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Entries in Cuts (4)

Monday
May092011

Boehner: No Debt Deal Without Cuts, 'Trillions, Not Billions'

The U.S. House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) -- Speaker of the House John Boehner on Monday will set down a new marker in the high-stakes debate over raising the federal debt limit: spending cuts should be greater than any increase in the amount the government can borrow.

“Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase,” Boehner was scheduled to say in a speech to the New York Economic Club, according to excerpts released by his office. “And the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given.”

The Obama administration hasn’t said yet how much it wants the debt limit increased, but the last increase was $1.9 trillion. To meet Boehner’s new requirement, a debt limit increase of anywhere near that amount would require massive reductions in government spending without precedent in American history.

Last month, the government was brought to the brink of shutdown over a deal that cut spending by $38.5 billion dollars.

“We should be talking about cuts of trillions, not just billions,” Boehner was scheduled to say. “They should be actual cuts and program reforms, not broad deficit or debt targets that punt the tough questions to the future. And with the exception of tax hikes -- which will destroy jobs -- everything is on the table. That includes honest conversations about how best to preserve Medicare, because we all know, with millions of Baby Boomers beginning to retire, the status quo is unsustainable.”

Boehner was not expected to specify over what period of time his “trillions” in cuts would happen, but even if it is over a decade, it would likely be impossible to achieve those numbers without reducing spending on the government’s most popular, and previously untouchable, big-ticket programs: Social Security, Medicare and Defense.

Top administration officials from the president on down have warned that failing to increase the debt limit would cause the government to default on its debt with catastrophic economic consequences. Many economists and much of the business community agrees with that, but Boehner was scheduled to say that failing to cut spending would also have devastating economic consequences.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb152011

House GOP Budget Puts NPR, PBS on Chopping Block

Photo Courtesy - Frederick M. Brown/ Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As the House prepares for debate on the budget Tuesday, Republicans are trying to cut off public funding for NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service, which run such iconic programs as Sesame Street and Morning Edition.

The House Republicans' budget would rescind any funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- which funds these two organizations -- for the remainder of the year, and zero out millions in funds after that.

This is not the first attempt by Congress to cut funding for what many Republicans see as liberal-leaning broadcast operations.

House Republicans made a proposal in November to strip federal funding for NPR after the radio station fired controversial commentator Juan Williams for comments he made about Muslims.

That bill didn't pass, but this time, Republicans are in the majority in the House, and many say the cuts are needed to balance the burgeoning U.S. deficit.

If funding indeed gets put on the chopping block, it could have a detrimental impact on PBS and NPR affiliates, many of which are already struggling financially.

PBS president and chief executive Paula Kerger, pointing to the network's educational programming, said, "It's America's children who will feel the greatest loss, especially those who can't attend preschool."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb142011

DOJ Budget: Boosts for FBI, Prisons; Cuts for Grants, Drug Intel Programs

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As part of President Obama's budget proposal, the U.S. Department of Justice is requesting $28.2 billion for 2012. The DOJ has also identified $2 billion in savings and efficiencies with cuts to the Drug Intelligence Center, the elimination of a DEA Task Force and cuts to some grant programs. Law enforcement work done by the FBI, U.S. Marshals, Drug Enforcement Administration and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are receiving overall increases.
 
One area that is receiving a boost in funding is the issue of prison and detentions, which is getting a 10-percent increase to deal with the increasing prison population and increased detention of immigration violators. According to DOJ officials, there will be approximately 11,000 new federal prisoners incarcerated in Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities over the next two years. The department is looking at revising how “Good Time” is calculated in prisons to reduce some prison terms. The DOJ estimates this could provide savings of $41 million.
 
The DOJ is also increasing their funding to their national security mission by increasing spending on security programs by $128 million. This includes boosting funding to FBI’s computer intrusion programs to investigate cybersecurity crimes by expanding the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force. The FBI is also receiving an increase to their electronic surveillance programs to monitor new and emerging technology with court-authorized intercepts. Such an increase would establish a Domestic Communications Assistance Center and a new Data Intercept Technology Unit.

Several significant cuts are also due for DOJ programs, including the elimination of the DEA's Mobile Enforcements Teams ($39.1 million savings), the National Drug Intelligence Center ($19 million savings) as well as a 16-percent cut for administrative and technological upgrades.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov292010

House Votes to Postpone Doctors' Medicare Cuts

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The House of Representatives approved legislation Monday that delays a Medicare cut to doctors through the end of the year, passing the extension by a voice vote. 

The legislation delays a 23-percent cut in pay that was scheduled to take effect Dec. 1.  The package also extends the 2.2-percent increase in Medicare reimbursement that Congress passed earlier this summer.

Members of both chambers of Congress have expressed optimism that a long-term deal could be worked out in the coming weeks during the remainder of the lame-duck session of Congress.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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