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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid