WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Agriculture Committee is set to consider small cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program in an effort to appease conservatives who say the food aid has become too expensive.
The cuts are part of a massive five-year farm bill that costs almost $100 billion annually and would set policy for farm subsidies, rural programs and the food aid. The House panel will consider the bill Wednesday, one day after the Senate Agriculture Committee approved its version.
The auditing arm of Congress is urging the government to revamp the way Medicaid money is distributed, suggesting officials target funds based on the demand, geography and resources in each state.
Currently, Medicaid distributes $300 billion annually to the states to help pay the medical needs of the poor and disabled under a formula known as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, or FMAP. Payments are essentially based on each state's per capita income (PCI).
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House is moving to put U.S. bondholders and people on Social Security at the front of the line to be paid if the government hits its borrowing limit and is unable to meet all of its obligations.
The idea is to lessen the consequences of a U.S. default on its obligations if Congress and President Barack Obama can't find a way to lift the government's so-called debt limit later this year, in hopes of salvaging the government's credit rating and ability to borrow to pay its bills.
The U.S. Forest Service is in the business of preventing fires, not starting them.
Yet the agency set off alarms in Congress and state capitols across the West by citing the automatic spending cuts as the basis for demanding that dozens of states return $17.9 million in federal subsidies. And it's all come down to a bureaucratic squabble over whether the money is subject to so-called sequestration because of the year it was paid — 2013 — as the Obama administration contends, or exempt from the cuts because of the year it was generated — 2012 — as the states insist.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress easily approved legislation Friday ending furloughs of air traffic controllers that have delayed hundreds of flights daily, infuriating travelers and causing political headaches for lawmakers.
The House approved the measure on a 361-41 vote, a day after the Senate swiftly agreed to the bill. The vote came as lawmakers prepared to leave town for a weeklong spring recess, a break that would have been less pleasant if they were confronted by constituents upset over travel delays.
WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 100 crucial gauges that warn of imminent flooding or lack of needed water will be shut down starting next month as part of the federal government's automatic budget cuts.
Some are in the nine states threatened with spring flooding, U.S. Geological Survey officials said in interviews with The Associated Press.
In rivers where flooding is imminent, such as near Fargo, N.D., officials are scrambling to keep needed monitors working and make the cuts elsewhere. Details are still to be worked out, officials said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Under growing pressure, the Obama administration signaled Wednesday it might accept legislation eliminating Federal Aviation Administration furloughs blamed for lengthy delays affecting airline passengers, while leaving the rest of $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts in place.
The disclosure came as sentiment grew among Senate Democrats as well as Republicans for legislation to ease the impact of the cuts on the FAA, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood held talks with key senators.