News outside the Quinnipiac Campus

Rachel Cogut

Update on The Federal Budget
Republicans sought to use the need to raise the federal debt ceiling in early 2013 to force deeper spending reductions before agreeing to an extension until May. In March, Congress will face two decision points – the two-month hold on the “sequestration’’ cuts runs out on March 2, while March 27 marks the expiration of the continuing resolution that had kept the federal government in operation since the previous budget year ended last Sept. 30. Meanwhile, the debate within the Federal Reserve has shifted from whether it should do more to stimulate the economy to when it should start doing less. In a statement today, the Fed is expected to affirm previously stated policies of keeping interest rates low and increasing its holdings of securities until it sees clear signs of strength in the job market.

Gun Debate
On Monday, President Obama met with law enforcement leaders from Aurora, Colo., Old Creek, Wis. and Newtown, Conn. (all recent sites of mass shootings) to discuss gun control. The president said no group is more important than law enforcement officials in the gun debate. He said he recognizes the issue “elicits a lot of passion all across the country” but that Congress will pay attention to police. The president’s meeting comes as he tries to build support for gun control legislation that will be difficult to get through Congress; he urged Congress to pass an assault weapons ban, limit high capacity magazines and require universal background checks. Vice President Joe Biden is also playing a lead role in the White House’s effort to talk to Americans about the gun control proposals and galvanize public support to pressure Congress to act.

Plan For Immigration Reform
A bipartisan group of senators has reached a deal on a blueprint for comprehensive immigration reform. The plan would create a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants, but only after stricter enforcement measures are put in place. Many of the details have yet to be worked out since the plan has not been drafted as legislation. Democrats who have endorsed the plan are Sens. Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Bob Menendez and Michael Bennet. Republican support came from Sens. John McCain, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake.Yesterday, President Obama announced his own set of immigration reform principles. He praised the work of the bipartisan group of senators, but said that if the Senate did not act on it, he would send his own bill to Congress for an up or down vote.

Djokovic Wears Murray Down for Men’s Australian Title
Novak Djovokic of Serbia won a grueling final match (6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2) over Andy Murray of Great Britain to win his third consecutive Australian Open title. Djokovic has now won four of his six Grand Slam titles in Melbourne and has not been beaten at the Australian Open since 2010.