Senate Ends Budget Debate, Clearing Way for Passage

Senate Ends Budget Debate, Clearing Way for Passage

 
Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, spoke to members of the media on Tuesday.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesStephen Crowley/The New York TimesStephen Crowley/The New York TimesStephen Crowley/The New York TimesStephen Crowley/The New York Times

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Published: December 17, 2013 194 Comments

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan tax-and-spending plan designed to bring some normalcy to Congress’s budgeting after three years of chaos cleared its final hurdle on Tuesday when 67 senators voted to end debate on the measure and bring it to a final vote before it goes to President Obama for his signature.

The 67-33 vote easily surpassed the 60-vote threshold to break a filibuster and made way for final passage with a simple, 51-vote majority, likely on Wednesday. Republican support was surprisingly strong after days of uncertainty fueled by political posturing and Tea Party opposition.

The budget plan would restore $63 billion to defense and domestic programs in fiscal 2014 and 2015 from the levels they would have received if automatic, across-the-board spending cuts were to resume in January. Over 10 years, the plan would decrease cumulative deficits slightly by trimming military and federal worker pensions, extending a 2 percent cut to Medicare providers into next decade and making other changes, like ending federal research for some fossil-fuel discovery efforts. Continue reading “Senate Ends Budget Debate, Clearing Way for Passage”

US Senate sends budget deal over crucial hurdle

BBC

17 December 2013 Last updated at 17:31 ET

US Senate sends budget deal over crucial hurdle

The US Capitol in Washington, DC, on 14 November 2013
The US Senate is expected to pass a two-year cross-party budget agreement later this week

A budget bill has passed a US Senate procedural vote, all but guaranteeing its approval this week and lowering the threat of a fresh government shutdown.

In a rare show of cross-party spirit, 12 Republicans joined Democrats to pass the measure 67-33, paving the way for a majority vote later this week.

The two-year budget bill was overwhelmingly approved last week by the US House of Representatives.

President Barack Obama has also backed the budget proposal. Continue reading “US Senate sends budget deal over crucial hurdle”

Cuts for military retirees costing GOP support for budget deal

Federal Eye

Cuts for military retirees costing GOP support for budget deal

GOP lawmakers and military groups have lined up against the bipartisan budget deal making its way through Congress because of a provision that would trim pay for young military retirees.

In a joint statement last week, Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said they cannot support the legislation because it “disproportionately and unfairly targets those who have put their lives on the line to defend our country.”

The budget agreement, crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), would reduce cost-of-living adjustments for working-age military retirees by 1 percent starting in December 2015, although the existing rate would apply again once former service members reach age 62. Continue reading “Cuts for military retirees costing GOP support for budget deal”

Budget deal now has enough votes to pass Senate

The Fix

Budget deal now has enough votes to pass Senate

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) appears to have the votes needed to push a budget agreement over the finish line. (AP)
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) appears to have the votes needed to push a budget agreement over the finish line. (AP)

This item has been updated.

A bipartisan budget agreement already passed overwhelmingly by the House now appears to have sufficient support to survive a key procedural test vote in the U.S. Senate later this week.

Final passage of the bill with a simple majority of senators doesn’t appear in doubt — but the legislation written by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) must first clear a procedural hurdle to end formal debate and proceed to final passage.

Supporters must garner at least 60 votes to proceed to final passage of the legislation. Assuming all 55 members of the Senate Democratic caucus vote “yes,” they will need at least five Republicans to join them. Continue reading “Budget deal now has enough votes to pass Senate”

Business to Boehner: Hit ’em hard

Business to Boehner: Hit ’em hard

By Kevin Bogardus – 12/14/13 06:00 AM EST

 

Business lobbyists are pumping their fists over Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) slap-down of conservative groups.

Executives at trade groups told The Hill they were pleasantly surprised by the strident remarks this week from the typically laid-back Speaker.

Boehner this week said conservative groups had “lost all credibility” by opposing the budget pact before it was even released. He said the activist organizations are “using our members, and they’re using the American people for their own goals.”The rebuke was a clear shot at Heritage Action for America, the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and other conservative groups that have proven adept at drumming up conservative opposition to legislation. Continue reading “Business to Boehner: Hit ’em hard”