United States government shutdown begins as Congress hits dead end
Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Japan Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida, and Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera signed the Protocol Amending the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Japan Concerning the Implementation of the Relocation of III Marine Expeditionary Force Personnel and Their Dependents from Okinawa to Guam. The Guam International Agreement (GIA) was signed in 2009, implementing a key aspect of the 2006 realignment roadmap by providing a framework for reducing the footprint of the U.S. military presence in Okinawa, while still maintaining operational capability and a credible deterrent. The planned relocation, which is due to begin in the early 2020s, is an essential element of a strategic realignment to achieve a geographically distributed, operationally resilient, and politically sustainable military presence in Japan. In April 2012 , the United States and Japan decided to adjust the terms of the 2006 realignment roadmap by delinking the relocation from progress on the Futenma Replacement Facility and reducing the number of Marines relocating to Guam from approximately 8,000 (with significant numbers of family members) to approximately 5,000 (mostly rotational/without family members), while maintaining the overall reduction in the U.S. Marine Corps presence on Okinawa through additional relocations to Hawaii and rotations to Australia. The Protocol amending the GIA reflects these changes. Additional changes include: Clarifying that Japan will contribute up to $3.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2012 U.S. dollars in direct cash contributions to develop facilities and infrastructure in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.(The 2012 Security Consultative Committee Joint Statement estimated the total cost of the Guam relocation to be $8.6 billion.) Affirming that the Government of the United States of America, with the intent to provide reasonable access, shall favorably consider requests by the Government of Japan to use training areas in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. PRN: 2013/1227
The House voted 228-201 to pass its third version of a short-term extension of government funding in the past 10 days. Each attempt linked averting a shutdown to major changes to the 2010 Affordable Care Act, and each drew veto threats from US President Barack Obama. About an hour later, the Senate rejected that plan on a 54-46 vote, putting pressure on House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and the Republicans. Theyve lost their minds, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat. They keep trying to do the same thing over and over again. The House sought a conference committee with the Senate, said a Republican leadership aide on condition of anonymity. Republicans said Democrats were unwilling to negotiate and Democrats said the House was trying to extort policy changes on a plan that would, at most, keep government open through December 15. Hours after talking by phone with President Obama, Boehner urged the House to pass its latest plan. It delays by a year the mandate that uninsured individuals buy health coverage and prevents the government from making contributions to the health care of lawmakers, their staffs and political appointees. This is not about me, the Ohio Republican said on the House floor. And its not about Republicans here in Congress. Its about fairness for the American people. Even as Republicans such as Representative Peter King of New York complained about the partys strategy, they were relatively united.
Lets look at the first-choice players who will not be available, or who will be limited in their fitness and abilities due to recent injuries: Michael Bradley could return to the training field for Roma this week, but his ongoing ankle injury makes a trip to the United States seem less and less likely. Everybody should know by now that Bradley is the one absolutely indispensable piece to this U.S. puzzle, so any efforts at a top performance begins with their midfield glue. Clint Dempseys hamstring issue (Where did he get this thing? No one seems to know.) has kept the U.S. attacker out of Seattles last two matches. Even if Dempseys condition improves, Seattle is likely to lobby for keeping him, for playoff positioning and Supporters Shield pursuits next week. Considering Dempsey is Major League Soccers top wage earner, it seems like a reasonable request. (MORE: U.S. Soccer and Jones refute reports of injury) Jermaine Jones status may be up in the air; reports out of Germany say surgery will have Jones on the shelf for a few weeks. But Jones and U.S. Soccer are refuting those reports, so stay tuned on this one. Either way, if Jones has a knee issue, its fair to wonder if Schalke will be excited about extra travel and matches that are, officially speaking, meaningless. U.S. center back Clarence Goodson was a scratch from Sundays match at Chivas USA after suffering a bone bruise on the knee in the Earthquakes previous contest.