Beltway Insider: Obama Heads to Middle East; Senate To Vote On Gun Control; CPAC Meets; Sequester Impacts Until 2021

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President Obama departs this week on his first foreign trip of his second term and will meet with several heads of state including the newly formed leadership of the now recognized Palestinian State.

According to Gallup, President Obama’s job approval, over the past week, dropped two percentage points, to 47% of those polled approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President rose two percentage points to 46%.

Obama Heads to Middle East

Obama, as he travels in the Middle East, will also visit Israel, the West Bank and Jordan. The trip is an important opportunity to meet with the new Israeli government and speak to the Israeli people and the King of Jordan.

With the November 2013 vote by the United Nations granting statehood to the Palestinians, Obama will include the newly sovereign state on his itinerary. Supported in statehood by Russia, the Palestinians are enemies of the Israelis. Palestine has received recognition by 131 states and its statehood disputed by Israel. The November vote by the United Nations has given the Palestinian State observer status which grants them the right to participate in United Nation activities. President Obama must, in a show of diplomacy, meet with the new leadership without injuring the diplomatic relationship with Israel.

Biden’s Gun Control Efforts Reach Floor

On the three month mark of the Sandy Hook Massacre, which left twenty first graders and six dedicated educators dead, the Vice President took to the air ways to announce significant steps in the fight to curb gun violence in America.

“The country cries for responsible action,” Vice President Biden stated through an audio series on his blog, Being Biden as he went on describe how the judiciary committee voted to send four major pieces of gun control legislation to the senate floor for debate and vote.

The agreed upon pieces of legislation include: Required background checks for all gun sales; the creation of new federal offenses for gun trafficking; a ban on Military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition and strengthen safety at schools.

Vice President Biden, in the same address, titled “The Sportsman’s Ethics” explained as he attended Whitehall Sportsman Wild Game Dinner the ethical standards most hunters employ and the second amendment which allows citizens to bear arms for, a primary purpose which in this case is, hunting.

CPAC Meets Gauging The Future of GOP Leaders 

The Conservative Political Action Committee met this week gathering the nation’s top Republicans together as they look forward to the 2016 Presidential Election.

The three day conference, which culminated with an annual straw poll sponsored by The Washington Times, rallied the GOP after the disappointing loss in the November election and urged party inclusion and unity. With a theme of “America’s Future: The Next Generation of Conservative. New Challenges; Timeless Principals” the convention highlighted ten conservative leaders under the age of forty to emphasis the GOP party has a message and a place that crosses age, ethnicities, and gender lines.

Mitt Romney, former Presidential Candidate, urged republicans to use his campaign as a learning tool so to not make the same mistakes in upcoming elections.

Fast rising names coming from CPAC include straw poll winner Kentucky Jr. Senator Rand Paul, fresh off his thirteen hour filibuster, and Florida Jr. Senator Marco Rubio who placed second, as well as seventh placed winner Dr. Ben Carson, an African American Neurosurgeon, who has indicated he may retire from medicine as he looks to a possible political run.

Other speakers include party stalwarts former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, 2008 Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, political columnist and firebrand, Anne Coulter, Donald Trump, Senator Marco Rubio, 2012 Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan and Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association Wayne LaPierre.  

Sequester to Impact Citizens Until 2021

Recently President Obama presented an impassioned State of the Union address, where he received rousing applause for his efforts and plans to assist the disenfranchised, the unemployed, those receiving government assistant, children and elderly, all the while knowing the sequester was quickly approaching and would, through arbitrary and random spending cuts, slash domestic programs, defense and discretionary spending until 2021 and create even greater numbers of citizens in need.

According to The Washington Post, the 2013 Sequester will result in $85.4 billion in spending cuts. This is not a one time, one year pinch. The Sequester will continue to affect citizen through 2021 with more cuts in 2014 and from 2015 through 2021 the cuts will range from $87 billion to $92 billion each year.

Where will these spending cuts be felt and more importantly how will the individual be impacted?

As Americans are climbing out of the unemployment rubble triggered from the worst recession since the great depression the first and hardest area to be hit will be unemployment. The Sequester will add another 2.14 million citizens to the ranks of the unemployed.  What about unemployment? If that is the only income a family is receiving will The Sequester cut that income leaving the family with nothing? Possibly: The first 26 weeks of unemployment cannot be cut. For the newly unemployed there will not be any cut in benefits. For the 12 million long term unemployed, benefits are subject to cuts.

Will benefits for families who are or become dependent on government subsidy be affected? WIC, the nutrition subsidy for Women’s Infants and Children will be affected, possibly not cut entirely although the program could be cut entirely.  Medicare provider payments are subject to cuts.

What about Social Security benefits? Social Security benefits will not be subject to cuts. Other programs directly effecting families that will not be cut include SNAP, Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Programs, Food Stamps as well as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Welfare.

The concern and care for the next generation stated so eloquently in the State of the Union? Headstart programs will be axed by $406 billion. 70,000 children will be kicked out of the program. Special Education will be $840 million. Public Housing? Cut by 1.94 billion.  

These blunt force trauma cuts are only a few of the hundreds of programs that will be affected and will deeply injure the struggling middle class, single mothers, the unemployed and those already reeling from the economic depression.  Although the numbers look discriminatory they are not. The cuts are long and deep for all Americans and cut across every demographic and socio-economic line.

The recession, as all are told, is over. It is not. The long term effects for long term and even short term unemployed will come back to haunt and hurt those citizens when it comes time for Social Security benefits to be paid.

The Sequester will be featured each week, until all areas are covered, as a hot button issue in the Beltway Insider.

For more information on President Obama: www.whitehouse.gov 

For more information on President Obama: http://www.barackobama.com/

 

Sources: The Washington Times, The Washington Post, Wikipedia, Gallup

 

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