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

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs