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Obama warns spending cuts could idle shipbuilder

By Nedra Pickler

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:17 a.m. HST, Feb 26, 2013


WASHINGTON » President Barack Obama is arguing that looming government-wide spending cuts could idle military resources like naval aircraft carriers, while Republicans are criticizing the president for taking his arguments outside Washington instead of staying to work out a plan before Friday's deadline.

The president planned to appear today at Virginia's largest industrial employer, Newport News Shipbuilding, which would be affected by cuts to naval spending. Obama warned Monday that if the so-called sequester goes into effect later this week, the company's "workers will sit idle when they should be repairing ships, and a carrier sits idle when it should be deploying to the Persian Gulf."

Obama urged Congress to compromise to avoid the cuts, but there has been no indication the White House and congressional Republicans are actively negotiating a deal. The last known conversation between Obama and GOP leaders was last week, and there have been no in-person meetings between the parties this year.

Obama wants to replace the sequester with a package of targeted cuts and tax increases, while Republican leaders insist the savings should come from reduced spending alone.

Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House Republican Conference, criticized Obama for traveling to southern Virginia rather than up the street to Capitol Hill to come up with a solution.

"We need the president to stop campaigning for higher taxes, come back here to Washington, D.C., and lead," McMorris Rodgers said during a news conference Monday with GOP leaders.

"We're very concerned about the impact of the sequester. This was President Obama's idea," she said today in an appearance on "CBS This Morning."

"The Republicans, almost 300 days ago, put forward our plan," she said. "There's a smarter, better way to do it," Rodgers said.

The sequester was designed as an unpalatable fallback, meant to take effect only if a congressional super-committee failed to come up with at least $1 trillion in savings from benefit programs.

The White House has warned the $85 billion in cuts could affect everything from commercial flights to classrooms to meat inspections. The cuts would slash domestic and defense spending, leading to furloughs for hundreds of thousands of workers.

In Virginia alone, the White House says, about 90,000 civilians working for the Defense Department would be furloughed for a cut of nearly $650 million in gross pay. The White House also says the sequester would cancel maintenance of 11 ships in Norfolk, as well as delaying other projects around the area.

The Navy has already delayed a long-planned overhaul of the USS Abraham Lincoln at Newport News Shipbuilding as a result of the budget uncertainty, and other plans call for delaying the construction of other ships.

Obama planned to travel today with two Virginia congressmen, Democrat Bobby Scott and Republican Scott Rigell.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., offered a potential way out of the stalemate Monday by indicating he was open to raising tax revenue if Obama offered to overhaul big-ticket entitlement programs. Many Republicans say they are done raising revenue after letting taxes on top earners increase in December.

"I'll raise revenue. Will you reform entitlements?" Graham said in a challenge to the president on CNN. "And both together, we'll set aside sequestration in a way that won't disrupt the economy and hurt the Defense Department."

Associated Press writers Jim Kuhnhenn in Washington and Brock Vergakis in Norfolk, Va., contributed to this report.






