WASHINGTON - Gridlocked once more, President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders refused to budge in their budget standoff Friday as $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts bore down on individual Americans and the nation's still-recovering economy. "None of this is necessary," said the president after a sterile White House meeting that portended a long standoff.
Obama formally enacted the reductions a few hours before the midnight deadline required by law. Yet their impact had been felt thousands of miles away well before then. In Seattle, the King County Housing Authority announced it had stopped issuing housing vouchers under a federal program that benefits "elderly or disabled households, veterans, and families with children."
The president met with top lawmakers for less than an hour at the White House, then sought repeatedly to fix the blame on Republicans for the broad spending reductions and any damage that they inflict. "They've allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit," he said, renewing his demand for a comprehensive deficit-cutting deal that includes higher taxes.
Republicans said they wanted deficit cuts, too, but not tax increases. "The president got his tax hikes on Jan. 1," House Speaker John Boehner told reporters, a reference to a $600 billion increase on higher wage earners that cleared Congress on the first day of the year. Now, he said after the meeting, it is time take on "the spending problem here in Washington."
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was equally emphatic. " I will not be part of any back-room deal, and I will absolutely not agree to increase taxes," he vowed in a written statement.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Inside the Baltimore Police Department's watch center is the hub from which city police can view hundreds of crime cameras, pull up street corners and follow suspicious activity sometimes in progress; fancy hardware increasingly complimenting witty software.
ABC2 Investigators uncover Baltimore Police officers making huge amounts of overtime as the agency downplays the total amount spent on OT.
Scripps reviewed dozens of lawsuits and spoke with former insiders who all allege the companies that handle Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s asbestos and pollution claims, wrongfully delay or deny payment to cancer victims...
The state fire marshal's office says a man sought in connection with a fire that destroyed a Hagerstown house has surrendered.