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January 29, 2014

U.S. House greenlights $956 billion for new farm bill

  • $956B in funding for the nation’s latest farm bill was approved in a bipartisan vote on Wednesday, though more than 100 Democrats and 60 Republicans voted against the measure. The bill is expected to be approved by the Senate, and President Obama has already said he will sign the bill if/when approved.
  • $23B was shaved from the country’s farm and nutritional title programs, nearly six times the $4 billion that Democrats were aiming for, but that’s still astronomically lower than the $160 billion that House Republicans originally requested.
  • $8.6B was cut from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) budget by raising the program’s home heating auto-qualification rules to only cover people receiving $20 per month (or more) in heating assistance from the federal government. The program originally covered anyone receiving any amount over one dollar. source
22:06 // 5 months ago
August 1, 2013

House GOP to propose massive budget cuts for federal food stamps

  • $40B in cuts to the national food stamp program will be proposed by House Republicans on Thursday afternoon, along with new regulations like mandatory drug testing, as both chambers of Congress continue sparring over the U.S. farm bill. source
16:08 // 12 months ago
April 9, 2013
reuterspictures:

REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew Johnson/Handout 
Blue Angels
The U.S. Navy’s renowned flight demonstration squadron has cancelled its flying season due to federal spending cuts.

On the downside, no more fancy Blue Angels for you fans of fancy air shows. On the upside, a little peace and quiet come Fleet Week time for the rest of us.

reuterspictures:

REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew Johnson/Handout 

Blue Angels

The U.S. Navy’s renowned flight demonstration squadron has cancelled its flying season due to federal spending cuts.

On the downside, no more fancy Blue Angels for you fans of fancy air shows. On the upside, a little peace and quiet come Fleet Week time for the rest of us.

(via newshook)

20:19 // 1 year ago
March 2, 2013
pol102:

“America’s fiscal union: The red and the black” | The Economist
The sequester is here! And this map is probably a good indication of what it means for you. The “redder” your state, the most likely you’ll be negatively affected by the sequester. Why? Because “redder” states get more money from the federal government than they send back in taxes.
I currently live in Mississippi. We’re going to be hit especially hard. Because, as this map shows, Mississippi runs a 254% deficit (as of 2009) in federal transfers. The state gets an estimated $2.47 for every federal dollar sent. 
Basically, think of the “redder” states as on a form of federal-to-state welfare. And since the cuts are going to all kinds of programs and services, they’ll likely hit those state hard. That means states like Mississippi will have two options: 1) Kick in more state revenue to make up for cut programs. 2) Lose the benefits of those programs. Since the many of the “redder” states are poorer than the “bluer” states (e.g. the median household income in Mississippi is $36,656 compared to $69,272 in Maryland), option #2 would simply mean falling further behind in terms of poverty, education, and health. But option #1 means collecting more taxes to make up the differences. And since states collect taxes less efficiently than the federal government, often through less progressive taxes, and will have to negotiate prices for goods and services from a weaker position, the pocketbook impact of taxes would be high. 
So let’s get our sequester on! Let’s find out just how little federal government voters really want. 

Feels like everyone’s heads have been spinning, to the point of fatigue, on the matter of the budget sequestration that went into effect with President Obama’s signature Friday night. It’s a nice change of pace, instead of arguing political benefits and machinations, to start getting some practical information about what sequestration will mean for the states.

pol102:

“America’s fiscal union: The red and the black” | The Economist

The sequester is here! And this map is probably a good indication of what it means for you. The “redder” your state, the most likely you’ll be negatively affected by the sequester. Why? Because “redder” states get more money from the federal government than they send back in taxes.

I currently live in Mississippi. We’re going to be hit especially hard. Because, as this map shows, Mississippi runs a 254% deficit (as of 2009) in federal transfers. The state gets an estimated $2.47 for every federal dollar sent. 

Basically, think of the “redder” states as on a form of federal-to-state welfare. And since the cuts are going to all kinds of programs and services, they’ll likely hit those state hard. That means states like Mississippi will have two options: 1) Kick in more state revenue to make up for cut programs. 2) Lose the benefits of those programs. Since the many of the “redder” states are poorer than the “bluer” states (e.g. the median household income in Mississippi is $36,656 compared to $69,272 in Maryland), option #2 would simply mean falling further behind in terms of poverty, education, and health. But option #1 means collecting more taxes to make up the differences. And since states collect taxes less efficiently than the federal government, often through less progressive taxes, and will have to negotiate prices for goods and services from a weaker position, the pocketbook impact of taxes would be high. 

So let’s get our sequester on! Let’s find out just how little federal government voters really want. 

Feels like everyone’s heads have been spinning, to the point of fatigue, on the matter of the budget sequestration that went into effect with President Obama’s signature Friday night. It’s a nice change of pace, instead of arguing political benefits and machinations, to start getting some practical information about what sequestration will mean for the states.

21:41 // 1 year ago
February 27, 2013
14:18 // 1 year ago
February 26, 2013
We have moved a bill in the House twice. We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something.
Rep. John Boehner • Leaning on members of the U.S. Senate to work towards a solution to the sequestration cuts currently dominating the discussion on Capitol Hill. With roughly two days to go before approximately $83 billion in automatic cuts are triggered, the Speaker of the House denied President Obama’s claims that the GOP is holding up negotiations, saying the Republican-led chamber of Congress has already passed anti-sequestration twice, and laying blame back at the feet of the President. Unfortunately, for Speaker Boehner, the general public doesn’t seem to agree with that analysis. source
17:00 // 1 year ago
February 25, 2013
16:08 // 1 year ago
February 21, 2013
President Obama has said that unless he gets a second tax hike in eight weeks, he will be forced to let criminals loose on the streets, the meat at your grocery store won’t be inspected and emergency responders will be unable to do their jobs. These are false choices. We are faced with the negative effects of the sequester because Democrats have not been able to take even the smallest step towards controlling spending.
Rep. Eric Cantor • Painting President Obama as the primary cause of the looming sequester, and resulting budget cuts, which will take effect if Congress doesn’t act by next week. While neither party is particularly popular at the moment, a recent Pew/USA Today poll shows that the GOP is currently eating much of the public blame for the sequester debate, which we don’t imagine sits well with the House Majority. source
14:23 // 1 year ago
February 20, 2013

The looming sequester could have serious consequences for federal employees

  • 800K civilian Defense Department employees have been notified of potential furloughs in the near future, should Congress not agree on a deal that delays/avoids the automatic sequester scheduled to take effect at the end of the month. The potential budget cuts have workers facing more than three weeks of unpaid leave and, should a deal not be reached in time, the Pentagon says employees will be asked to stay home one day a week for 22 consecutive weeks. source
15:06 // 1 year ago
September 18, 2012
Last week, Republicans and Democrats talked about remembering 9/11 and unity all across the nation, and all that patriotic stuff, and now we’re getting this thrown on our lap.
John Feal, founder of the FealGood Foundation advocacy group • Responding to the news that more than $38 million in previously approved spending, from the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, could be cut as a result of budget sequester legislation passed last summer. John Feal, a construction worker who lost half his foot in the Ground Zero cleanup efforts, is particularly incensed because the funds were already paid for by leveling a new 2 percent tax on certain foreign companies that receive federal contracts. “This is unacceptable,” said Feal, adding, “[It’s] just another slap in the face from Washington, D.C.” source
14:34 // 1 year ago