Richard's Feed
Mar 1, 2013

U.S. stares down start of steep ‘automatic’ budget cuts

WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) – The U.S. government hurtled
on Friday toward making deep spending cuts that threaten to
hinder the nation’s economic recovery, after Republicans and
Democrats failed to agree on an alternative deficit-reduction
plan.

Locked in during a bout of deficit-reduction fever in 2011,
the time-released “automatic” cuts can only be halted by
agreement between Republican lawmakers and the White House.

Feb 25, 2013

U.S. spending ax set to fall, but then what?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Devastating, unthinkable, shameful, brutal, disastrous. These are just a few of the adjectives used by lawmakers, officials and President Barack Obama to describe the across-the-board budget cuts likely to take effect on Friday, March 1.

The spending reductions are called “automatic,” as if no one can stop them. But the same people who enacted them into law in August 2011 – lawmakers from both parties in Congress and Obama – could have ended them at any time and still can.

Feb 20, 2013

U.S. government won’t fall apart on “sequester” day of reckoning

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Just as computers worldwide did not crash on January 1, 2000, in the “Y2K” scare and Earth itself did not shatter on December 21, 2012, as some interpreters of the Mayan calendar predicted, March 1, 2013, will not be remembered as the day the U.S. government disintegrated.

The Obama administration and even some Republicans are warning of mass government layoffs and services collapsing when “sequestration” begins in 10 days, unless a gridlocked U.S. Congress finds a way to circumvent the start of the $85 billion in federal budget cuts.

Feb 14, 2013

Analysis: Obama speech does little to prod Congress toward bold action

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The pomp and soaring rhetoric of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address roused his Capitol audience to standing ovations, but a day after, the U.S. Congress was no closer to achieving major accomplishments in 2013 than it was before Tuesday’s speech.

In his annual address to a joint session of Congress – one designed to set the tone in Washington for the coming year – Obama offered plenty of big legislative goals: gun control, higher minimum wage, deficit reduction, immigration reform, climate change.

Feb 13, 2013

Senate Republicans cast doubt on broad immigration bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As President Barack Obama intensifies pressure for wide-ranging immigration reforms, some Republicans in the Congress on Wednesday made clear that a less ambitious, piecemeal approach might be more realistic for 2013.

Lawmakers are divided over how to update the nation’s immigration laws while also dealing with the 11 million undocumented foreigners living in the United States. Also complicating the passage of legislation this year is both parties’ efforts to woo Hispanic votes in the 2014 congressional elections.

Feb 13, 2013

In rebuttal to Obama, Rubio tries to soften Republicans’ tone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, seeking to help the Republican Party shed its image as a defender of the rich, stressed his working-class upbringing and the need to save social safety net programs during his response on Tuesday to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

The back-to-back speeches by Obama and Rubio underscored the differences between Democrats and Republicans that have brought gridlock to Washington for more than two years.

Feb 13, 2013

In rebuttal to Obama, Senator Rubio tries to soften Republicans’ tone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Marco Rubio, seeking to help the Republican Party shed its image as a defender of the rich, planned to stress his working-class upbringing and the need to save social safety net programs during his response on Tuesday to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

For Rubio, 41, the speech represented a potential star-making moment at a time when Republicans are desperate to reach out to the nation’s fast-growing Latino population, which voted overwhelmingly for Obama and Democrats in the November elections.

Feb 8, 2013

U.S. Democrats aim tax, spending cuts at rich to avoid ‘meat ax’

Feb 7 (Reuters) – Facing government spending
cuts that could delay air travelers, pare education programs for
the poor and weaken military readiness, Democrats in the U.S.
Congress this week sought to shift the deficit-reduction burden
to the rich.

Without congressional action, about $85 billion in
across-the-board spending cuts are set to begin on March 1. If
allowed to continue, they could slow economic growth this year,
according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

Feb 8, 2013

Democrats aim tax, spending cuts at rich to avoid “meat ax”

LEESBURG, Virginia (Reuters) – Facing government spending cuts that could delay air travelers, pare education programs for the poor and weaken military readiness, Democrats in Congress this week sought to shift the deficit-reduction burden to the rich.

Without congressional action, about $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts are set to begin on March 1. If allowed to continue, they could slow economic growth this year, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

Feb 7, 2013

House Democrats to unveil gun control package; mirrors Obama’s

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats in the House of Representatives will unveil a proposal on Thursday to combat gun violence, including a bid to ban assault weapons, party sources said.

In addition to outlawing semi-automatic assault weapons and imposing limits on high-capacity ammunition clips, the House Democrat package, like one advanced by Democratic President Barack Obama, would require that all gun buyers be subject to background checks and provide for improvements in mental health services.

    • About Richard

      "I have been a Washington correspondent for Reuters since 2001. I have written about climate change and the environment, the U.S. Congress, politics, economic issues and agricultural trade disputes."
    • Follow Richard