the sequester. “With less than two weeks before these cuts hit, the president will challenge Republicans to make a very simple choice,” the statement said. “[D]o they protect investments in education, health care and national defense or do they continue to prioritize and protect tax loopholes that benefit the very few at the expense of middle and working class Americans?”

Read the whole story.