Can Sides Reach Deal to Cut Federal Spending?
The bipartisan team of negotiators working with Vice President Joe Biden to cut federal spending wants to develop a package to cut four-trillion dollars over a decade. The Vice President says it has to be real with a down payment and a believable path to getting to that four-trillion dollar figure.
Senate 2012 Budget Still Under Development
North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad - Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee - says the latest version of a fiscal 2012 Senate budget resolution would cut the deficit by some four-trillion dollars over a decade - largely through reliance on eliminating tax breaks. The plan calls for raising revenue by about two-trillion - primarily through eliminating tax expenditures.
FDA to Oversee Import Safety
U.S. food and drug regulators would share more information with their foreign counterparts as part of a multi-faceted strategy to police the safety of millions of imported goods. A Food and Drug Administration report lays out plans to deal with the rising tide of imports to the U.S., which has quadrupled over the past decade. But Commissioner Margaret Hamburg acknowledges budget cuts expected from Congress will make the job more difficult:
“This is of enormous concern to the American people, we recognize the vulnerabilities and we want to work with congress to make sure that we can serve the American people in the ways that they expect and count on every day.”
Virginia Exports Adding to Economic Recovery
Exports of goods and services in Virginia are growing and having a large impact on the state's economy. Virginia exports increased 8 percent in 2010 to $29 billion, ranking it as the 22nd largest exporting state in the U.S. That's according to recent data from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership's international trade office. Manufactured goods accounted for about 80 percent of all Virginia merchandise exports in 2010, followed by mineral fuel and tobacco, and agricultural exports.
Study to Deepen Charleston Harbor Approved
The South Carolina State Ports Authority has signed an agreement with the federal government that allows a study of deepening the Charleston Harbor shipping channel to move forward.
Several hundred people turned out Monday in Charleston as ports president and CEO Jim Newsome and Col. Jason Kirk of the Army Corps of Engineers signed the agreement.
The study will review options for deepening the channel below its current 45 feet so it can handle larger ships calling when the Panama Canal deepening is finished. Charleston Harbor is a major port for agricultural exports from all along the east coast.
Senators Want Russian Pork Market Opened
Senators Chuck Grassley and Ben Nelson have joined 26 other Senators in urging U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to work to lift Russian trade barriers to U.S. pork products. Senator Grassley says Russia’s unjustified position against U.S. pork has blocked products from plants that account for 60-percent of U.S. pork production capacity. He notes one of the issues Russia needs to address before joining the World Trade Organization is its unwarranted barriers to U.S. pork.
Virginia for Peach Lovers, Too
There's sweet news for peach lovers in Virginia. The state's peach crop is getting off to a strong start. Bedford County extension agent Scott Baker says rains early in the growing season have helped this season's crop. There also wasn't an early spring frost.