WASHINGTON, D.C. -

The $85 billion in federal spending cuts that starting kicking in Friday could be here to stay.

Tennessee U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander says these budget cuts can still be fixed if the president leads.

"He could suggest that we spread it out over a discretionary part of the budget, that'd be a 2 percent cut. He could suggest we spread it over a whole budget -- that'd be a 7 percent cut. We could spread it over a whole budget. That'd be a 2 percent cut," Alexander said.

Lawmakers were unable to come to an agreement to prevent the deep spending cuts before the March 1 deadline.

Senator Alexander suggests, "We could do what Senator Corker and I have done -- a trillion dollar reduction in spending increases on mandatory spending. It would make the program solvent and lower the possibility of a debt we can't pay. But [President Obama] is doing none of that."

Budget talks are expected to continue on Capitol Hill, but so far no one is offering a specific proposal to roll back those cuts.