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federal budget

You want technology? Then pay for scientific research

Mar 23, 2017
You can't make a radio unless you understand how electromagnetic radiation travels through air. This is an animation of a half-wave dipole antenna radiating radio waves, showing the electric field lines.
Wikipedia Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal

Let's talk for a minute about how invention works in our world.

One way to divide the process of inventing is into 1) basic science research, and 2) technological application. The first helps us gain an understanding of how our world works and what it looks like. The second takes that knowledge, then figures out what we should do with it to gain some sort of advantage.

President Donald Trump is proposing budget cuts that would deeply impact programs in King County.

The proposal has a long way to go, and ultimately Congress has the final say. But leaders worry about how it might hurt low-income residents.


A Seattle third grader auditions for Pacific Northwest Ballet's Dance Chance program.
Pacific Northwest Ballet/Lindsay Thomas

Last fall the National Endowment for the Arts awarded almost a million dollars in grants to 34 arts groups across the state, large and small. 

That money funded everything from King County’s Creative Justice Program, an alternative to youth incarceration, to a project that brings professional theater artists to rural Davenport, near the Colville reservation in eastern Washington. A significant portion of the NEA awards went to projects targetted at youth, community outreach, or rural touring programs.

The NEA also funds some of Seattle’s big arts groups.

Seattle and Puget Sound.
Flickr Photo/Shannon Kringen (CC BY SA 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1SvhrSN

Puget Sound may have a murky future.

The White House is proposing a 93 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency's budget for Puget Sound restoration. The proposal would cut the EPA’s overall budget by about $2 billion.

President Trump's initial budget proposal isn't enough to expand the military in the way he proposed.

Trump campaigned on the need to add tens of thousands more troops to the Army and Marine Corps, field a Navy with 350 warships or more and also to upgrade the Air Force. The $54 billion he's seeking to increase the Defense Department budget this year would represent a funding boost — but not one that would pay for an expansion on the scale Trump endorsed.

Just days before the election of a new speaker of the House, lame-duck Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made good on one last promise — that he'd try to "clear the barn" for his successor.

In one fell swoop, two thorny issues were crossed off the to-do list: raising the debt ceiling by next Tuesday and coming up with a budget agreement.

The White House and congressional leaders are close to reaching a two-year budget deal that would set new, higher spending caps and increase the nation's borrowing authority.

Congressional aides, who confirmed the ongoing talks, had said an announcement could come as early as Monday evening.

House Speaker John Boehner's impending resignation, coupled with a Nov. 3 deadline to raise the nation's debt limit, have accelerated progress on budget talks that have been underway since mid-September.

Updated 8:30 p.m. ET

The bill to fund the government through Dec. 11 has been signed into law by President Obama. That beats the midnight deadline for keeping government agencies operating.

Earlier in the day, the Senate and the House passed the bill, which does not strip funding from Planned Parenthood.

Remember, some House Republicans had insisted on no payments to Planned Parenthood before they would vote to extend funding for the whole government.

NPR's Ailsa Chang reported on the bill's progress for our Newscast unit:

Sen. Patty Murray (left) speaks with Planned Parenthood volunteer Barbara Culp (right).
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Democratic Washington Senator Patty Murray visited a Planned Parenthood clinic in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on Friday. She said she’s worried that Republican attempts to de-fund the organization will lead to a government shutdown.

Meanwhile her challenger said Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C. share the blame for the lack of a budget.

Ross Reynolds talks with Sen. Patty Murray about the new bipartisan budget deal she constructed with Rep. Paul Ryan.

Flickr Photo/binw.marketing

The fiscal year ends September 30 and without a budget agreement before that the government could face a shutdown. We’ve heard the threat many times before and you may not be taking it seriously. But whether or not the shutdown occurs, government agencies are spending time and tax dollars now preparing for the shutdown-apocalypse.

Joining us with a look at how the planning process is affecting one federal agency here in Seattle is Jenny Durkan. She's the US attorney for the Western District of Washington.

The Republican-controlled House has voted to keep the government funded but its "continuing resolution" comes with a poison pill to defund the Affordable Care Act that Democrats have vowed is dead on arrival in the Senate.

In Washington, DC they’re called earmarks: the money members of Congress put in the budget for projects back home. In Washington state, there’s a more genteel term: member requests.

Flickr Photo/Army Medicine

Correction 7/8/2013: A previous version of this story contained an error. Furloughs begin Monday, July 8, not Friday, July 12.

Beginning Monday, more than 2,600 civilian employees at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma will begin mandatory one-day-a-week furloughs.

The furloughs are a result of the federal spending cuts known as sequestration.

Sequestration: The First Cut Isn't The Deepest

May 23, 2013

Even though you might not have heard much about it these past few weeks, the sequester is still chopping away at federal funds. This week Washington state emergency unemployment benefits are being cut by almost 25 percent. Ross Reynolds spoke with Johnny Dwyer, one of the 40,ooo people being affected by these drastic reductions to unemployment benefits, about how he is coping and what he hopes for. 

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