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.
President Obama and Congressional leaders met at the White House Friday morning and, just as pundits predicted, they could not reach a deal to avert the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to begin at the end of the day. We've posted on that news:
Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus has begun a series of meetings with groups that have overwhelmingly gone Democratic in the past two presidential elections.
He's sitting down with Latino and Asian voters and with young people across the country. The youth group is of particular concern to the GOP because voting habits established at this stage could last a lifetime.
College students at Ohio State University were eager to talk about the state of the GOP brand. The class is called American Political Parties.
Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:17 pm
If New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was hoping for a return invite to the big CPAC convention this year, he probably should have thought of that before he bad-mouthed House Speaker John Boehner a couple of months back.
Christie was incensed by the House's failure to pass a relief bill helping victims of Superstorm Sandy, which hammered New Jersey and the rest of the Northeast last autumn. In typical Christie style, he did not pull any punches.
The network of political groups headed by conservative industrialists David and Charles Koch spent millions of undisclosed dollars in last year's elections. Now, after failing to help Republicans win the White House or the Senate, the Koch brothers are re-examining the network, its goals and strategies.
President Obama minced no words when he talked about how the looming budget cuts known as sequestration could hurt the Justice Department.
"FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go," Obama said.
Starting late Friday, if Congress and the White House can't come to an agreement, the Justice Department will face $1.6 billion in cuts — about 9 percent of its budget. Attorney General Eric Holder told a group of state law enforcement officials who met in Washington this week that the situation looks ugly.