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warriorrebel wrote:
will the president please stop lying? dems have been dying to cut the military budget for a long time now. what a hypocrite!!!
on February 26,2013 | 05:18AM
OldDiver wrote:
Congress created sequestration and Congress can fix it. Every House Republican voted for the sequester bill because this is their bill. Are Republicans going to fix it or are we going to see more of the same obstruction from them.
on February 26,2013 | 08:57AM
Pacej001 wrote:
The sequester was dreamed up by the President's Director of OMB, approved by the President in the 2011 debt ceiling negotiation. None of this would be happening if the Senate had passed a budget in the last four years. The Republicans have passed two budget resolutions that controlled our disasterous debt and the Senate has failed to respond in kind and engage in the deliberative process, mandated by law, that would have resulted in a national budget. This entire mess is owned and operated by Obama and the Senate democrats.
on February 26,2013 | 01:21PM
entrkn wrote:
The President is campaigning to end tax breaks for wealthy people and corporations that don't deserve them and don't need them, that the rest of us do not get but do deserve and do need.
on February 26,2013 | 10:08AM
Pacej001 wrote:
The breaks the President is referring to amount to a drop in the bucket when it comes to tax revenue. Worse still, given the laundry list of new/expanded programs in the president's state of the union address, he has no intent to cut spending, only to raise taxes. No more taxes until we get spending under control.
on February 26,2013 | 01:24PM
serious wrote:
He acts as if he is campaigning for a third term. FDR he is not!!! Stay at home and work on the country's problems rather than grandstanding. He sure knows how to split the parties.
on February 26,2013 | 05:44AM
Allenk wrote:
I feel like we, the American people are being held hostage because neither President Obama nor the Republicans in congress can come up with a solution. Essentially, the Republicans are calling Obama's bluff!
on February 26,2013 | 06:43AM
pcman wrote:
Actually, 'serious' is not far from the truth. He is campaigning to get a Democratic House elected in 2014. If that happens and the Senate remains Democrat dominated, he can try to rescind the Constitution Amendment that limits Presidential terms to two. Whether he can get two-thirds votes in each house to rescind the amendment, though, is problematic. Regardless, he would be able to pass many socialist/leftist policies in his last two years.
on February 26,2013 | 08:12AM
lee1957 wrote:
President Obama and Congress cannot rescind a Constitutional ammendment, enough with the conspiracy theories.
on February 26,2013 | 10:45AM
edster48 wrote:
Mr. Obama, the campaign is over. Time to go to work. The oval office is more than just a place to hang after your last guest shot on Leno, it's where the business of running the country takes place. Stop blaming others for your bad ideas and start doing your job. Sit down and write a budget, maybe talk to some of your buddies and come up with a real plan, this "tax the rich" rubbish is obviously not the ticket, you're going to have to chimp down on spending or you'll ruin us financially.
on February 26,2013 | 05:57AM
pcman wrote:
Sorry, the President does not have any idea, experience or desire to lead, manage or oversee the business of the government. After all he has often voted "present" when he couldn't decide to vote 'yes' or 'no' as a state senator and US Senator. That's because he has no clue about many of the bills and arguments. Nothing has changed. Why doesn't he stay at home and voice his opinions on television, and divert the travel expense funds to homeless children all over the country? He has no clue.
on February 26,2013 | 08:22AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
The pajama party up early. So unpatriotic to bash Our President. Hey he was elected by the American people, by the people, for the people. Quit the crying, or just leave.
on February 26,2013 | 08:56AM
thepartyfirst wrote:
Where is your budget Mr. President?
on February 26,2013 | 06:08AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
26 days late, in violation of law...for the 4th time in 5 years.
on February 26,2013 | 08:14AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
He has a budget, in fact submitted it for years. It's the Boehner gang that keeps shutting it down. The GOP just don't get it.
on February 26,2013 | 09:09AM
hawaiikone wrote:
The democrats, who've unanimously rejected all Obama's budgets. work for Boehner? No one knew that except you.
on February 26,2013 | 11:05AM
pcman wrote:
