Obama, top lawmakers to meet Friday on budget cuts - WFLA News Channel 8

Obama, top lawmakers to meet Friday on budget cuts

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON, DC (WFLA) -

President Barack Obama will meet Friday with the top leaders in the House and Senate, several hours past the deadline for averting automatic budget cuts, to discuss how to proceed on divisive tax-and-spend issues.

Because the meeting is set to take place well after Friday's deadline for the so-called sequester to kick in, it appears both sides are operating under an assumption that a deal to avert the cuts ahead of the deadline is now out of the question.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the session will focus on ways to reduce government spending, but he also said he will not back down on his opposition to any new revenues. McConnell, along with House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, will attend meeting at the White House.

"We can either secure those reductions more intelligently, or we can do it the president's way with across-the board cuts. But one thing Americans simply will not accept is another tax increase to replace spending reductions we already agreed to," said McConnell, R-Ky.

The meeting reflects a move to jumpstart negotiations after weeks of inaction on cuts that both parties have said could inflict major damage to government programs, the military and the economy at large. No serious talks to avert the cuts have been under way, and Friday's meeting will be the first face-to-face discussion between Obama and Republican leaders this year.

The White House has warned that the $85 billion in cuts could affect everything from commercial flights to classrooms and meat inspections. The cuts would slash domestic and defense spending, leading to forced unpaid days off for hundreds of thousands of government workers.

The impact won't be immediate. Federal workers would be notified next week that they will have to take up to a day every week off without pay, but the furloughs won't start for a month due to notification requirements. That will give negotiators some breathing room to keep working on a deal.

On Thursday, the Senate is expected to stage votes on competing Democratic and GOP plans to deal with the automatic cuts, known as a sequester in Washington-speak. But Democrats were poised to vote down a GOP plan to give Obama flexibility to redirect money from lower priority accounts to top priorities such as air traffic control, federal law enforcement and military readiness.

Republicans, in turn were set to kill by filibuster a Democratic measure that would forestall the automatic cuts through the end of the year, replacing them with longer-term cuts to the Pentagon and cash payments to farmers and installing a minimum 30 percent tax rate on income exceeding $1 million.

The GOP alternative measure has yet to be released but Republicans were circulating a measure that would give Obama authority to propose a rewrite to the 2013 budget to redistribute the cuts. Obama would be unable to cut defense by more than the $43 billion reduction that the Pentagon currently faces, and would also be unable to raise taxes to undo the cuts. The GOP plan would allow the Obama proposal to go into effect unless Congress passed a resolution to overturn them.

The idea is that money could be transferred from lower-priority accounts to accounts funding air traffic control or meat inspection. But the White House says that such moves would only offer slight relief. At the same time, however, it could take pressure off of Congress to address the sequester.

Senate Democrats have prepared a measure that would forestall the automatic cuts through the end of the year, replacing them with longer-term cuts to the Pentagon and cash payments to farmers, and by installing a minimum 30 percent tax rate on income exceeding $1 million. That plan is virtually certain to be toppled by a GOP-led filibuster vote later this week.

In the House, where Republicans in the last Congress passed legislation to replace the cuts, Boehner has said it's now up to Obama and the Senate to figure a way out. The Senate never took up the House-passed bill.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:59:58 GMT
    This Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in PinellasThis Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in Pinellas
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
  • RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:45:14 GMT
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
  • How thieves clone your credit cards

    How thieves clone your credit cards

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:15:02 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
    Patricia Stack didn't know her debit card number had been stolen until she tried to withdraw money from her bank account. "A couple weeks ago I tried to get money out to pay my power bill and there was nothing in it."
  • NewsMore>>

  • Tampa teen beaten by Israelis speaks out

    Tampa teen beaten by Israelis speaks out

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:58:24 GMT
    Pictures of Tariq AbukhdeirPictures of Tariq Abukhdeir
    Tariq Abukhdeir was at the center of an international firestorm after Israeli security forces were captured on video beating the 15-year-old.
    Tariq Abukhdeir was at the center of an international firestorm after Israeli security forces were captured on video beating the 15-year-old.

  • 20 people, 2 businesses busted for spice in St. Pete

    20 people, 2 businesses busted for spice in St. Pete

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:47 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:47:27 GMT
    Twenty people were arrested, and two local shops fined, after the St. Petersburg Police Department conducted an undercover round-up of spice buyers and sellers.
    Twenty people were arrested, and two local shops fined, after the St. Petersburg Police Department conducted an undercover round-up of spice buyers and sellers.
  • Mother takes stand in Tampa baby throwing trial

    Mother to take stand in Tampa baby throwing trial

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:07:55 GMT
    Jasmine Bedwell, the woman who caused a mistrial in the Richard McTear case last year, is set to testify Wednesday.
    Jasmine Bedwell, the woman who caused a mistrial in the Richard McTear case last year, is set to testify Wednesday.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 'Extraordinary' little boy finishes triathlon with his disabled brother

    'Extraordinary' little boy finishes triathlon with his disabled brother

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:52:34 GMT
    (Photo: Courtesy Today.com via Aldrich Family)(Photo: Courtesy Today.com via Aldrich Family)
    Never underestimate the power of brotherly love. Eight-year-old Noah Aldrich didn’t want his 6-year-old sibling Lucas — who is confined to a wheelchair — to miss out on a youth triathlon this month.
    Never underestimate the power of brotherly love. Eight-year-old Noah Aldrich didn’t want his 6-year-old sibling Lucas — who is confined to a wheelchair — to miss out on a youth triathlon this month.
  • Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Couple arrested for having sex on Cortez Beach in front of beachgoers

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:08 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:08:35 GMT
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
    Bradenton Beach police officers were dispatched to Cortez Beach after a few people called 911 and complained about a couple having sex publicly, right next to a little girl on the beach.
  • Boy, 8, bitten by shark in knee-deep water in Brevard

    Boy, 8, bitten by shark in knee-deep water in Brevard

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:52 AM EDT2014-07-23 12:52:24 GMT
    Aadyn Crick. Image courtesy WESHAadyn Crick. Image courtesy WESH
    An Indiana boy, 8, on vacation in Central Florida with his family, got bitten by a shark, WESH reported.
    An Indiana boy, 8, on vacation in Central Florida with his family, got bitten by a shark, WESH reported.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.