President Obama ordered the start of $85 billion in government spending cuts on March 1, beginning a potentially decade-long wave of belt-tightening that risks curbing U.S. economic growth this year. The across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, were part of a 2011 deficit-reduction agreement and were intended to be so onerous that Congress and the president wouldn’t let them occur. Instead, Democrats and Republicans deadlocked on an alternative.
The Pentagon is asking Congress to approve a plan shifting about $9.6 billion in this year’s defense budget to priority projects, mostly to pay for greater- than-expected Afghanistan war and transportation costs.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said he learned in general terms about a probe into IRS screening of tax-exempt groups in March and now has ordered agency officials to deliver within 30 days a plan to correct any “systemic” shortcomings.
Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend, that he was briefed in March on an investigation of selective IRS screening of nonprofit groups though he didn’t learn details of the findings until last week.
Scientists and engineers working as contractors for the U.S. government and military may be the most vulnerable to across-the-board sequestration cuts, John Jumper, chief executive officer of SAIC Inc., said.
More Americans than projected filed claims for jobless benefits last week and manufacturing in the Philadelphia region unexpectedly shrank in May, signs the slowdown in growth is rippling through the U.S. economy.
Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee failed to restore cuts in federal food-stamp spending as the panel approved yesterday a $940 billion bill reauthorizing U.S. Department of Agriculture programs.