Durbin: ‘We’re Buying What We Can Get’ With Debt Ceiling Extension

NPR

Durbin: ‘We’re Buying What We Can Get’ With Debt Ceiling Extension

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Joining us now is the Senate Majority Whip, the number two Democrat in the leadership, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. Welcome to the program once again.

SENATOR DICK DURBIN: Good to be with you.

SIEGEL: You and other Senate Democratic leaders seem to regard the House deferring action on the debt ceiling as an olive branch. Meanwhile, House Democrats like George Miller say they’re tied to a three-month leash. What’s the good part of this deal that House Democrats don’t get? Continue reading “Durbin: ‘We’re Buying What We Can Get’ With Debt Ceiling Extension”

Deal To Avert ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Appears Likely

December 31, 2012 7:20 PM

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the “fiscal cliff” tonight, as 2013 begins.

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

NPR’s coverage of President Obama’s comments on the “fiscal cliff” talks

Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have signed off on the agreement, which calls for a two-month deferral of the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester. The source says the cuts will be paid for half with revenue and half with more targeted spending cuts.

President Obama during his appearance this afternoon. Continue reading “Deal To Avert ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Appears Likely”

The Fiscal Cliff, In Three And A Half Graphics

NPR

September 20, 2012

by Jacob Goldstein and Lam Thuy Vo

For more, see this story from NPR’s Marilyn Geewax on how Congress might pass some stopgap measures to blunt the effect of the fiscal cliff.

A bunch of federal tax increases and spending cuts are scheduled to kick in around Jan. 1, 2013. This is what people are talking about when they talk about the “fiscal cliff.”

If recent experience is any guide, things will probably start to get crazy as the deadline approaches, and Congress will move at the last minute to block some of the tax increases and spending cuts.

Before things get crazy, let’s take a quick look at the numbers for fiscal year 2013. Continue reading “The Fiscal Cliff, In Three And A Half Graphics”

Court Strikes Down Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Law

NPR

September 14, 2012;by Eyder Peralta

The controversial law that curbed the collective bargaining rights of public employees in Wisconsin has been struck down by Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas.

The law, if you remember, was championed by Gov. Scott Walker and it unleashed massive protests and even led to Democratic law makers to flee the state to forestall its passage. After it became law, union activists mobilized and triggered a recall vote, which Walker ultimately defeated.

The Associated Press reports:

“Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled Friday that the law violates both the state and U.S. Constitution and is null and void. The ruling comes after a lawsuit brought by the Madison teachers union and a union for Milwaukee city employees.

“Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie says he is confident the decision will be overturned on appeal.

“It was not clear if the ruling means the law is immediately suspended. The law took away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most workers and has been in effect for more than a year.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that this means municipal workers return to what was the status-quo before the law was passed. State employees still have to abide by the new law.

“The ruling means that, unless it is overturned on appeal, school districts and local officials will have to return to the bargaining table with their workers in a much more significant way,” the Sentinel reports.

How ‘Government’ Became A Dirty Word

How ‘Government’ Became A Dirty Word

by NPR Staff; September 1, 2012

 President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy Reagan, in the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., in January 1981. In his speech after being sworn in, Reagan called government "the problem."

Enlarge APPresident Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy Reagan, in the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., in January 1981. In his speech after being sworn in, Reagan called government “the problem.”

The message at the GOP convention this week was clear: Government is too big, too expensive, and it can’t fix our economic problems.

“The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government. And we choose to limit government,” said Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

There’s nothing new about the message. Anti-big government sentiment is practically part of the American DNA, and it has deep roots in the Republican Party. Continue reading “How ‘Government’ Became A Dirty Word”