There was no progress Friday on a last minute deal to avoid $85 billion in automatic spending cuts.
The across-the-board cuts will affect dozens of federal agencies and departments in the coming months.
Congressional leaders met with President Barack Obama Friday, but they left without reaching a deal.
Thousands of government workers have already been told they could be furloughed and the White House said problems could range from fewer teachers in classrooms to longer lines at the airport. The Pentagon alone will lose $46 billion.
The spending cuts can be stopped if lawmakers reach a budget deal in the coming weeks.
"This is not going to be an apocalypse, I think, as some people have said. It's just dumb. And it's going to hurt," President Obama said.
President Obama said he hopes the pain of the cuts will force a compromise.
In the meantime, the IRS says sequestration won't delay your tax refunds.
It says any furloughs that may come because of the cuts will be postponed until this summer, after tax filing season is over.
And the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission says unemployment services will not be affected and payments will still be processed, at least for now.