The Deal’s Done: What’s in the Budget Agreement

The Deal’s Done: What’s in the Budget Agreement

by Jessica Schieder, 10/30/2015

Early this morning, the Senate passed a two-year budget deal, that President Obama is expected to sign soon.  It would:

  • Avoid a government shutdown this December
  • Partially alleviate across the board cuts for two years, and
  • Avoid a government default by lifting the debt ceiling through March of 2017.

The government will stay open.

The federal government’s fiscal year begins on October 1st every year. This year—as has often occurred in recent years—Congress had not agreed to the federal government’s operating budget before that date. To avoid a government shutdown, a short-term continuing resolution (or “CR”) was passed, which kept the federal government’s budget on cruise-control until December 11. This gave legislators extra time to find a consensus and avoid a government shutdown.

Since the beginning of October, legislators have been working behind the scenes to strike a deal that would also be acceptable to the White House. The deal they reached sets up a budget framework, but legislators still have significant details to work out. Disagreements over how funding is distributed between programs and the addition of ideological policy riders (i.e. limiting environmental regulation) could pose a threat to the deal.

Continue reading “The Deal’s Done: What’s in the Budget Agreement”

New House Speaker Has a History of Targeting Federal Pay, Benefits and Jobs

Continue reading “New House Speaker Has a History of Targeting Federal Pay, Benefits and Jobs”

Budget Deal Passes, but Shutdown Threat Still Looms

Budget Deal Passes, but Shutdown Threat Still Looms

By Eric KatzOctober 30, 2015Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, hopes the deal will provide agencies with more stability.

Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, hopes the deal will provide agencies with more stability. J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

The Senate on Friday passed a budget framework to set spending levels for the next two years, but lawmakers have yet to complete their work for funding federal agencies.

The bipartisan deal, which passed with near unanimous support from Democrats but only a minority of Republicans in both chambers, raises sequester caps by $80 billion over fiscal years 2016 and 2017. While the deal sets the top-line spending levels, Congress must still write and pass line-by-line appropriations to establish funding levels for each agency.

Lawmakers normally would pass 12 individual bills to fund each area of the federal government, but the Dec. 11 deadline virtually assures that Congress will instead approve a sweeping, all-inclusive omnibus measure. President Obama expressed optimism the budget deal, which his administration negotiated directly with congressional leadership, would avoid the fiscal showdowns that have plagued the funding process and left agencies in the lurch in recent years.

 

Continue reading “Budget Deal Passes, but Shutdown Threat Still Looms”

Senate approves two-year budget deal in 3 a.m. vote

Senate approves two-year budget deal in 3 a.m. vote

By Jordain Carney

Greg Nash
The Senate passed a two-year budget deal that raises the debt ceiling early Friday morning, sending the agreement to President Obama’s desk.

The deal was approved in a 64-35 vote after 3 a.m. after a late speech by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who criticized the legislation as a blank check for President Obama to add to the nation’s debt.

“Both sides of the aisle have what I would call sacred cows. On the right, they have the sacred cow of military contracts. …The left wants more welfare,” he said, adding, “Should we give Congress more money? Hell no.

Few other senators seemed interested in Paul’s speech, as the presiding officer repeatedly had to ask senators to keep their conversations down so that Paul could speak. Continue reading “Senate approves two-year budget deal in 3 a.m. vote”

Senate Dems see possible partner in Ryan

Senate Dems see possible partner in Ryan


Getty Images

By Alexander Bolton – 10/29/15 08:05 AM EDT

Senate Democrats are optimistic that Rep. Paul Ryan’s ascension to Speaker will make Congress less dysfunctional and open the door to major deals in the future.

Based on Ryan’s track record, Democratic leaders say they’re encouraged that Washington is entering a new chapter that will be a break from the divisive era of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

“Every time I’ve dealt with him, he’s been straightforward, he’s been honorable, and he’s been willing to compromise,” Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said of Ryan. Continue reading “Senate Dems see possible partner in Ryan”