The federal budget for fiscal year 2013 expires September 30, and a new one is nowhere in sight. The arbitrary and capricious cuts of the sequester begun in March are slated to continue for ten years unless Congress acts.
The White House will not hold a Jewish History Month event this year because of the sequester.
The sequester is expected to cost Israel $155 million in defense assistance.
Imminent threats threading through the rhetoric at AIPAC conferences is hardly new, but this year’s alarm raising had a unique wrinkle: In addition to the prospect of a nuclear Iran, the other danger AIPAC targeted was domestic -- sequestration.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is scheduled to be the first foreign defense minister to meet with newly confirmed U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
A remarkable thing happened in Washington, D.C., last week. National leaders of business and labor hammered out an outline on immigration reform. This might not only give a major boost to a new immigration policy; it might also show a path around the gridlock that has driven the nation into budgetary face-offs month after month.
The sequester principle — that a sword of Damocles hanging over Congress and the White House would produce good public policy that reasoned debate could not — never made any sense.