February 2, 1985 – A Siege At Breakfast, A Chopping Block On Capitol Hill

February 2, 1985 - Budget cuts

February 2, 1985 – What stays, what goes – what gets slashed.

February 2, 1985 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection – February 2, 1985 – The day started with a prison uprising. Inmates at the Oklahoma Reformatory in Pendleton went on a rampage over an inmate search at Breakfast and finally ended with a negotiated peace by midnight. The inmates released their remaining two hostages in exchange for being able to read a list of grievances to prison officials and to have the Federal government investigate their complaints. In the end, 7 guards and 2 inmates were injured during the siege, mostly stab wounds from homemade knives. The prison officials said they were glad it was over. The inmates however, said it was only a drop in the bucket. Meanwhile, thousands of Cuban refugees who landed in Florida were facing deportation because Supreme Court Justice William Renquist refused to block deportation proceedings of so-called “undesirables and misfits” which were rumored to have been part of a mass emptying of Cuban prisons during the 1980 Mariel Boat lift. Weather was making news this February 2nd, with winter storms blasting bitter cold to the South and East. 8 inches of new snow fell overnight in Memphis, and a travelers advisory was in effect for the entire state of Tennessee. In Huntsville Alabama, the worst ice-storm since 1959 managed to close highways and down power lines throughout the state. And a blanket of snow covered Austin Texas, stranding motorists and closing highways. The Sunbelt was getting a big dose of Winter. And Capitol Hill was busy taking in the Reagan Administrations budget proposal all week. And the deep cuts for many programs were bringing howls of protest from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. President Reagan was slated to make his appeal for these budget cuts to the American people via the airwaves later on in the day during his Saturday radio address. The budget, in essence, called for an overall freeze in spending, and for many social programs it meant an outright cut in funding or elimination. Among the losers, Amtrak and mass transit. Farmers for price support cuts. School employees who were slated to get a 5% pay-cut. Retired Military and government personnel whose cost-of-living increases were to be frozen. The biggest winner was The Defense Department, with a 12% increase in spending, some $270 billion. The justification for the military buildup was to show resolve in negotiations with the Soviets. But the amount of resistance to this new budget may prove to be a far cry from what the Reagan Administration wanted, versus what it was going to get. And that’s just a little of what went on, this February 2nd in 1985 – as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.

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