House Republicans do not have a rival plan to shut off the cuts and instead point to a plan that passed twice last year, most recently by a slender 215-209 vote in December. The GOP now controls eight fewer seats in the House and there's hardening sentiment among some tea party Republicans to allow the sequester to take effect. So it's not clear that GOP leaders like Speaker John Boehner of Ohio could muster enough support to stop the sequester before it takes effect March 1.
Republicans have instead focused their energies on a PR campaign saying the sequester idea had its origins in the White House in the summer of 2011.
For its part, the White House says it supports a short-term measure to avert the sequester but hasn't offered any suggestions on what elements should be in it.
Democratic aides say the Senate plan is unofficial but is expected to be released later this week. The aides required anonymity since the plan isn't public.