Budget Battle Royale


This year's budget battle is on the verge of hitting fever pitch as both parties struggle to frame the issue. House Republicans are trying to cut spending by more than the amount agreed upon in last summer's $1.047 trillion spending cap; some of their recent proposals would cut food stamps, child tax credit refunds that benefit the working class, and state social service block grants. The White House responded yesterday by sending a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees bluntly announcing that Obama will not sign any new appropriations bills until the House agrees to stick to the agreed spending targets. It doesn't look like the threat will deter the House Republicans from moving forward with their measures. Democrats in the House and Senate are unsurprisingly against the House Republican's plan.

“Taking a meat-ax to nutrition programs that feed millions of working families in this country in order to avoid defense cuts is not a serious way to achieve deficit reduction,"said Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota, former chair of the Agriculture Committee to POLITICO. "It’s no wonder nobody likes Congress.” Senate Budget Committee chair Kent Conrad has begun marking up the Simpson-Bowles plan, but no vote on the bill is scheduled, and with the contentious and partisan appropriations fight and election season heating up, bipartisanship isn't in vogue for either party.


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By 2014, 70 percent of the $44.3 billion in clean-energy subsidies passed in 2009 as part of the stimulus bill will evaporate unless government takes action to continue some of the most successful programs. “This would be the wrong time to step away from clean tech,” Jesse Jenkins of the Breakthrough Institute said. “Many of these industries are only just starting to mature.” 



Reason to Get Out of Bed in the Morning

Zack Houston set up a poem store on the sidewalk in Oakland, Calif., and the quick verse he types up for pedestrians is now his main source of income.

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