Live Currency Rates
  Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

As US budget cuts loom, capital city grows restless  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 24/02/2013

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


(MENAFN - AFP) The question facing Americans no longer seems to be when or whether the budget ax will fall, but how hard. And in the US capital region, the impact of looming spending cuts will be deepest of all."They're worried about it, waiting to see what happens," said Douglas Thomas, who shines shoes in the Ronald Reagan Building that houses government and private sector offices a few blocks from the White House.His customers bemoan the possible furloughs that could see hundreds of thousands of federal workers forced into four-day work weeks beginning March 1. And when they get pinched, so does Thomas."Anytime something affects the government, with me being in this building, it hurts my business," he said. "But I've got to go with the flow."Welcome to the sequester, that lurching monster in the form of massive, across-the-board cuts made into law in 2011 that is expected to wake from its 18-month slumber next month.It was designed to be so painful that Congress would agree to alternative ways to bring down the ballooning debt.But lawmakers and President Barack Obama have failed to reach a solution, and 85 billion in indiscriminate cuts to domestic and military programs are about to kick in, meaning a likely downturn in a capital region that had weathered the recession better than most American cities.Uncertainty looms for virtually every federal office. The FBI will lose up to 1,000 agents, air traffic controllers and airport security personnel will be shed, food inspectors and loan adjusters could be shown the door.Even Congress is not immune, with House Speaker John Boehner warning that his own staff could be cut.And with agencies being told to tighten their belts by up to 13 percent this year, even government and military employees and contractors who hold onto their jobs in the Washington area are set for a jolt.Walter Tejada, chairman of the board of Virginia's Arlington County just across the Potomac River from Washington, warned of a nightmare scenario in which job cuts and lost wages could send the city and its suburbs into a tailspin."We rely heavily on the federal government," Tejada said in an interview, adding that Northern Virginia "might be ground zero" for the effects of sequester."There are a lot of unknowns."Under the plan, some 800,000 Defense Department civilians would be forced to take unpaid leave one day a week from April through September.Defense workers in Washington, Maryland and Virginia would lose a combined 1.1 billion in wages due to the furlough -- money that will no longer feed into the local economy.Even worse, said Stephen Fuller of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, is the impact on federal procurement for work done in the metropolitan area.If such procurement -- which stood at 75.6 billion last year -- shrinks by eight percent in 2013 as some expect, that would mean a 6 billion hit to the region.A total of 331,000 jobs in Washington, Maryland and Virginia could be lost as a direct and indirect result of the cuts, he forecast.Among the biggest losers will be the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, the world's largest source of medical research funding.It stands to see 1.5 billion slashed from programs across the board, from cutting-edge cancer therapies to Alzheimer's research, resulting in fewer resources for some of the medical world's brightest young minds."With the decline in NIH funding, my department will not be able to hire or support these creative young scientists, and a generation of innovators may be missing," said Nobel Prize winner Carol Greider, director of molecular biology and genetics at Johns Hopkins University.No industry in the region will be hit harder than defense, and nowhere will the military be targeted as harshly as Norfolk, Virginia, about 130 miles (210 kilometers) to the south."We are at the tip of the spear here, and the pain level will be acute," Congressman Scott Rigell, whose district includes Norfolk, told AFP.Defense contractors in and around Norfolk began tightening hiring six months ago in anticipation of the cuts, he said.The sequester is already affecting Rigell's district. The USS Harry S. Truman had been scheduled to head to the Middle East earlier this month from its port in Norfolk, but the deployment was put on hold due to budget uncertainty.


  MENA News Headlines
Apr 24 2014Kuwait inflation edges up 2.96% y/y in March ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Wait city april 23 (kuna): kuwait's annual record of the general index of consumer prices (inflation) rose in march by 2.96 percent compared with the same month of last year ...

