The Sequester

11:45am

Thu February 28, 2013
It's All Politics

$85 Billion Versus $42 Billion: The New Sequester Argument

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 12:01 pm

Just how much will the sequester cut? It depends on whom you ask.

The White House has been saying spending will be reduced by $85 billion this year, unless the automatic spending cuts set to take effect Friday are averted.

The Congressional Budget Office, however, just released a new report saying the cuts will only amount to $42 billion.

Why do they differ so much?

They don't, really. It's a technical difference, more than anything.

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9:35am

Thu February 28, 2013
It's All Politics

How Washington Chose Not To Be Careful With Spending Cuts

Under sequestration, federal agencies don't have the flexibility to choose to spare popular programs or services by making administrative cuts elsewhere.
Tatiana Popova iStockphoto.com

Inconveniencing the public is part of the plan.

It may never have been intended to play out in quite this way, but the automatic spending cuts set to take effect for most federal programs Friday leave little room for preserving the most visible and popular programs.

"The law basically says the cuts have to be across-the-board by 'project, program and activity,' " says Stan Collender, a federal budget expert with the communications firm Qorvis. "That was specifically written to take away flexibility from the administration."

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7:34am

Thu February 28, 2013
The Two-Way

The Meaning Of 'Regret': Journalist Bob Woodward, White House Disagree

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 8:39 am

Bob Woodward speaks during an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Watergate in Washington in June.
Alex Brandon AP

It all depends on how you interpret the phrase "you will regret doing this." That piece of advice coming from a parent might be taken far differently than it would as a line from a Joe Pesci movie.

Where it falls on a spectrum from friendly advice to outright threat is apparently a matter of opinion. Bob Woodward, The Washington Post reporter of Watergate fame, and the Obama White House disagree on more than just the sequester story.

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6:29am

Thu February 28, 2013
The Two-Way

Countdown To The Sequester: 3 More 'Should-Read' Stories

Will the clouds part, the sun shine and a sequester solution be found?
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov
  • NPR's Tamara Keith on where things stand
  • NPR's Brian Naylor on the sequester and aviation safety
  • KCUR's Frank Morris on meat inspections

Friday's deadline looms, and as we heard earlier today on Morning Edition: "Oh, it's gonna happen."

The "it" is sequestration — $85 billion worth of across-the-board federal spending cuts that are due to start kicking in at the end of Friday unless Republican and Democratic leaders somehow bridge their differences.

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5:22pm

Wed February 27, 2013
Politics

Rocky Mountain National Park Could Feel Impact Of The Sequester

Rocky Mountain National Park - Glacier Gorge from Bear Lake
Daniel Mayer Wikimedia Commons

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