News / USA

Automatic US Budget Cuts to Begin Friday

Members of Congress Unable to Forestall Automatic Spending Cutsi
X
March 01, 2013 1:15 AM
Automatic U.S. government spending cuts are beginning [today/Friday] amid continued political gridlock in Washington -- which is preventing the adoption of less-painful paths to deficit reduction. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, last-ditch alternatives to the sequester were defeated in the Senate, and future budget negotiations will go forward with across-the-board austerity already in place.
Members of Congress Unable to Forestall Automatic Spending Cuts
Michael Bowman
Automatic U.S. government spending cuts are set to kick in amid continued political gridlock as last-ditch alternatives to the so-called "sequester" were defeated in the Senate.
 
“Can we not at least come to some agreement to prevent this," asked Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), echoing fellow U.S. lawmakers who seemed stunned by their own inability to act in response to the imminent sequester.
 
The answer for now: no.
 
Democrats proposed replacing the sequester’s cuts-only approach with a mix of targeted spending reductions and higher tax revenues, but Republicans objected.
 
“Look, the American people simply will not accept replacing spending cuts agreed to by both parties with tax hikes," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
 
Republicans proposed maintaining the total amount of spending cuts — $85 billion this year — but giving President Obama flexibility in implementing them, prompting objections from Democrats.
 
“Why would they — the Republicans  — part of the legislative branch of government, cede more power to the White House?" asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) "Republicans should give Congress true flexibility. Flexibility to cut wasteful subsidies, flexibility to close unnecessary tax loopholes, and flexibility to ask the richest of the rich to contribute a little bit more.”
 
While blocking alternatives to the sequester, senators also took turns blasting it.
 
“God, if we cannot do better than that, all of us should be fired," said Republican Lindsey Graham (R-SC), decrying cuts to the military budget. "Fire the politicians, keep the soldiers."
 
Democrat Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) denounced the idea of implementing austerity while the economy remains weak.
 
“Cutting spending at this moment in time means cutting jobs at this moment in time, which means fewer people paying income taxes and more people drawing government benefits," he said. "That is not a recipe for economic expansion.”
 
Next up is a meeting Friday between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders. White House spokesman Jay Carney is making no prediction of a breakthrough
 
“There are no preconditions to a meeting like this," Carney said. "This is a meeting with the president … any topic is up for discussion if one member of the group decides he or she wants to broach it.”
 
Obama, who has implored Congress to act, has repeatedly warned the sequester will hobble critical government functions, causing harm, pain and inconveniences. Senator McConnell, who will be at the White House meeting, derided the president’s warnings.
 
“Instead of directing his secretaries to trim waste in their departments, he is going after first responders, teachers, and almost any other sympathetic constituency you can think of … all to force Americans to accept higher taxes," McConnell said. "And he will claim his hands are tied, and somehow it will be everybody’s fault but his. Nonsense.”
 
Once the sequester takes hold, the American people will likely weigh in on its effects — quite possibly assigning blame. Leaders on both sides of the aisle hope blame falls on the other party.

You May Like

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jacob from: United States
March 03, 2013 8:30 PM
Next we cut 8 trillion dollars. Then we can get this Greece-bound nation on the right track. Otherwise, I am moving to Canada and then to Russia/China.

Debtor nations can't sustain themselves on more debt. Keynesian nonsense doesn't create wealth.

by: dwight from: dc
March 01, 2013 12:02 AM
christopher: what a retarded post. the key to "wealth" is a free economy which lets people live how they want, and buy and trade what they. want. taking people's property (aka taxes) does not "create wealth". people like you need to learn to mind your own business and stop interfering with other people's lives in an attempt to better your own.

by: Done Deal from: USA
February 28, 2013 10:25 PM
While one side blames the other, why are not the Global Elites who PLANNED all of this questioned???? The Rockefellers, The Bilderbergs, The Clintons......................The Global Elites. IT WAS ALL PLANNED! Wake up to the FACTS.

by: Planned from: USA
February 28, 2013 10:18 PM
Wake up people! This was all PLANNED by the Regime, so that the rank&file will have to lay down like lambs to the Regime. "The Regime will protect you, the Regime will protect you", their next plan is to microchip all people by 2017, a plan in force by the Global Elites, The Rockefellers, The Clintons, and the Bilderbergs..... the Elites.....Eugenics is their plan too. Wake up to reality.

by: hewhoasks from: Wisconsin
February 28, 2013 7:15 PM
One rejected, one filibustered.

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
February 28, 2013 6:56 PM
The Republican proposal, to give power to the discretion of the President to budget cuts as per the sequestration requirements, was defeated. The Democratic proposal tried to mix the sequestion budget cuts with tax hikes, mixing oranges and apples, also failed. Both were defeated and it is a win for the public but not to the politicians or the President. The sequestration budget cuts should involve salary cut of the members of the Congress, Senate and the President, President's discretionary spending and stop the overseas financial and military assistance to countries like Egypt and Pakistan.

by: Christopher Tracy
February 28, 2013 6:50 PM
For a party that claims to be business-friendly, the GOP has no clue on how to create wealth. Rich people get that way by watching expenses and making wise investments. No one cuts their way to prosperity. One must invest. According to the GOP, there's no such thing as a wise government investment).

Why are Democrats sounding so logical and fiscally sophisticated? Maybe it has to do with the fact they are the only party in 50 years to have created a budget surplus (Clinton 1999 for you skeptics). Or maybe it's all relative. Compared to this crop of Republicans, anybody who knows math is a financial wizard.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs