VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Democrats neared approval of their first budget proposal in four years on Friday, calling for almost $1 billion in tax increases over the coming decade while sheltering safety net programs targeted by House Republicans. The Democrats also would reverse automatic spending cuts that are beginning to strike both the Pentagon and domestic programs.
The nonbinding but politically symbolic measure caters to party stalwarts on the liberal edge of the spectrum just as the House GOP measure is crafted to appeal to more recent tea party arrivals.
Approval of the Senate version was expected to come long after dark - after dozens of votes on amendments, many of which were offered in hopes of inflicting political damage on Democratic senators up for re-election in GOP-leaning states like Alaska and Louisiana.
Some $1 trillion in new revenue would flow to the government over the coming decade - on top of more than $600 billion in taxes on upper-income earners approved in January - and would be coupled with a net $875 billion in spending cuts. Those reductions would be generated by modest cuts to federal health care programs, domestic agencies and the Pentagon and reduced government borrowing costs. The budget proposes $100 billion in new spending for infrastructure projects and job training programs.
The president will reveal his own overdue tax-and-spending plan in two weeks, a plan that will be judged in part by whether it offers new, more politically risky proposals that could form the foundation for a bipartisan agreement between the two houses.
3 DEAD, INCLUDING SUSPECT, IN MARINE BASE SHOOTING
QUANTICO, Va. (AP) -- A Marine who worked at a rigorous school that tests Marines who want to become officers fatally shot two of his colleagues before killing himself in a barracks dorm room.
The three Marines - two men and a woman - were part of the staff at the officer candidates school on the sprawling Marine Corps Base Quantico in northern Virginia. Their relationship and whether they knew one another was not clear, though military officials described the shootings as "isolated." They did not release a motive or the identities of those slain.
Around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, authorities found one Marine dead in the Taylor Hall barracks, base commander Col. David W. Maxwell said. A second victim and the gunman were also located in Taylor Hall, a red brick building that can house about 110 Marines.
Only Marines who work at the school live in Taylor Hall. The candidates for officer live elsewhere on the base.
OBAMA WARNS OF EXTREMIST THREAT IN SYRIA
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- Anxious to keep Syria's civil war from spiraling into even worse problems, President Barack Obama said Friday he worries about the country becoming a haven for extremists when - not if - President Bashar Assad is ousted from power.
Obama, standing side by side with Jordan's King Abdullah II, said the international community must work together to ensure there is a credible opposition ready to step into the breach.
"Something has been broken in Syria, and it's not going to be put back together perfectly immediately - even after Assad leaves," Obama said. "But we can begin the process of moving it in a better direction, and having a cohesive opposition is critical to that."
He said Assad is sure to go but there is great uncertainty about what will happen after that.
"I am very concerned about Syria becoming an enclave for extremism," Obama said, adding that extremism thrives in chaos and failed states. He said the rest of the world has a huge stake in ensuring that a functioning Syria emerges.
POLICE ARREST MOLOKAI SLAYING SUSPECT
KAWELA, Hawaii (AP) — Police in Molokai say they have arrested a 33-year-old man on suspicion of shooting and killing his 24-year-old girlfriend in Kawela.
Police said Thursday that Malia Kahalewai of Honouliwai was killed Wednesday night at an apartment complex along Kamehameha Highway. Authorities say her boyfriend, Marlin Lavoie of Honouliwai was arrested later without incident.
Police say Lavoie and Kahalewai have children together.
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