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Army to Cut 80K Troops in Biggest Post-WWII Shake-Up

13 out of 45 combat brigades to be axed

(Newser) - The Army is axing 13 of its 45 combat brigades in what it says is just the first round of downsizing under automatic budget cuts. Some 80,000 troops out of a total force of 570,000 will be cut over the next four years, and while the Army aims... More »

Now Can We Stop Cutting the Weather Service?

Oklahoma tornado should be a warning: David Sirota

(Newser) - The National Weather Service had a warning in effect 16 minutes before yesterday's tragic Oklahoma tornado —but we may not be as prepared next time around, thanks to the sequester's 8.2% cut to the Weather Service, David Sirota writes on Salon . The organization representing weather service... More »

Congress OKs Bill to Fix Air Travel Delays

Measure will stop furloughs of air traffic controllers

(Newser) - Congress today easily approved legislation ending furloughs of air traffic controllers that have delayed hundreds of flights daily. The House approved the measure on a 361-41 vote, one day after the Senate unanimously agreed to the bill. The measure doesn't give the FAA more money, but allows it to... More »

And the Airport Delays Begin...

Air traffic controllers, TSA workers, customs workers go on furlough

(Newser) - Here we go: Those promised airport delays , the result of furloughs caused by the sequester, have arrived. All three major NYC-area airports saw flights falling behind schedule yesterday and, as the Washington Post puts it, air traffic controllers "never caught up," with delays clocking in at between one... More »

Obama’s Salary 'Sacrifice' Is Patronizing

Dana Milbank: A $20K cut is nothing for a man worth millions

(Newser) - Obama's decision to give 5% of his salary back to the Treasury to match sequester cuts to government agencies is hardly the "sacrifice" it's getting made out to be, writes Dana Milbank in the Washington Post . Although $20,000 of his $400,000 salary is technically on... More »

How the USDA Hacked the Sequester

Tom Vilsack got $55M in new money for meat inspectors

(Newser) - There's no way to get out of the sequester's mandatory budget cuts, right? Wrong—at least for the USDA. Just three weeks after the sequester hit, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack found a way around it, snagging $55 million in new money for meat inspectors—just about the same... More »

FAA Shutting 'Only' 149 Air Traffic Towers

Sequestration forces cuts at small airports

(Newser) - In case you're counting: The FAA is now planning to close 149 air traffic control towers due to sequestration, not 173 as originally reported . And all of the closings will be at small airports, not mid-sized as well, reports the AP . Affected airports will remain open, which leaves pilots... More »

Yellowstone Hopes Sun Will Help Save It $30K a Day

Decision to delay snowplowing not going over well in sequester aftermath

(Newser) - How the sequester will hit Yellowstone in general is clear: The park needs to ax $1.8 million from what it anticipated would be a $35 million budget. The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal take a look at the specific fallout: Park superintendent Dan Wenk's plan is to... More »

TSA Draws Rage for $50M Uniform Deal, Knives Policy

Agency accused of being tone-deaf, making flight attendants 'sitting ducks'

(Newser) - Just a week before the sequester kicked in, the TSA signed a deal to spend $50 million on new uniforms, reports Politico . The agency calls the uniforms a necessity, but for many on Capitol Hill it was just another sign of the TSA's cluelessness. "When we’re losing... More »

Sequester's Bite: 173 Air Traffic Control Towers to Close

Despite efficiency, contract towers bear brunt of cuts

(Newser) - OK, maybe the sequester hasn't hit the airline industry just yet, but wait until April 7. That's when 173 air traffic control towers at small- and medium-sized airports around the nation will close; 16 more will be shuttered on Sept. 30. As CNN explains, the affected towers are... More »

Stewart: Sequester Is Like Sexy Choking

Congress screws up, but 'we're the ones blacking out'

(Newser) - Jon Stewart last night took Washington to task over sequestration—which pundits once assured us would never happen. "It's as likely as Dennis Rodman being our chief envoy to North Korea ," Stewart quipped on the Daily Show . The sequester, he says, is a bit like autoerotic asphyxiation:... More »

Actually, No Delays at Airports—Yet

Airport reports contradict Janet Napolitano

(Newser) - Janet Napolitano warned travelers yesterday that the sequester is already causing long lines at airports, but the Wall Street Journal and Politico both pooh-pooh that idea today. A dozen major airports tell the Journal there were no unusual delays or lines yesterday, and Politico notes that no passenger complaints or... More »

Sequestration May Kick Washington Area in the Teeth

Defense Department will furlough some 90K employees

(Newser) - Shrugging off sequestration as a minor 2.4% federal budget cut that plays itself out gradually? A few riders on the 595 bus to Reston, Va., feel differently, knowing Northern Virginia and the Washington metro area will suffer most from the $85 billion in cuts, the New York Times reports.... More »

Sequester Time: Obama Signs Order

Automatic spending cuts of $85B start going into effect

(Newser) - The sequester is here. President Obama has signed an order authorizing the government to begin cutting $85 billion from federal accounts, officially enacting across-the-board reductions that he opposed but failed to avert. This morning's last-minute talks to avert the mess fell through . Obama had insisted on replacing the cuts,... More »

Senate Makes Limp Efforts to Duck Sequester

But 'it's going to happen' despite votes: Rep.

(Newser) - Today, the Senate will vote on two plans that could potentially avert the sequester—but passage doesn't seem likely, USA Today reports. The Democrats' plan, which focuses on a minimum 30% tax on millionaires as well as defense and farm cuts, lacks the 60 votes it would need to... More »

Woodward: White House Said I'd 'Regret' Sequester Stance

Calls Obama's approach 'madness'

(Newser) - Bob Woodward's standoff with the White House is heating up: Now the journalist says a top administration official warned him to stop blaming President Obama for the sequester, Business Insider reports. In an email, "it was said very clearly: You will regret doing this," Woodward told CNN... More »

Palin: Feds Fear Unrest, Are 'Stockpiling Bullets'

'We're finished,' says ex-governor

(Newser) - An "economic Armageddon" is coming, Sarah Palin says—but it's not the sequester she's referring to. "If we are going to wet our proverbial pants over 0.3% in annual spending cuts when we’re running up trillion-dollar annual deficits, then we're done. Put a... More »

Why Congress Is Cool With Sequester: Its Salaries Are Safe

It's just the staffers who face cuts: Roger Simon

(Newser) - We shouldn't be too worried about the sequester—after all, Congress doesn't exactly seem to be recoiling at the thought. And Roger Simon has a theory on why: Lawmakers' own salaries aren't getting cut, he explains at Politico . Sure, their staffers are facing furloughs that amount to... More »

Stewart, Fox Mock Sequester Panic

Get ready for the end of life as we know it: hosts

(Newser) - It's not often that the Daily Show and Fox News are on the same page—but it seems the sequester is bringing them together. Both shows are ridiculing the current automatic-budget-cut obsession, Mediaite reports, with Jon Stewart last night donning a hazmat suit. We're "four days away... More »

White House: Here's How Sequester Will Hit Your State

State-by-state breakdown released as deadline looms

(Newser) - The White House has released detailed breakdowns of how the across-the-board spending cuts called the sequester will affect individual states, reports the Washington Post , which has collected the state-by-state reports here . The reports on all 50 states and the District of Columbia detail the sequester's effects on things like... More »

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