Apr 24 2014DPG launches Masat to oversee portfolio ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Dubai properties group (dpg) has announced the establishment of masat a new dedicated portfolio management company responsible for overseeing and managing dpg?s built to ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Shapoorji Pallonji enters final stage on Bloom Central ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Leading regional and international construction company shapoorji pallonji has entered the final stage of construction of bloom central project a 25-storey mixed-use ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Huge turnout recorded at Gitex Shopper's first day ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Buyers seek deals on newly launched smartphones the first day of gitex shopper spring edition recorded strong turnout despite the fact that it was a working day and ...

Apr 24 2014Landmark day for Dubai as bourse hits 5100 mark ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Bourse hits 5100 mark; dhcog to prepay $555m; govt raises $750m from sukuk it was a landmark day for dubai on wednesday as the emirate made significant progress on ...

Apr 24 2014Kuwait's consumer price rises by 2.96 percent in March ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Kuwait's annual record of the general index of consumer prices (inflation) rose in March by 2.96 percent compared with the same month of last year, the Central ...

Apr 24 2014UN Chief: All Parties in Syria Blocking Aid ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) w York April 24 - The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has accused all parties in Syria's civil war of "flagrant violations" of international law over the delivery of ...

Apr 24 2014Dubai Investments raises foreign ownership cap to 35% ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Dubai investments (di) the largest investment company listed on the dubai financial market (dfm) has raised the foreign ownership limit in the company from the existing 20 ...

Apr 24 2014Heads of aid agencies urge int'l community to find the courage, will Syrians have plenty of ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Heads of five UN Aid Agencies on Wednesday urged the international community to find the courage and will the Syrian people have to cope with and survive over ...

Apr 24 2014US says any Palestinian gov't must "unambiguously" commit to nonviolence, existence of Israel ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The US stressed here Wednesday that any Palestinian government must "unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, and ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Investcorp continues expansion ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Investcorp a global provider and manager of alternative investment products announced that it has opened a new representative office in abu dhabi. the office is situated ...

Apr 24 2014Tim Hortons opens at Dubai Chamber ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Tim hortons recently celebrated the opening of its newest cafe and bake shop restaurant at the dubai chamber of commerce and industry by the dubai creek. hamad buamim ...

Apr 24 2014Arab League hails Palestinian party reconciliation pact ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Arab League chief Nabil Al-Araby has commended the agreement for a national unity government formation reached between the once rival main Palestinian parties, ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- UPC issues guidelines on underground utilities installations ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Abu dhabi has come up with new guidelines for the installation of underground utilities which will also help in cutting costs. the new guidelines would benefit ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Al Maabar hands over 60% units at Moroccan project ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Abu dhabi-based real estate developer al maabar said that 60 per cent of the residential units of phase one at its moroccan bab al bahr project have been delivered to its ...

Apr 24 2014SMEs play crucial role in boosting Dubai's growth ,Khaleej Times
(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Pinsent dec and zawya recommend relaxing lending rules more could be done to enable small and medium-sized businesses to get the finance they need to grow and boost ...

Apr 24 2014UAE's Emaar profit grows 55 percent in Q1 ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Net profit of Dubai"s Emaar Properties saw a 55 percent rise in the first quarter of 2014 on growing regional economy, according to Arab News. Emaar profit for the quarter was estimated ...

Apr 24 2014Kuwait- OCA committed to cooperation with member nations - president ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Olympic Council of Asia is committed to cooperating with and providing all forms of support to its member nations during difficult circumstances they are ...

Apr 24 2014UAE- Move to spur female entrepreneurship ,The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) UAE-based conglomerate Crescent Enterprises has partnered with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women to empower, mentor and support female entrepreneurs in a number of ...

Apr 24 2014Kuwait Social Media Summit kicks off ,Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The 2nd Annual Kuwait Social Media Summit, kicked off here on Wednesday, is a high-level event which brings together social media experts across the government, ...





Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details


Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks

Saudi Arabia 

Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

Portfolio Tracker


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor


Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters

© 2000 All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help