He does not want a budget because that would restrict the executive branch (his people) to only spend what Congress passes in the budget. As a former personnel of the executive branch, military commanders and civil servants believe that the budget is a law which, if exceeded without approval by Congress, could be seen as breaking the law and a criminal offense. Without a budget, the executive branch can spend to do anything he decrees by executive order. That's how he could spend more than $1.5 trillion each year beyond the revenue (taxes) taken in without approval by Congress. Under President Bush, the excessive monies spent for the two wars were authorized by Congress as separate funds from the Defense budget.
on February 26,2013 | 08:36AM
hawaiikone wrote:
Obama is obviously one of the best orators we've had in the oval office. Unfortunately he's just as obviously one of the worst we've had at actually performing the job.
on February 26,2013 | 06:25AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Back in the heady days of Hope and Change he said he would be the great unifier. Sadly, the nation is more divided than any time since the Civil War. Blame on both sides but the fact is, the job is not getting done. We went from Bush to Bush-Lite at a cost of trillions.
on February 26,2013 | 07:49AM
ufried wrote:
i would rather our king just "talk" about what he wants done, because everything he actually does, ends up costing us and future generations. his 2nd term slogan should read:" the road to hell was paved with good intentions", KING OBAMA...
on February 26,2013 | 06:38AM
realist3463 wrote:
The "Sequester" cuts in spending are supposed to amount to $42.7 Billion for DOD or about 50 percent of the total sequester cut. That means that FY 2013 actual outlays for DOD should be $645.479. That is $65.781 Billion more than DOD spent in FY 2010 or any year before that. Inflation has been relatively low the last few years, at least by government counting. Why is going back to a budget that is 11.3% higher than we spent in FY 2010 going to be a disaster, and require 20% cuts in salaries for DOD (civilian?) personnel and significant cuts in military personnel. Seems to me cutting a few high end useless programs like the F35, the LCS and a few others like halving the number of Flag and General officers would solve the DOD problem. Time to just let it happen but make the cuts rationally and not how they were designed by the congress, across the board. My view is taking $42.7 B from the Defense budget is easy and should have been done w/out fan fair.......but this is about gotcha politics.....
on February 26,2013 | 06:41AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
Once the FY gets this far along, you can only cut things that haven't already been contracted. There are very few things that fall into that category. Employee pay, future ship repairs, future ship parts purchases and ship fuel are some of the few items that are "pay as you go", so the money for these things has not been spent yet. Had there been a real budget in the beginning of the fiscal year with these cuts accounted for, we wouldn't be facing the same problem. It's all a direct tresult of the perpetual continuing resolutions that have been used to fund the federal governemnt for 4 years.
on February 26,2013 | 08:18AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Cut Shipbuilding, just dont cut Rail Building!
on February 26,2013 | 09:56AM
MKN wrote:
@NanakuliBoss: Hate to say it, but the DOT is going to have their budget cut too which means we won't get as much money this year for rail as we might have originally received. If this sequester doesn't last the entire 10 years, they may be able to restore the funding in future years that we may not receive this year or the next few years depending on how long this drags on. Pretty sad IMO.
on February 26,2013 | 10:39AM
loio wrote:
he is a liar, and the MSM covers for him rather than covers him. he makes Pinocchio look like George Washington. Can't stand the guy, or what he stands for.
on February 26,2013 | 07:10AM
localgirl2 wrote:
Ah, my thoughts exactly. I NEVER watch any of his tv bits, state of the union or otherwise. And now today, the Head of the White House, My Michelle, is on GMA doing a cooking bit! These folks are so into the entertainment side of 'this gig' that they have no idea how to conduct themselves as head of State. Awful....He's all lies.
on February 26,2013 | 07:38AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Now come on....America cannot get enough of the first lady doing the Dougie with a TV guy in drag. Or discussing hair-dos with Rachel Ray or appearing out of thin air with a bunch of unidentified folks in uniform at the Oscars or going skiing with the girls while hubby golfs with Tiger.

