President Barack Obama has insisted for months that the so-called squester -- a series of across-the-board spending cuts -- must be replaced with a "balanced approach" of spending cuts and new revenue.
But on Wednesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama supports Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's plan to stop the cuts with savings from the wind down of the wars Iraq and Afghanistan, though it includes no new taxes.
Republicans pounced. "Nice to see them drop their demand for tax hikes!" Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.'s office sent in a statement.
Carney denied that there was any shift in Obama's stance, calling Reid's proposal "temporary."
"Leader Reid's proposal allows for the sequester to be turned off for a temporary period and in a way that does not hurt seniors, does not hurt the middle class, and does not hurt students," he said. "And we support this effort to allow both sides to find a longer term solution that replaces the sequester permanently in a balanced way so we can stop these harmful cuts that are hurting our economy and middle class families across the country."