As the US braces for a series of budget cuts, President Barack Obama told reporters, "We will get through this. This is not going to be an apocalypse".
"It's just dumb. And it's going to hurt. It's going to hurt individual people and it's going to hurt the economy over all", he said following his meeting with congressional leaders.
"Let's be clear - none of this is necessary," the President said. "It's happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made".
"This is not a win for anybody. This is a loss for the American people ... If we stand back and remind ourselves what it is we're supposed to be doing here, then hopefully common sense will out in the end".
More top news
The so-called Islamic State group has released a video, which purportedly features a British boy, appearing to execute a prisoner.
The two-year-old's condition is said to be "life-threatening" after he was struck by a car while out walking with his grandfather in London.
Lord O'Donnell, who used to head up the Civil Service, says he believes Britain may not actually exit the European Union.