(CNN) - At first, Miguel Hernandez thought it was a mistake, or worse, a joke. The 19-year-old had been pulled over for failure to use his blinker, but the fact that he is an undocumented immigrant landed him in a detention center in rural Georgia. Hernandez was certain that deportation proceedings would follow soon, and was mulling over it when a guard brought some news: he was being released.
The package of forced budget cuts, known as sequestration, will mean $85 billion of government-wide cuts. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) decision to move detainees to less costly supervision options was met with backlash from Republicans who accuse the Obama administration of using scare tactics to win a political battle.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – We now have only two days left before $85 billion in widely disliked spending cuts start to take effect. So what's Congress doing Wednesday to deal with this self-inflicted crisis?
Congressional leaders saw President Barack Obama on the Hill.FULL STORY
(CNN) – Congressional leaders have been invited to the White House for a meeting at 10 a.m. ET Friday–the day forced spending cuts are scheduled to start taking effect, two sources said Wednesday.
But while President Barack Obama was on Capitol Hill Wednesday for a Rosa Parks statue unveiling, he met with congressional leaders for a brief, minute-long meeting.
Washington (CNN) - As the deadline for forced federal spending cuts closes fast, new polling indicates that as of now President Barack Obama has the upper hand over congressional Republicans in the political battle over where blame will fall if the cuts are triggered.
But the surveys also suggest that while the president might be winning the spending argument right now, his poll numbers on the issue are nothing to brag about.
(CNN) – Neither the White House nor the Homeland Security Department headquarters were made aware of the Immigration Customs and Enforcement decision to release detainees ahead of the pending forced spending cuts, an administration official said Wednesday.
Separately, at a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the decision was made by ICE "without any input from the White House."
New York (CNNMoney) – When it comes to budgeting for the federal government, things are about to get strange.
Starting Friday, federal agencies will be forced to make cuts to their programs without knowing what their actual budgets for this year will be. Why? Because Congress never passed a budget, just a stopgap funding measure that expires soon.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Days before the automatic spending cuts are due to kick in to federal agencies, congressional Republicans are discussing a plan to give the Obama administration the flexibility - once the cuts go into effect - to let individual executive agencies make decisions about which programs could be cut.
On the House side, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is one of the top GOP members leading talks on that approach with rank and file members.
(CNN) – With the clock ticking, President Barack Obama traveled to military country Tuesday to boost pressure on Congress, saying the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to begin Friday could deliver a tremendous blow to the nation's economy and defense.
"These cuts are wrong. They're not smart. They're not fair. They're a self inflicted wound that doesn't have to happen," Obama said at a campaign-style event at the site of a major defense shipbuilding contractor in Newport News, Virginia.
Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is releasing "several hundred" people out of detention facilities to other "less costly" forms of supervision because of pending forced budget cuts, the agency said on Tuesday.
Gillian Christensen, a customs enforcement spokeswoman, said the cases were reviewed over the past week as part of agency preparations for $85 billion government-wide cuts due to take effect on Friday absent congressional action to avert them.
Washington (CNN) – Three days before forced spending cuts portrayed by most as an economic body blow, President Barack Obama and Republican rivals relied on spin versus substance Tuesday in trying to prod a deeply divided Congress into action to avert the harshest impacts.
Obama headed to military country in Virginia, where local residents will bear the brunt of mandatory cuts to defense spending, for a campaign-style event intended to highlight the negative situation.FULL STORY