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Senate rejects efforts to block spending cuts

Published: Fri, March 1, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press


Squabbling away the hours, the Senate swatted aside last-ditch plans to block $85 billion in broad-based federal spending reductions Thursday as President Barack Obama and Republicans blamed each other for the latest outbreak of gridlock and the administration readied plans to put the cuts into effect.

So entrenched were the two parties that the Senate chaplain, Barry Black, opened the day’s session with a prayer that beseeched a higher power to intervene.

“Rise up, O God, and save us from ourselves,” he said of cuts due to take effect today.

The immediate impact of the reductions on the public was uncertain, and the administration pulled back on its earlier warnings of long lines developing quickly at airports and teacher layoffs affecting classrooms.

On the Senate floor, a Republican proposal requiring Obama to propose alternative cuts that would cause less disruption in essential government services fell to overwhelming Democratic opposition, 62-38.

Moments later, a Democratic alternative to spread the cuts over a decade and replace half with higher taxes on millionaires and corporations won a bare majority, 51-49, but that was well shy of the 60 needed to advance. Republicans opposed it without exception.

In a written statement after the votes, Obama lambasted Republicans. “They voted to let the entire burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle class,” he said.

He noted that he would meet with congressional leaders from both parties at the White House today, but no one is expecting action before the cuts begin taking effect. Obama said, ‘We can build on the over $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve already achieved, but doing so will require Republicans to compromise. That’s how our democracy works, and that’s what the American people deserve.”

Said House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress: “Obama and Senate Democrats are demanding more tax hikes to fuel more ‘stimulus’ spending.”

Though furloughs are a fear for some, especially certain federal workers, there is little sign of business worry, let alone panic in the nation. Stocks declined slightly for the day after trading near record highs. And unlike the “fiscal cliff” showdown of two months ago, there are no deadlines for action to prevent tax increases from hitting nearly every American.

Still, there was talk of crisis.

“We have the opportunity to avoid the kind of calamity and disaster that is being threatened and is completely unnecessary,” said Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who co-authored the Republican proposal.


1Gman(46 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Democrats in denial ...

"... a Democratic alternative to spread the cuts over a decade ..."

No, we need SPENDING CUTS this year not over the next 10 years. Because we tried that before and it never happens. The Federal Government is BROKE. The Federal Government borrows 40% of the money it spends. That is insane! No, we the tax payers, cannot give you more Tax money. You need to spend less. The Federal Government already collects $2,400,000,000,000.00 in TAXES from us every year. That is ENOUGH !!!!

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2redeye1(5612 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Gman That's the democratic way push everything aside , we'll take careof it later, That is what got us into this mess in the first place. They should let everything go right now and see what happens before they rush into doing something else that's even more stupid

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376Ytown(1344 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Does this administration think we are stupid? 2% cuts over a decade will not result in the massive job losses they are trying to use as SCARE tactics. There is enough government waste to cut far more than 2% from the fat. Saying that we are going to lose jobs and the sky will fall if the mandatory 2% takes affect is bogus.


Here's a novel idea. Get the 22,321,040 out of work people back to work. There's your increase in tax revenue and decrease in expenses all in one!


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4Gman(46 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Interesting that the Democrat controlled Senate has NOT passed a BUDGET in 4 years! The House has passed a budget and sent it to the Senate for approval. So, we have a Democatic controlled Senate that just continues to spend more money than they collect, year after year after year after year. The Senators are not performing their job and should be fired or taken to court and put in jail for taken a pay-check but not performing their job - otherwise known as THEFT !

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