Senators Look to Block Budget Deal’s Cut to Military Retirement

Senators Look to Block Budget Deal’s Cut to Military Retirement

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Senators blocked a proposal to restore $6 billion in cuts to military retirees as part of the budget deal, but the issue will be back when the Senate reconvenes at the start of 2014.

The recently passed deal decreases the annual cost-of-living adjustment for working-age military retirees by 1 percent over 10 years. But the cut doesn’t begin taking effect until December 2015, and a handful of senators and outside groups are hoping that’s enough time to stop it.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., moved early to undercut the provision. He said before the budget agreement was passed that panel members would review any changes next year. A specific timeline for such a review has yet to be announced, and Levin only offered that the review would happen before the cuts start. Continue reading “Senators Look to Block Budget Deal’s Cut to Military Retirement”

President Obama Signs Budget, Defense Bills

by Scott Neuman

December 26, 2013 4:50 PM

President Obama speaks to current and retired members of the U.S. military and their families as they eat a Christmas Day meal in the Anderson Hall mess hall at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Wednesday.President Obama speaks to current and retired members of the U.S. military and their families as they eat a Christmas Day meal in the Anderson Hall mess hall at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Wednesday.

Getty Images

President Obama on Thursday signed the bipartisan budget bill agreed upon earlier this month, setting the stage for an easing of mandatory spending cuts over the next two years.

The , following its passage in the Republican-dominated House.

The president also signed the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2014.

As The Associated Press reports:

“Obama signed the bill Thursday while vacationing in Hawaii. The deal reduces across-the-board cuts already scheduled to take effect, restoring about $63 billion over two years. It includes a projected $85 billion in other savings. Continue reading “President Obama Signs Budget, Defense Bills”

Lawmakers Cite Progress On Budget Near Deadline

The New York Times

Lawmakers Cite Progress On Budget Near Deadline

By

WASHINGTON — With the next budget deadline just weeks away, top lawmakers said this week that they had made significant progress negotiating a huge government-wide spending bill that gives the once mighty congressional Appropriations Committees a chance to reassert control over the flow of federal dollars.

“We have a chance to prove to the rest of the Congress that we can produce bills,” Representative Harold Rogers, the Kentucky Republican who is the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in an interview.

The past few years have proved frustrating for members of the spending panels. With House Republicans unable to come to terms with Senate Democrats on a budget, the government has functioned mainly under a series of continuing resolutions that have taken the Appropriations Committees out of the game. Continue reading “Lawmakers Cite Progress On Budget Near Deadline”

Budget compromise clears Senate procedural hurdle

Budget compromise clears Senate procedural hurdle

By Ted Barrett and Tom Cohen, CNN
updated 12:13 PM EST, Tue December 17, 2013
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Washington (CNN) — A federal budget compromise that already passed the House cleared a key procedural hurdle on Tuesday in the Senate, increasing the likelihood it will win final Congressional approval this week.

President Barack Obama has signaled his support for the plan worked out by the budget committee leaders in each chamber that would guide government spending into 2015 to defuse the chances of another shutdown such as the one that took place in October.

Tuesday’s vote overcame a Republican filibuster attempt that required 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to proceed on the budget measure. The count was 67-33, with a dozen Republicans joining the 55 Democrats and independents in support of the plan.

Final approval in the Senate requires a simple majority of 51 votes. The budget plan easily passed the House last week on a 332-94 vote. Continue reading “Budget compromise clears Senate procedural hurdle”

Rest Up From the Budget Fight, Because There’s a Debt Ceiling One Around the Corner

Rest Up From the Budget Fight, Because There’s a Debt Ceiling One Around the Corner

"I doubt that the House, or, for that matter, the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean debt-ceiling increase," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday.

“I doubt that the House, or, for that matter, the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean debt-ceiling increase,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday. Susan Walsh/AP

Don’t expect the relative fiscal peace on the Hill engendered by the budget deal to last for long. Top Republicans are already looking ahead to the next fight: the debt ceiling.

“I doubt that the House, or, for that matter, the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean debt-ceiling increase,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday. Continue reading “Rest Up From the Budget Fight, Because There’s a Debt Ceiling One Around the Corner”