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
By JONATHAN WEISMAN
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”
17 December 2013 Last updated at 17:31 ET
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”
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”
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”