The U.S. House voted to finance the federal government through the end of September, seeking to avoid a shutdown while preserving automatic spending cuts.
The Republican-controlled House passed, 267-151, a stopgap measure to keep the government operating after current spending authority expires March 27. The bill retains US$85-billion in automatic cuts that began March 1 — a reduction of 5.8% through the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
Congressional Republicans and Democrats are supposed to reach an agreement on 2014 spending by Dec. 13, well in advance of the Jan. 15 deadline when the government will shut down without a new spending bill.
WASHINGTON — U.S. President Barack Obama is applying pressure on Republicans to negotiate a fiscal deal, arguing that GOP leaders have rejected his past attempts to strike a bigger and more comprehensive bargain.
“They have had trouble saying yes to a number of repeated offers,” Obama said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” show that aired Sunday.
Thanks to the sequester (long forgotten by most), alleged "cuts" in spending were scheduled to happen automatically.But no one is Washington is happy with that prospect: Not McCain, not Obama, not defense hawks, not Republicans, not Democrats, not anyone that I can find.Obama labeled the cuts "draconian". The Pentagon called them "mad". Undoing the "Mad Defense Cuts" The following headlines will tell you everything you need to know.
Republicans don't want military spending and Democrats don't want cuts in social programs. The best thing to do would be doubling or tripling the cuts, but compromise tends to work in the other direction.
Thus one should not be surprised by this can-kicking idea: Republicans Propose Job Freeze to Avert Defense Cuts
Senate aides confirmed Friday that Republicans are coalescing around an alternative to the sequester that would keep the lower spending levels in place, but give federal agencies greater flexibility to determine where the cuts are implemented.
A important shift in the Republicans’ negotiating stance over the austerity fight (do we go Dem lite or Republican high test?) was duly noted in the Financial Times a day ago, but a search in Google News (“debt ceiling”) suggests a lot of other commentators have not yet digested its significance, so it seemed worthy of a short recap here.
The Dividend Pig submits:No matter who takes the White House in the next election, there is agreement on one issue: There will be spending cuts. Whether it's the draconian cuts of the Republicans or milder cuts from the Democrats, it seems rather certain that the government will be spending less money in the coming years.
Tom Lydon submits:
Defense has traditionally been a sector in which Republicans are loath to make cuts. But a prominent GOP member recently said cuts to defense are “on the table,” raising questions about what such cuts would mean for defense ETFs. Concerns that defense spending would be slashed was enough to turn Goldman Sachs bearish on defense stocks and tell its clients that the defense spending outlook is worse than they might think.