With 2 weeks until deadline, $85B sequester is looking inevitable

By Ian Swanson and Alexander Bolton – 02/15/13 05:00 AM ET

The question in Washington is no longer whether the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester will be implemented: It’s when and even if the spending reductions will ever be shut off.

The $85 billion in cuts looming on March 1 would run through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, leaving more than $900 billion in cuts for Congress and the White House to wrangle with over the next eight years.

Pressure may intensify to pass sequester legislation in March as federal workers are furloughed and Pentagon and other government programs are cut. Continue reading “With 2 weeks until deadline, $85B sequester is looking inevitable”

Senate Dems unveil $110 billion sequester-replacement package

By Alexander Bolton and Erik Wasson – 02/14/13 01:51 PM ET

Senate Democratic leaders unveiled a $110 billion sequester-replacement bill at a closed-door caucus meeting Thursday that would replace $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to hit March 1.

The Senate Democratic package is split evenly between spending cuts and provisions raising new tax revenues, according to a Democratic source.

It would raise nearly $54 billion in taxes by implementing the Buffett Rule, setting a minimum effective tax rate for wealthy individuals and families. It would raise additional revenues by changing the tax treatment of oil extraction from oil sands. Continue reading “Senate Dems unveil $110 billion sequester-replacement package”

Obama demands sequester delay

By Amie Parnes and Erik Wasson – 02/05/13 08:20 PM ET

President Obama on Tuesday demanded that Congress approve legislation to replace at least some of the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to hit the government on March 1.

Obama offered no concrete plan on how to replace the cuts, but warned that if Congress allowed them to go forward, it would hurt the economy.

“We have seen the effects that political dysfunction can have,” said Obama. “It will cost us jobs and hurt our economy.” Continue reading “Obama demands sequester delay”

House approves $50B for Sandy relief

By Pete Kasperowicz – 01/15/13 07:28 PM ETThe House approved a $50 billion Sandy relief bill Tuesday evening, after several hours of contentious debate in which scores of Republicans tried unsuccessfully to cut the size of the bill and offset a portion of it with spending cuts.

Members approved the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, H.R. 152, in a 241-180 vote. Among Republicans, 179 voted against it, and just 49 voted for it, a protest against a bill that many conservatives say is too big and provides funding for things other than immediate relief for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Continue reading “House approves $50B for Sandy relief”

Romney ahead in four new national polls

By Jonathan Easley – 10/11/12 03:07 PM ET

Mitt Romney leads President Obama in four new national polls released Thursday, an indication of sustained momentum for the GOP challenger one week after his debate victory.

Romney leads by 3 percentage points in the latest Reuters-Ispsos and UPI-CVoter polls. He has 47 percent support compared Obama’s 44 percent in the former, and 49 percent to 46 percent lead in the latter.

Both of those polls are of likely voters, but Romney’s leads are within the margins of error. Continue reading “Romney ahead in four new national polls”