Pierce2Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the media’s fight against President Obama

President Obama this morning will make a fresh push to force congressional Republicans to make concessions that will head off budget cuts that appear increasingly likely to kick in starting on March 1. He will appear at the White House with emergency responders who would lose their jobs if the cuts go into effect.

The White House is downplaying its draft immigration proposal as merely a backup plan if lawmakers don’t come up with an overhaul of their own. It won’t be necessary, GOP and Dem lawmakers alike are telling the Obama administration.

• GOP opponents are sending signals that Chuck Hagel’s bid to become defense secretary will probably come to an up-or-down vote soon in the Senate. That’s unless more information damaging to the nominee — and the Obama administration — surfaces in the coming week.

• The Democratic-controlled Colorado House of Representatives on Monday formally approved a package of strict gun-control measures, in a state hit by two of the most notorious mass shootings in U.S. history.