This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
Sequestration is official. President Obama signed an executive order on spending late last night as required by law. He sent the order to Congress and that triggered budget cuts known as sequestration. Earlier in the day, the president met with congressional leaders and when they left without a deal, he took questions at the White House.
These are difficult times for the Republican Party. In the latest NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, Democrats led Republicans — in some cases by double digits — on issues like Medicare, taxes and the economy.
The week's developments include a pope emeritus for the first time in six centuries, federal budget cuts seemingly designed by Sweeney Todd, and the visit by one of the NBA's all-time rebounders (Dennis Rodman) to the son of one of the world's greatest sportsmen (that would be North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un, whose late father claimed to have shot five holes-in-one on his very first golf outing).
Congress failed to reach an agreement on the spending cuts known as the sequester — and now they are out of time. On Friday morning, Congressional leaders from both parties met at the White House. Afterward, House Speaker John Boehner made it clear that Republicans won't budge on taxes.
The long-feared automatic spending cuts are set to start late Friday, and now Congress must deal with another deadline at the end of this month. Tamara Keith talks to Melissa Block about what happens next.
On Sequester Day in Washington, lots of Twitter users invoked a favorite movie line to express their views on the automatic spending cuts. Some criticized the federal government; others just poked fun.
The #sequestermovielines hashtag reached trending status Friday with tweets citing Forrest Gump, action flicks and even the Disney movie The Lion King. We compiled a few of our favorites here:
Friday's deadline for President Obama to issue a sequestration order is neither the beginning nor the end of this year's budget battles in Washington. Here are five key moments to watch over the next seven months, and what's at stake in each:
"Washington sure isn't making it easy" for the American people and the American economy, President Obama told reporters late Friday morning as he and other lawmakers failed to reach a deal to avert $85 billion worth of automatic "sequester" spending cuts due to start at the end of the day.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, you've heard the pundits and the politicians give their take on the new S-word - sequestration. We'll ask the Barber Shop guys for their perspective on this later in the program. But first we want to talk about another big topic in Washington this week. That is the challenge to the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. That's before the Supreme Court, specifically section five of the act.
As I just mentioned, the automatic spending cuts go into effect today, covering much of the federal budget, and we were trying to talk with Lamar Smith about where those cuts might come, obviously across the board. Well, someone who might be more forthcoming or know more about it is here with us, Michael Lubell. He is professor of physics at City College at the City University of New York, director of public affairs at the American Physical Society. He's here in our New York Studio. Good to see you again.
Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 12:03 pm
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, discusses the nation's top science priorities, including the importance of research on how to protect Earth from dangerous asteroids. But in a tight budgetary climate, who will pay?
The sequester is upon us, and NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving try to explain how it all affects them. But it's a good week for Chuck Hagel, who finally gets the votes he needs to become Defense Secretary, and Robin Kelly, who wins the Democratic primary in Illinois' 2nd district and is likely to succeed Jesse Jackson Jr. in the House.