Budget- Sequestration, Policy Issues
Ian Swanson and Alexander Bolton reported on Friday at The Hill’s On the Money Blog that, “The question in Washington is no longer whether the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester will be implemented: It’s when and even if the spending reductions will ever be shut off.”
The update noted that, “‘We’re pretty far away because we have revenue in ours,’ said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), commenting on the daylight between Democratic and GOP leaders.
“Cardin was commenting on a proposal unveiled Thursday by Senate Democrats that would thwart the first $85 billion in spending cuts set to hit government on March 1.”
Besides increased revenue, the proposal from Senate Democrats also cuts direct payments for farmers, as does a package from House Democrats that would also forestall sequestration.
At a news conference on Friday with Democratic House Leaders, Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) stated that, Direct Payments “serve no useful purpose right now” [related video clip].