Boehner: Sequestration looks likely to happen

House Speaker John Boehner told CBS News' Scott Pelley that the House has done its work and that it's now the president and the Senate Democrats' turn on the eve of possible sequestration.

(CBS News) WASHINGTON - Detention cells are opening in several states Tuesday night. Hundreds of illegal immigrants awaiting deportation are instead being released because the Obama administration says it can't afford to hold them. It's a response to automatic, across-the-board cuts in federal spending that are due to begin on Friday. These cuts were never intended to happen -- they were designed by both parties to be so harmful that they would force the president and Congress to compromise on a better way. But they haven't.

A short while ago CBS News spoke to Republican House Speaker John Boehner. A transcript of the conversation follows.

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Scott Pelley: You know this place better than anyone. It can't be done before Friday. This is going to happen, isn't it?

John Boehner: The House has done its work. It's time for the president and the Senate Democrats to do their work. They've known for 16 months that this date was coming. That's why the House acted twice last year. But yet Senate Democrats and the president have never passed anything. It's time for them to do their work.

Pelley: But the reality is, that this is going to happen on Friday. The president and the Senate are not going to get a bill passed and to you and have your chamber approve that bill before Friday. I mean, the sequester is going to happen.

Boehner: At this point, I would agree. It looks that way. But hope springs eternal.

  • Scott Pelley
    Scott Pelley

    Correspondent, "60 Minutes"