News / USA

Boehner: Republicans to Keep Cuts if Budget Talks Fail

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner holds a news conference, Republican National Committee offices, Washington, Oct. 23, 2013.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner holds a news conference, Republican National Committee offices, Washington, Oct. 23, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives will pursue a stopgap government funding bill that keeps “sequester” automatic spending cuts in place if congressional negotiators fail to reach a budget deal, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday.
 
Boehner told reporters that he hopes budget talks led by Republican Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray can produce a deal that sets spending levels for fiscal 2014.
 
“I'm hopeful, but if not, the House will be prepared to move” a 2014 spending bill at levels specified by the Budget Control Act, Boehner said.
 
That level, after the next round of sequester cuts hits in January, is $967 billion for discretionary programs and agencies ranging from the military to education — the lowest in a decade.
 
Democrats argued that Republicans will have difficulty passing such a lean funding extension, especially because it would mean deeper cuts to military programs that many Republicans favor.
 
Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee earlier this week urged a deal that addresses the sequester cuts for two years.
 
The sequester in January “would result in more indiscriminate, across the board reductions that could have negative consequences on critically important federal programs, especially our national defense,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers and 12 Republican subcommittee chairs wrote in a letter to Ryan and Murray on Monday.
 
Earlier this year, Boehner withdrew a transportation and housing spending bill that was drastically reduced by the 2014 sequester cuts because it could not muster enough Republican votes for passage.
 
Democratic Representative Chris Van Hollen, a member of the budget negotiating panel, said by keeping the $967 billion figure in place, Republicans would be “supporting an additional $20 billion cut to defense spending compared to this year. They would be making the choice of cutting defense over cutting special interest tax breaks.”
 
No specific proposal yet
 
Van Hollen expressed doubt that the panel can reach agreement quickly. He said Ryan and Murray had discussed areas where they may find common ground, such as the need for a two-year deal, but Democrats have yet to see a specific proposal from Ryan, who chairs the panel.
 
“You can be involved in a good discussion, but a good discussion does not equal negotiation and willingness to compromise,” the Maryland Democrat told reporters. “We need to step on the gas in a big way.”
 
Democrats are still campaigning for easing the sequester cuts partly with revenue from the closure of tax deductions and credits that benefit the wealthy and large corporations.
 
Party leaders also on Thursday said that they want any deal to include an extension of long-term unemployment benefits. These expire at the end of this year, potentially cutting off benefits for 1.3 million jobless Americans.
 
Republicans have refused to consider tax increases as part of any budget solution and say any reduction in sequester cuts should shifted to reductions in federal benefits programs such as the Social Security pension system or the Medicare and Medicaid healthcare programs.
 
The talks have included discussions of increasing some non-tax user fees, such as those the Transportation Security Administration charges passengers at airports, Van Hollen said.
 
“We're just a little perplexed that our Republican colleagues think it's a better idea to raise TSA fees on the American public than close a tax loophole that actually creates incentives for American companies to move their profits to places like the Cayman Islands,” he added.
 
The budget panel is working against a Dec. 13 deadline for a deal that can pass both the House and Senate in time to avoid another government shutdown when spending authority expires again on Jan. 15.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid