Did the President Take a Pay Cut Like He Promised? White House Won’t Say

Year after pledge, confusion over whether Obama is writing checks
President Barack Obama / AP

The White House is refusing to confirm whether President Barack Obama followed up on his pledge to take a five percent pay cut due to sequestration last year.

Obama promised last April to take a 5 percent pay cut in “solidarity” with federal employees who were furloughed as a result of the automatic budget cuts, known as the sequester. The cut was meant to equate to the level of spending cuts imposed on nondefense federal agencies.

Sequester Resulted in One Layoff

Coburn: ‘Devastating to the credibility of Washington politicians and administration officials’
Tom Coburn

Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) is launching an investigation after revelations that sequestration resulted in only one government layoff in 2013.

According to a report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the only layoff that occurred to help achieve the $85.3 billion in spending cuts took place in the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Military Commanders: Fewer Assets Leading to More Drugs

Sequestration hurting ability to interdict flow of drugs into U.S.
Cocaine seized by the U.S. Coast Guard / AP

More cocaine and heroin is flowing into the United States because of declining military assets, fueling violence in Latin America and on U.S. streets, military commanders said on Tuesday.

Lawmakers: U.S. Troops ‘Unprepared to Deploy’

Budget cuts crippling military’s readiness
From left, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos, and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday / AP

Senior House lawmakers sounded the alarm over what they say is the U.S. military’s lack of preparedness for battle following a classified briefing Thursday on how deepening budget cuts are impacting troop readiness.

U.S. Spy Program Awarded $52.7 Billion in 2013

How money is allocated is largely secret
National Intelligence Director James Clapper / AP

American spy agencies were awarded $52.7 billion by the federal government in fiscal year 2013, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

Debt Ceiling Talks Stall Further, Dems Push on Reversing Sequester

Republicans say Democrats now in danger of overreaching as debt ceiling deadline looms
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) speaks on "Face the Nation," Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013.

Events over the weekend have made the likelihood of a deal by Oct. 17 appear increasingly uncertain as Democrats seek an agreement that includes removing budget caps and raising the sequester levels established in the 2011 Budget Control Act.