Local Politics

Focus shifts to next federal spending deadline

Posted March 1, 2013

— With little prospect for a federal budget deal, most members of Congress left Washington long before $85 billion in automatic spending cuts took effect Friday night, and the focus immediately turned to the next potential crisis.

The continuing resolution that funds federal government operations expires March 27. Congress hasn't passed a budget in three years, so a continuing resolution is needed. If no new resolution is adopted by the deadline, the government would shut down.

"I am hopeful we won't have to deal with the threat of a government shutdown while we are dealing with the sequester at the same time," U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said.

Boehner said he wants to keep the two issues separate, but the bitterness and finger-pointing that marked the negotiations on a budget deal might make that difficult.

"This is another big deadline that we have to take action on to keep the government open," Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said. "Democrats and Republicans need to come together, make decisions, look at what's good for the country and work together."

President Barack Obama called the sequester-forced spending cuts "dumb" but said the nation would survive.

"This is not a win for anybody," Obama said at a news conference after a meeting with congressional leaders produced no movement in the stalemate.

"I told them these cuts will hurt our economy. They'll cost us jobs, and to set it right, both sides need to be willing to compromise," he said.

U.S. Capitol Government shutdown next budget threat

Boehner said Obama's push to balance cuts with closing tax loopholes is a non-starter.

"This discussion about revenue, in my view, is over. It is about taking on the spending problem here in Washington," he said.

Republican 2nd District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers called the spending cuts tough love to deal with federal deficits.

"Some of the rhetoric that you've heard, I think, is outlandish," Ellmers said. "We're not going to see the devastation and the chaos that the president has been trying to put forward."

Democratic 4th District Congressman David Price called that argument "fiscal folly," saying across-the-board cuts help no one.

"It will have great damage to this economy, as well as specific functions," Price said.

8 Comments

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  • Just the facts mam Mar 1, 7:40 p.m.

    Obama and too many Democrats are eventually going to bankrupt this country. The Tea-Party and many Republicans are trying to prevent this from happening.

  • ronzo Mar 1, 7:38 p.m.

    As good as W was--how come we didnt do this every three months?

  • timexliving Mar 1, 7:34 p.m.

    "Obama said that we must all join in the sacrifice." coodela1966

    The budget cuts will not affect the Obama's vacations to Hawaii. Well, may be a little. Instead of the Prez and First Lady taking two commercial jet liners, they'll have to just settle for Air Force One.

  • cooldela1966 Mar 1, 7:16 p.m.

    Obama said that we must all join in the sacrifice.

  • mep Mar 1, 7:15 p.m.

    Obama: "Budget... we are Democrats.... we dont need no stinking budget". Try not to notice that we Democrats spend over a trillion dollars each year we dont have.... so far racking up $6.5 TRILLION more dollars on our national debt. (That is $6000 BILLION dollars)... but want you the American public to believe the world is going to end, little children will starve, grandma will be thrown under a bus, criminals will roam the streets, and any other "scary thing" you can think of if we cut $85 billion in spending this year.

  • timexliving Mar 1, 7:10 p.m.

    "Republican 2nd District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers called the spending cuts tough love to deal with federal deficits."

    Exactly! Considering that just about half of the $85 billion in budget reduction occurs this year makes it less painful and makes Obama's recent fear-mongering more outrageous.

  • stymieindurham Mar 1, 7:09 p.m.

    ". . . . obama called the sequester-forced spending cuts "dumb" . . . ." IT WAS HIS IDEA!!!!

  • timexliving Mar 1, 7:06 p.m.

    "Congress hasn't passed a budget in three years, . . ."

    Actually Obama and the Democrats hasn't proposed a budget in more than three years.