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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - White House'S Office Of Management And Budget
The White House on Sunday stepped up pressure on Republicans to adopt a short-term budget patch that would cancel the $85 billion in spending "sequesters" due on March 1, saying that government spending is still needed to prop up a stubbornly sluggish economy.
Seeking to build political pressure on Republicans, the White House on Friday laid out some of the costs of looming spending "sequesters," saying the administration would cut 70,000 youngsters from Head Start, would reduce federal loans to small businesses and slash the number of food safety inspectors on the job.
Right now, most of Washington has one thing on its mind: the looming fiscal cliff.
Passing annual spending bills was once a routine part of business on Capitol Hill, but the House only highlighted Congress' ongoing dysfunction when it passed a defense plan on Thursday that is certain to be blocked by Senate Democrats and ignores deep cuts to the Pentagon slated for next year.
The House on Wednesday voted to defund a portion of the 2010 health care reform law that deals with preventative health services - a mostly symbolic gesture as the bill almost certainly will be blocked in the Senate.
A leading Senate conservative said Thursday he believes President Obama is ready to embrace the notion of keeping Bush-era tax rates in place for everyone at least temporarily, including the wealthy, with no New Year's increases.
The Obama administration moved forcefully Monday to contain damage from the release of more than a quarter-million classified diplomatic files, branding the action as an attack on the United States and raising the prospect of legal action against online whistle-blower WikiLeaks.
President Obama called for a two-year federal civilian worker pay freeze Monday, fighting back against a sentiment that government workers have done better than private-sector workers during the economic slump.