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.
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

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid