You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

U.S.

  • Demoted worker shoots CEO, kills self
    CHICAGO – A demoted worker shot and critically wounded his company’s CEO before fatally shooting himself Thursday inside a downtown high-rise office building in Chicago’s bustling financial district, police said.
  • Wisconsin high court upholds anti-bargaining law
    MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the 2011 law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers, sparked massive protests and led to Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s recall election and rise
  • Immigration courts speed up children's cases
    Immigration courts are speeding up hearings for the tens of thousands of Central American children caught on the U.S.
Advertisement

Sequester: Obama, top lawmakers to meet after budget cuts kick in

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama will meet Friday with the top leaders in the House and Senate to discuss what to do about automatic cuts to the federal budget.

The White House and congressional aides said the meeting is set to take place hours after the $85 billion in across-the-board cuts will have officially kicked in. This suggests both sides are operating under the assumption a deal won’t be reached to avert the cuts ahead of the March 1 deadline.

The top congressional Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the top Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, will attend the White House meeting.

McConnell said the meeting will focus on ways to reduce government spending, but indicated he’s not backing down on his opposition to any new tax increases.

“We can either secure those reductions more intelligently, or we can do it the president’s way with across-the board cuts. But one thing Americans simply will not accept is another tax increase to replace spending reductions we already agreed to,” the Kentucky Republican said.

The meeting reflects a move to jumpstart negotiations after weeks of inaction on cuts that both parties have said could inflict major damage to government programs, the military and the economy at large. No serious talks to avert the cuts have been under way, and Friday’s meeting will be the first face-to-face discussion between Obama and Republican leaders this year.

The White House has warned that the $85 billion in cuts could affect everything from commercial flights to classrooms and meat inspections. The cuts would slash domestic and defense spending, leading to forced unpaid days off for hundreds of thousands of government workers.

The impact won’t be immediate. Federal workers would be notified next week that they will have to take up to a day every week off without pay, but the furloughs won’t start for a month due to notification requirements. That will give negotiators some breathing room to keep working on a deal.

Advertisement