Budget Deal Unveiled, but Can They Sell It?

NJ Daily

Budget Deal Unveiled, but Can They Sell It?

 

(Chet Susslin)

By , and December 10, 2013

After weeks of closed-door talks, House and Senate negotiators finally unveiled a two-year budget deal Tuesday that attempts to calm the long-fought feud over spending on Capitol Hill. But the question remains whether they can sell it to rank-and-file lawmakers.

The deal is far from a grand bargain. But if approved by the House and Senate, the compromise would not only keep government funded and open beyond Jan. 15, but also would provide $63 billion in sequester relief over two years—all without new tax revenue.

“This is the first divided-government budget agreement since 1986,” said House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, the chief Republican negotiator. Continue reading “Budget Deal Unveiled, but Can They Sell It?”

A Least Bad Budget Deal

Review & Outlook

A Least Bad Budget Deal

More spending now for some genuine, if modest, reforms.

Dec. 10, 2013 11:20 p.m. ET
The best that can be said about the House-Senate budget deal announced late Tuesday is that it includes no tax increases, no new incentives for not working, and some modest entitlement reforms. Oh, and it will avoid another shutdown fiasco, assuming enough Republicans refuse to attempt suicide a second time.

The worst part of the two-year deal is that it breaks the 2011 Budget Control Act’s discretionary spending caps for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The deal breaks the caps by some $63 billion over the two years and then re-establishes the caps starting in 2016 where they are in current law at $1.016 trillion. Half of the increase will go to defense and half to the domestic accounts prized by Democrats.

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Breaking the caps is a victory for Senate Democrats and House Republican Appropriators like Oklahoma’s Tom Cole, who will get more money to spend and will dodge another continuing resolution that doesn’t allow them to set spending priorities. It would be nice to think they’ll spend the money on such useful purposes as cancer or Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health. But they will also get to dole out pork. The deal means overall federal spending will not decline in 2014 as it has the last two years.

WIsconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Washington Sen. Patty Murray in a press conference on the budget plan. Bloomberg News Continue reading “A Least Bad Budget Deal”

Capitol Leaders Agree to a Deal on the Budget

The New York Times
December 10, 2013

Capitol Leaders Agree to a Deal on the Budget

J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press
House and Senate Reach a Budget Deal: The agreement would raise military and domestic spending over the next two years but prevent another government shutdown.
 
By

WASHINGTON — House and Senate budget negotiators reached agreement Tuesday on a budget deal that would raise military and domestic spending over the next two years, shifting the pain of across-the-board cuts to other programs over the coming decade and raising fees on airline tickets to pay for airport security.

The deal, while modest in scope, amounts to a cease-fire in the budget wars that have debilitated Washington since 2011 and gives lawmakers breathing room to try to address the real drivers of federal spending — health care and entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security — and to reshape the tax code.

For a Capitol used to paralyzing partisan gridlock, the accord between Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee, and Senator Patty Murray of Washington, chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, was a reminder that even fierce political combatants can find common ground. Mr. Ryan praised the deal in the most elementary terms as a way to “get our government functioning at its very basic levels.” Continue reading “Capitol Leaders Agree to a Deal on the Budget”

Federal Budget: 10 Cuts That Would Save the Most

The Fiscal Times

Federal Budget: 10 Cuts That Would Save the Most

By Brianna Ehley December 6, 2013 4:45 AM

The clock is ticking on the Congressional Budget Conference Committee, which only has eight days left to cobble together a budget before the Dec. 13 deadline. And though lawmakers have signaled that they are close to a deal, nothing is certain.

Budgeteers in both parties are aiming for a deal that cancels the second wave of sequester cuts authorized under the Budget Control Act of 2011. To undo those cuts, they’ll have to find savings in other areas. Some potential elements in the emerging deal include raising federal employees’ contributions to their pension funds, or having the Federal Communications Commission auction rights to electromagnetic spectrum, according to congressional aides.

Related: Enter New Budget Deal, Exit Loathsome Sequester

As difficult as it may be for Republicans and Democrats to agree on a narrow package to replace the sequester cuts, much more difficult choices lay ahead. As the Congressional Budget Office put it in a report released last month: “To put the federal budget on a sustainable long-term path, lawmakers would need to make significant policy changes—allowing revenues to rise more than would occur under current law, reducing spending for large benefit programs to amounts below those currently projected, or adopting some combination of those approaches.” Continue reading “Federal Budget: 10 Cuts That Would Save the Most”

Senate leaders near deal to end shutdown, raise debt limit

By Erik Wasson and Alexander Bolton – 10/15/13 06:49 AM ET

An emerging deal to reopen the government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling until February gathered political momentum Monday evening after Senate Republicans signaled they would likely support it.

Lawmakers and aides said the legislation would fund the government until Jan. 15 and extend the nation’s borrowing authority until February but leave ObamaCare largely untouched.

One senior Senate aide said it would raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 while another said Feb. 15 remains a possibility.

It would also establish a Senate-House budget committee to craft a replacement for the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, which would have to report its work product to Congress by Dec. 13. Continue reading “Senate leaders near deal to end shutdown, raise debt limit”