Federal budget deal reached, but NY cuts not yet known

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The White House budget office issued a memorandum at midnight Friday advising agencies to continue their normal operations in light of an agreement between the White House and congressional negotiators on a 2011 budget deal.

  The New York impact was unclear because many of the details were not immediately announced.

 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.,  and  House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio,  issued a joint statement  late Friday announcing an agreement to cut $78.5 billion from President Barack Obama’s proposed 2011  fiscal year budget.

Republican freshman Rep. Chris Gibson of Kinderhook hailed the agreement. “This includes about $39 billion in cuts from fiscal year 2010 levels, a figure that is over four times larger than any other cut in history,” Gibson said in a press statement. 

Another New York Republican freshman, Rep. Richard Hanna of Barneveld, said, “Importantly, this bill is free of distracting and divisive social policy riders, which I have opposed from the start.” 

The Senate voted by unanimous consent shortly after 11 p.m. on a stopgap budget measure with $2 billion in spending cuts to keep the government operating through Thursday.  The House approved the six-day measure shortly after midnight in a lopsided 348-70 vote.

The six-day spending measure is expected to serve as a bridge to keep the government operating while the budget deal is put into legislative language and voted on by Congress early next week .  

President Barack Obama said the deal means the Washington Monument and other parts of the federal government will be open for business.

But some federal programs are headed for cuts. 

“Like any worthwhile compromise, both sides had to make tough decisions and give ground on issues that were important to them,” Obama said. ” And I certainly did that.  Some of the cuts we agreed to will be painful. Programs people rely on will be cut back.  Needed infrastructure projects will be delayed.  And I would not have made these cuts in better circumstances.” 

Obama indicated earlier this week that negotiators agreed to eliminate Pell grants for low-income college students attending summer school. Obama already proposed that in his 2012 budget request.

Obama also said some of the cuts would be in so-called mandatory, or entitlement spending. But he did not disclose whether the reductions would be in Medicare, Medicaid or other programs.

“Certainly cuts in areas like Medicaid, transportation funding will directly impact the state’s finances, but until we know the details we cannot say with accuracy exactly what the cuts would mean for our state,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s spokeswoman, Emily DeSantis. 

Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel of the Bronx said the deal slashes the budget too deeply and threatens the nation’s fragile recovery.

“While it is beneficial to avoid a government shutdown, a deal for the sake of making a deal is often a bad one,” Engel said. “The one good thing about this agreement is that it includes provisions to pay our military and their families. They make many sacrifices for their country, this should not be one of them.”

House Republicans have maintained the baseline for the negotiations should be the bill approved in the House to reduce spending from 2010 levels by $61 billion. That bill also contained numerous policy “riders,” such as a measure to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood and stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Boehner announced Friday afternoon that almost all the policy issues had been resolved, but Reid said the hang-up was over federal Title 10 spending on women’s health, which includes funding for Planned Parenthood.

Conservative Republicans want to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood because it provides abortion services.  

Planned Parenthood says its federal money is used for women’s health services and its abortion services are separately financed.

Planned Parenthood in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties handled more than 37,000 annual visits by women seeking pap tests, birth control implants, birth control pills, IUDs, free condoms, emergency contraceptives, cervical cancer screenings, breast exams, HIV tests, tests for sexually transmitted diseases and abortions, according to spokeswoman Beverly Katz.

Federal money “all goes for preventative services,” she said, adding that abortions are performed at separate locations.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand joined other Democratic women senators at a news conference Friday attacking Republicans for focusing on abortion.

“Republicans need to wake up,” Gillibrand said. “Since the Hyde Amendment of the last 30 years, federal money does not pay for abortions in this country. What they are cutting in this bill are safety nets for poor, at-risk women.”

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2 Comments

  1. Cuomo has become akin to Donald Trump: big flashy appearances with big bullying behind the scenes.

    Koch: go retire to Florida why dont you, windbag

    Skelos is a bought and paid for stuffed suit in our opinion

  2. The Comment by “Get Real” posted here mentions “big flashy appearances with big bullying behind the scenes” – Does he means “Intimmidations” by that? – Perhaps he may be right and may have a valid point as intimidations have become what were “Human Rights” back in those days priro to The 1968 Act Passage! Isnn’t it!
    HABIBHASAN – An American Storyteller