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Posts Tagged ‘expenses’

Republicans retake US House, target expenses

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:14 am

 A day after retaking the House of Representatives, US Republicans moved Thursday to make good on a campaign vow to slash spending with a mostly symbolic vote to cut lawmakers’ office budgets.

President Barack Obama’s Democrats were expected to join Republicans to pass a bill to slice five percent from House expenses, a 35-million-dollar drop in the roughly 3.6-trillion-dollar bucket of annual US government outlays.

Republicans also planned to read aloud from the US Constitution — but omit sections later amended, such as the original language defining black slaves as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of apportioning congressional seats.

The symbolic moves aimed to please arch-conservative “Tea Party” activists who powered Republicans to regain control of the House of Representatives and slice deep into the Democratic Senate majority in November 2 elections.

Republicans aimed to set the tone ahead of Obama’s annual “State of the Union” expected January 25, a high-profile chance to retool his presidency in the wake of what he has called a ballot-box “shellacking.”

Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor urged Obama by telephone Wednesday to unveil new plans for spending cuts including a ban on pet project “earmarks” and sweeping tax code reforms and said Republicans were “hopeful that we can work together.”

As a tense new era of power-sharing dawned in Washington, newly minted Republican House Speaker John Boehner warned lawmakers they faced “great challenges” as his party readied a fresh assault on Obama’s agenda with an eye on thwarting his 2012 reelection bid.

“Hard work and tough decisions will be required” at a time when the US economy is struggling to emerge from the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, Boehner said in his inaugural address.

The Ohio lawmaker choked back tears and wiped his eyes with a handkerchief as he took his new office’s symbolic gavel from Nancy Pelosi, the first woman US speaker and now Democratic minority leader.

Fired-up Republicans also enjoyed a stronger Senate minority thanks to a pack of new conservative members who won office on November 2, when voters angry at the sputtering US economy and high unemployment routed Democrats.

Republicans have vowed to slash spending, scrap “job-killing” government regulations, overhaul the tax code, crack down on undocumented immigration, cut diplomatic and foreign aid funds, and investigate the administration.

And Republicans set a January 12 vote on repealing Obama’s signature overhaul of US health care — a purely symbolic step because the Democratic Senate majority can block it and the president can veto it.

Senate Democrats, captained by Majority Leader Harry Reid, planned to push ahead with rules changes that complicate the minority party’s efforts to kill legislation by delaying it or to anonymously block key nominees.

And they warned Republicans would have to break their lockstep opposition to White House-backed initiatives over the past two years in favor of bipartisan compromise in order to deliver on their campaign pledges.

“We have to do even more to help middle-class families, to create jobs, to hasten our energy independence, to improve our children’s education and to fix our broken immigration system,” Reid said.

At the White House, Obama held the traditional post-transition telephone call with Pelosi and Cantor and press secretary Robert Gibbs quipped that the president hoped for a round of golf with Boehner, an avid player.

Gibbs also warned House Republicans against using their newfound powers to investigate the administration to engage in “partisan, ideological, political witch hunts.”

Obama was also re-jigging his inner circle, as Gibbs announced he was leaving amid talk that Clinton-era commerce secretary William Daley, a free-trade champion, could step in as the new White House chief of staff.

The president was also expected to soon name a new chief for his National Economic Council following the departure of Lawrence Summers last year.

Some observers said Obama would seek the political center, knowing that his 2012 reelection hopes may rest with independent voters who could be alienated if Republicans appease the radical right.

Republicans, meanwhile, signalled they were pulling back from a campaign pledge to find 100 billion dollars in savings their first year, saying the actual figure would run closer to half that amount.

Source: SGGP

City to pay for Ba Bo Canal project expenses

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm

HCM CITY — The city has decided to pay all expenses for the Ba Bo canal drainage project, including canal reconstruction and compensation for affected households, said Le Thanh Hai, HCM City municipal committee secretary.

The total cost of the project is estimated at VND164 billion (US$10.25 million).

Ba Bo Canal, running through Thu Duc District in HCM City and Di An-Thuan An districts in Binh Duong Province, has for years been contaminated by large amounts of wastewater discharged by surrounding industrial parks.

At the conference held on Tuesday, the authorities of HCM City and Binh Duong Province were unanimous in taking measures to save the canal.

HCM City will spend part of its Natural Disaster Prevention Fund to dredge the canal bed.

The drainage system and a reservoir of 250,000 cu.m that serves water regulation will both be built by the fourth quarter of the year.

The reservoir, he said, also plays a role in the city landscape.

The water surface of the canal will be expanded with two more branches that are 1,700m and 850m in length running along the border of HCM City and Binh Duong Province.

HCM City authorities will compensate 27 Binh Duong Province families who live along the canal and have to move because of the project.

Those discharging untreated sewage into the canal will be severely punished, Tran Thi Kim Van, Deputy Chairwoman of Binh Duong People’s Committee, has said.

Educating the public on environmental protection will also be done, Van said.

Thirty-two businesses in the Song Than I and II industrial parks are pouring waste water directly to the Ba Bo canal and have not linked their sewers with the central sewage processing factory, according to Binh Duong Province authorities.

The provincial government will withdraw their business licenses if they do not connect their sewers soon. The project will be submitted to the Government by the end of this month. —