America loves its upper class consuming, flaunting the celebrity lifestyle and showing off with Hollywood set. Takes our mind off cat food dinners and a declining standard of living.


on February 26,2013 | 07:45AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
She's so much Fun. Beats all those "stuffy"1 st ladies. This is what the Now Generation is about.
on February 26,2013 | 09:02AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Does anyone really call it the "Now Generation?"
on February 26,2013 | 11:31AM
sluggah wrote:
I think the "now generation" was the 60's. That's how out of it NB is.Pretty soon, they'll have leeches like the Kar-cashians hanging around for freebies.
on February 26,2013 | 11:46AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
He's Our President! What would the Mormon do. Cut,right.
on February 26,2013 | 09:01AM
Grimbold wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on February 26,2013 | 07:24AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Ahhh, malfeasance, that work conjures up, caveat NO defeat. Glad he not mayor.
on February 26,2013 | 09:03AM
localgirl2 wrote:
All we ever hear is doom and gloom if we don't ante up more money for them to spend. I've heard the sequester talked about on TALK RADIO. Yes, there is another side other than CNN! The amount that is being cut would amount to less than a dollar a day (I won't quote as can't remember but something like 25 cents a day) to a millionaire or was it a billionaire. No matter, you get the drift on this one. It's a small drop in the bucket!! I also heard someone on (think it may have been CNN) explaining this about the 'huge cuts' Obama talks will have to be made. this man also said, what about the other $72 billion that was still left in this one agencies budget. I think it was the FAA he was speaking about. If they had cut $1 billion, what was the plan for the rest that they WOULD STILL HAVE!? People in the USA are so like chickens with their heads cut off. The sky is falling, the sky is falling. They don't use their own minds to LOOK FOR THE TRUTH or LISTEN for the truth. In the end, they are just the type of Obama voters. That explains how he was re elected.
on February 26,2013 | 07:31AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
I say cut the coffee for the pajama gang. Those people that take "elderly" entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. Just an amount that would take coffee away. Next we work on their Internet access money. I mean, how many here like manek, ahi and all those are at the SS trough?
on February 26,2013 | 09:07AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
How do you manage to be on here during working hours?
on February 26,2013 | 11:32AM
hawaiikone wrote:
You noticed that too? He's gotta be a public "worker".
on February 26,2013 | 01:23PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Less time on this contrived "emergency" and more time on things like a near-nuclear Iran, the blood bath in Syria, Wall Street abuses, cyber-war with China, domestic surveillance and drone policy and, oh, about a hundred other actually significant issues.
on February 26,2013 | 07:41AM
AhiPoke wrote:
Hey Barry, pants on fire?
on February 26,2013 | 08:07AM
Ronin006 wrote:
The federal government can easily absorb $85 billion in spending cuts without the horrible effects claimed by Obama, DOT Secretary Ray LaHood and secretaries of other departments. DOT alone can easily cut several billion dollars by eliminated its New Starts Program that funds rail projects around the country like HART. Department of Energy can easily cut billions by eliminating its grant and loan program for green energy start-ups, most of which have gone bankrupt or moved overseas after receiving the money. Department of Education could cut billions by letting states run their own education systems as the Constitution intended. The Defense Department could save billions by eliminating weapons systems and major equipment it did not request or want but which were imposed on it by Congress. And other departments can easily cut billions by eliminating the hundreds of grant programs that fund ridiculous projects all over the country. So, if actions taken by the Federal government after sequester takes effect do in fact impact negatively on the traveling public or Americans in general, it will be because the Obama administration intentionally did so to outrage Americans and put pressure of Republicans in Congress to give Obama the tax increases he wants so he can continue his out-of-control spending.
on February 26,2013 | 08:13AM
mrluke wrote:
He is absolute proof that the country and it's citizens get the govt and leader it deserves!
on February 26,2013 | 08:18AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Yes mrluke, America elected him. Our country. What country are you from? China?
on February 26,2013 | 09:55AM
mrluke wrote:
Don't know what you're taking about. You can take my comment as the truth.
on February 26,2013 | 07:43PM
Maipono wrote:
King Obama is the ultimate campaigner, he started in 2006 and hasn't stopped. Why should he stop now, it got him this far without any leadership qualities whatsoever. The American voter of today doesn't really pay attention to current events, so that plays right into his hands, he dictates and his followers obey, all hail the King, long live the King!
on February 26,2013 | 08:50AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
I believe the party system of Republican and Democrat have now really reared its ugly head. We now see both sides using this as a political ploy to strategize the for the next election on one side and the other to try and push its will on the other party. The party system had its use in the olden days when we did not have the means to advertise each politician's way of thinking. Today we have the technology and the media to advertise all those information. This situation really shows how the party system is outdated and detrimental to our government. We have one side wishing the other will fail and the result is that, We the People, lose. Our taxes have gone up while our government continues to grow. Case in point is this ship building situation that Obama is bringing up. The generals have already stated that we need to reduce the number of ships. But states whose economy rely on the ship building are pressuring Obama to keep this wasteful spending at the cost of the rest of the nation. Our nation has come to a point where it will either learn from its wasteful spending or continue on the course to build on the deficit which our children will continue to pay from generation to generation. Is this the legacy that we want for our country? We keep borrowing money from countries like China in the form of bonds who are inherently are our enemies. We are at the mercy of China because of all the money we owe them. It has been shown that China's military has cyber attacked our industries' computers and stolen billions upon billions of dollars worth of information. This infighting within our government has become a farce to other nations but most of all it has become our downfall. Whatever that these two parties decide will ultimately be the same old tactic of what is best for the political parties and the special interests of certain states to the detriment of the nation as a whole.
on February 26,2013 | 09:03AM
mcc wrote:
Cut the spending! Yea for sequester!
on February 26,2013 | 09:27AM
mcc wrote:
Honolulu should cut it's wasteful spending too. Our roads are in disrepair and the Mayor is borrowing more. Our sewers need repacing yet they are fixing the roads before the sewers. The same goes for the water mains. Fix them before fixing the roads!
on February 26,2013 | 09:30AM
entrkn wrote:
The President is campaigning to end tax cuts for wealthy people that don't deserve them and don't need them and that the rest of America does not get but does deserve them and does need them. For over 50 years, the Republicans have successfully deployed a strategy of "give an inch and take a mile". That's what they want to do now, but its past time for the pendulum to swing the other way. It is now time for Democrats to "give an inch and take a mile" for the next 50 years, and put America back on the high road in the fast lane.
on February 26,2013 | 10:00AM
sluggah wrote:
The sky is falling, the sky is falling! He wants to create a government dependent society.
on February 26,2013 | 11:41AM
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