Analysis: Pressure Builds On Capitol Hill To Avoid Defense Spending Cuts | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Analysis: Pressure Builds On Capitol Hill To Avoid Defense Spending Cuts

Play associated audio

David Hawkings, CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing

On Capitol Hill, pressure is mounting to avoid looming defense spending cuts—the penalty for Congress failing to reach a deal on the debt ceiling last year.

David Hawkings, editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Breifing talks with Matt McCleskey, host for WAMU's Morning Edition about how the cuts could effect defense contractors nationwide, especially contractors in Virginia.

On where this standoff is headed: "The standoff is almost certainly headed past the election and into what we've been calling the mother of all lame-duck sessions," says Hawkings. "If those defense contractors are starting to send layoff notices out before the election, that will maybe raise the pressure on them to get it done earlier in Congress, but it really doesn't look like it. It looks instead as though both sides will be making this a big campaign issue, and then will come back right after the election and probably paper things over into the new year."

Virginia could be deeply affected by defense cuts, it is also a crucial state for the election. On how Democrats will take on this risk: "By some accounting, defense spending counts for about 17 percent  of the GDP in Virginia. It is the huge industry in Virginia, and it's obviously the huge federal presence in Virginia. It's a big risk for the president," says Hawkings. "The president says we can come up with that  money instead by raising taxes on people making more than $250,000 a year. This is why the president is not going to let go of this sequester threat before the election, because he thinks this it is his best way of making his point that we need to raise taxes instead."

The fate of a House bill to force President Obama to explain how the $109 billion cuts for the Pentagon and non-defense spending would be implemented: "That bill is probably going to pass. The Senate has already taken a similar vote, who think that the best way to raise the drama on this, to drive the point home with the electorate and to really understand it themselves, is to have a detailed understanding from the president about what the program-by-program effects would be for these across the board cuts," says Hawkings. "It does, however, look unlikely that given how slowly the legislative gears move in Congress, that although the Senate has taken a similar vote, that the House and Senate would actually agree on something, send it to the president's desk, get his signature on it, and then get this report back by the start of the fiscal year."

Listen to the full interview here. 

NPR

Why Afghanistan's 'Underground Girls' Skirt Tradition To Live As Boys

In a new book, journalist Jenny Nordberg writes about the bacha posh, young girls who dress up like boys to enjoy the freedoms of being an Afghan male for as long as they can.
NPR

Keeping Heirloom Apples Alive Is 'Like A Chain Letter' Over Many Centuries

Scott Farm in Vermont grows 100 apple varieties, some of them dating back to the 1700s. These apples may not look as pretty as the Red Delicious, but what they lack in looks they make up for in taste.
WAMU 88.5

New Anthony Brown Video Accuses Opponent Of 'Hiding' And 'Lying"

Democrat Anthony Brown unveiled a new web video today alleging that Republican Larry Hogan is "hiding" his positions on contentious issues like abortion and gun control.
NPR

Tech Week: Smartphone Privacy, Cyberstalking, Alibaba's Big Debut

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba makes the biggest debut on the NYSE ever. The details, and the other tech stories that piqued our interest, are in this week's roundup.

Leave a Comment

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