After President Obama secured a second term on Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) addressed the issue of the approaching "fiscal cliff" this week, calling for a bipartisan solution that would avert the U.S. from tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts to defense and non-defense programs that could send the U.S. back into recession.
Boehner stated in his address Wednesday that Republicans would be willing to "accept new revenue, under the right conditions," including a revision of the tax code and cuts to entitlement programs such as Medicare. Boehner held a press briefing Friday morning as well. President Obama will discuss the fiscal cliff this afternoon.
Numerous defense and non-defense organizations have been calling for both political parties to arrive at a solution to the looming, draconian spending cuts:
- National League of Cities sent a letter to Washington urging House and Senate leaders to develop a bipartisan approach to the issue of sequestration.
- United States Conference of Mayors, headed by Philly major Michael Nutter, came out against sequestration in September, with 149 majors signing the letter stating that impending cuts are “perhaps the biggest threat to our metro economies.”
- American Association of School Administrators has called on Congress to intercede before the Education Department's budget is cut by $4 billion, resulting in increased class size, reduced programs and services, and job losses.
- Aerospace States Association has called on Congress to act to stop sequestration before billions of dollars are cut from the defense budget.
This week, the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) released a long to-do list of unfinished legislative items for the lame-duck Congress, including SAFER and FIRE grants, rural housing, the farm bill, and the VAWA conference. Typically, not much is accomplished during a lame-duck session, but the Speaker and the President are putting the fiscal cliff front and center. eCivis will keep you posted as Congress takes on other items on the to-do list.
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