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President Obama begins $109 billion in military, domestic reductions

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 11th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

President Barack Obama has set in motion the next $109 billion of the reductions to military and domestic programs for the year. These reductions will begin on October 1. The president signed it into law just hours after proposing a budget that would replace automatic spending cuts as required by law.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - The White House announced that Obama has signed the controversial sequester order. The new law dictates the total discretionary spending for fiscal year 2014 to be cut by $91 billion to a total of $967 billion, which is the lowest level since 2004.

As was required by law, Obama was to sign the order after submitting his budget request to Congress. The appropriations committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate are holding hearings later this week over how to divide the dwindling discretionary funding pie for programs. The cuts are expected to affect education to weapons development to national parks.

Not much has been accomplished to stop the initial $85 billion in cuts that went into effect at the beginning of last month. This could result into the prompt temporary layoffs for hundreds of thousands of government workers and defense contractor employees.

The sequester forces about another $1.1 trillion in across-the board spending cuts over a decade, if left in place.

As authored by Representative Paul Ryan and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last month, the Republican budget keeps the sequester savings in place and maintains the same $967 billion spending cap now ordered by Obama for fiscal 2014.

Like the one passed by Senate Democrats, the Obama budge, proposed to replace the sequester, largely through tax increases on the wealthy and spending cuts elsewhere. These measures included health and a lower inflation gauge for cost of living increases associated with tax brackets, Social Security, and other program.

The budgets represent a starting point for talks in the next few months over deficit reduction as a new debt limit increase deadline looms by August.

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