The New York Times reported Monday that congressional Republicans were split on the coming defense budget sequestration, with many in the GOP suggesting the cuts ought to go through because "fiscal questions trump defense" Now, more than 70 foreign policy experts, including prominent Republicans and Democrats, have signed a letter drafted by the Foreign Policy Initiative that urges congressional leaders to act and stop the sequestration.Read more
In 1950, real estate developers looking to satisfy postwar America’s burgeoning demand for housing decided that Assateague Island, a sandy slice of land off the Maryland and Virginia coasts, would make a good place for a new neighborhood. Using federal and state funds, they built a road running almost half the length of the island and leveled land for houses. It was not the first development effort in the area. In the 1930s, the New Deal-era Army Corps of Engineers opened a navigation channel to improve shipping and expand beaches in nearby Ocean City, Maryland. Other federal programs encouraged fishing and the construction ofRead more
Emily Koczela had been anxiously waiting for months for Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s controversial budget repair bill to take effect. Koczela, the finance director for the Brown Deer school district, had been negotiating with the local union, trying to get it to accept concessions in order to make up for a $1 million budget shortfall. But the union wouldn’t budge.Read more
As Fred Barnes writes, it's not clear that there are enough Republican votes for John Boehner's new debt ceiling plan. But the speaker got a big boost on his right flank today from Congressman Allen West (R, Fla.). Jamie Dupree reports that West, an outspoken conservative and Tea Party favorite, is supporting Boehner's plan.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid introduced a proposal today that he says would give Republicans everything they want in a debt ceiling deal: It would reduce the deficit by $2.7 trillion over 10 years, without raising taxes. But the plan was light on details of what gets cut--and when.Read more
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the chair of the House Armed Services Committee, has released a statement on the Gang of Six deficit reduction proposal:Read more
At his confirmation hearing on June 9, Secretary of Defense nominee Leon Panetta faced questions from Democrats and Republicans alike about President Obama’s intention, hastily announced in April, to cut $400 billion from national security spending over the next 12 years. Unfortunately, Panetta seemed to have little concrete information about the president’s plans.
What Panetta was willing to say, however, was that such defense cuts should not be undertakenRead more
In the next month, after more than four decades of distinguished public service including almost five extraordinary years at the Pentagon supervising the successful surges in Iraq and Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates will retire. He departs as the very model of a Washington “wise man,” having served in senior positions in two Democratic and three Republican administrations—the best the inside-the-Beltway establishment has to offer. His parting words, delivered in a series of valedictory speeches, carry the weight of his long experience and sober judgment.Read more
Late last month, Senator Charles Schumer of New York led a conference call in which Senate Democrats briefed reporters about the ongoing budget battle. At the outset, unaware that his comments were already audible to reporters on the line, Schumer provided some marching orders, advising his colleagues to describe Republican proposals as radical. “I always use the word extreme,” he said. “That’s what the caucus instructed me to use this week.”Read more
Yesterday afternoon, while the House Republican leadership was busy securing votes for the 2011 budget deal forged last week, a small group of House Democrats met to discuss with the press and the public their ongoing participation in “Hungerfast,” a nationwide hunger strike (which supposedly has over 36,000 participants) protesting cuts to federal food and nutrition programs.Read more
In February, Defense secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sounded a cautionary note at a congressional hearing on the defense budget. "We shrink from our global security responsibilities at our peril," Gates warned members of Congress. "Retrenchment brought about by short-sighted cuts could well lead to costlier and more tragic consequences later, indeed, as they always have in the past."Read more
In proposing to cut another $400 billion from U.S. defense budgets over the next ten years as part of his deficit reduction counter-offer, Barack Obama’s words were few. Yet they were revealing.Read more
Yesterday the speaker of the House issued a statement of support for Paul Ryan's budget, and today John Boehner reiterates his support, defending the GOP budget from the White House's attacks:Read more
At his speech at AEI this afternoon, House Budget chairman Paul Ryan acknowledged that Senate Democrats and President Obama will likely choose not to adopt the House Republican 2012 budget, which offers sweeping, comprehensive reforms to Medicare and the federal tax code and pledges to cut over $5 trillion from the president's proposed budget.Read more
House speaker John Boehner called the Democratic proposal to cut $33 billion from the federal budget unacceptable, according to the Hill. "Despite attempts by Democrats to lock in a number among themselves, I’ve made clear that their $33 billion is not enough and many of the cuts that the White House and Senate Democrats are talking about are full of smoke and mirrors," Boehner said.Read more
The Washington Post is up and running with this story on a report about GOP budget cuts, which lost me in paragraph three:
A Republican plan to sharply cut federal spending this year would destroy 700,000 jobs through 2012, according to an independent economic analysis set for release Monday.Read more
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