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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid