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But even Rep. Scott Rigell, Virginia Republican whose district includes the shipyard, said the president has failed to offer a specific solution to the sequester.

“I’d ask the president to put forth a specific, definitive alternative,” said Mr. Rigell, who flew to the event with the president aboard Air Force One. “I haven’t seen that to date. He’s given broad principles.”

Rep. Bobby Scott, Virginia Democrat who also traveled with the president Tuesday, said a tax increase must be part of the solution. “You have to have revenues on the table for it to make sense,” Mr. Scott said. “That’s really the threshold question and if not, it’s very difficult to see how you can get through the crisis.”