WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Daily Briefing's David Hawkings: GOP Sticks To Budget Plans, For Now

Play associated audio

Time for change before budget deadline

Republicans lost the House seat in a special election New York for the first time in years. Democrats are calling it a referendum on the Republican budget plan and proposed changes to Medicare. But Hawkings says the GOP isn't scaling back efforts as a result -- at least not any time soon.

"Republicans deny that this was a referendum on Medicare. They say that it was the particulars of that particular part of upstate New York and the fact that a third candidate was running," he says.

The Senate took a test vote on the Medicare plan the day of the special election, which the House had already passed. Hawkings says only four Republicans backed down from the plan. A fifth Republican, Rand Paul, voted against it because he said it didn't go far enough.

Ten weeks from now is the deadline for the debt ceiling increase.

"That's an awful long time in congressional negotiating world," Hawkings says. "So there's still plenty of time for the Republicans to change their mind."

Senate stays in session

The Senate was suppose to be on recess next week, but those plans have changed, technically. Senators are free to go home, and most will, Hawkings says.

By keeping the session open, the president cannot use his recess appointment power to fill certain jobs for a limited amount of time. Three days constitutes a "recess," so Republicans have insisted that Senators come in every three days for one minute so the president can't fill their jobs.

Gaping hole on MLK Boulevard

The House is set to consider a Homeland Security spending bill next week, which provides no money to continue construction on the new headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security. Without funding, a nine-foot hole could remain on Martin Luther King Boulevard at the site of the old Saint Elizabeth Hospital.

"It's the biggest public works project in the city," Hawkings says. "It's certainly an enormous boon for the Anacostia area if it gets built."

He says they've spent $77 million on the project this year, but House Republicans say there isn't enough money in the budget to continue construction. Hawkings notes that the Homeland Security, "which essentially couldn't spend the money fast enough after it was created after Sept. 11, has joined the ranks of all the other departments in the government in having to fight for every dollar."


Christopher Marlowe Credited As Shakespeare's Co-Author On Henry VI Plays

True authorship of Shakespeare has been debated for centuries. Now, the New Oxford Shakespeare edition will list Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe as co-author on the three Henry VI plays, part one, two and three. NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Florida State University professor Gary Taylor, one of the general editors of the new volume.

2,500 Years Ago, This Brew Was Buried With The Dead; A Brewery Has Revived It

In an ancient burial plot in what is now Germany, scientists uncovered a cauldron with remnants of an alcoholic beverage. They teamed up with a Milwaukee brewery to re-create the recipe.
WAMU 88.5

Do Hyper-Local Term Limits Work?

Montgomery County residents are voting this fall on term limits for their local council representatives. Are they picking up on lessons learned from Prince George's County?

WAMU 88.5

AT&T’s Proposed Acquisition Of Time Warner

AT&T’s bid to acquire Time Warner: Join us to talk about what the proposed merger of the country’s second-largest wireless carrier and a major content company could mean for consumers and the future of U-S media and telecommunications.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.