Budget Office: Next Debt Ceiling D-Day Could Come in March

Budget Office: Next Debt Ceiling D-Day Could Come in March

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The government will exhaust its emergency borrowing authority sometime between March and June 2014, if Congress does not suspend or increase the nation’s debt limit again, according to a new report.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that Treasury’s wiggle room to avoid breaching the debt ceiling could run out as early as March because the government typically runs a large deficit during that month and in February due to tax refunds. Still, April brings in significant tax revenue for the government so that could buy it more time on the debt ceiling, CBO reasoned. “Given the volume of the government’s daily cash flows and the uncertainty about the magnitude of key transactions during those months, the Treasury could exhaust its extraordinary measures and authority to borrow as early as March or as late as May or June,” the report said.

Continue reading “Budget Office: Next Debt Ceiling D-Day Could Come in March”

Throwing-Grandma-Off-Cliff Ads Dim Odds of Medicare Cuts

By Julie Bykowicz – Nov 13, 2013 5:45 PM CT

A television ad that aired briefly in August 2012 stands as a warning today for lawmakers who want to cut Social Security and Medicare.

A man in a dark suit acting as Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, then the Republican Party’s vice presidential candidate, pushes a wheelchair carrying a panicked-looking grandmother to the edge of a cliff. He dumps her over the rocky ledge. “Is America Beautiful without Medicare?” the ad asks.

Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., appears at the AARP convention in New Orleans, on Sept. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

The commercial, produced by the Democratic-aligned Agenda Project, ran only a few times in Ohio, Florida and Colorado during last year’s presidential campaign. Its enduring imagery illustrates the power of the lobbying coalition that guards the health and financial programs for seniors.

The effort to protect Social Security and Medicare is led by AARP and its 37 million members. They’re joined by unions and Democratic-activist groups such as MoveOn.org, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and the New York-based Agenda Project and its action fund. Continue reading “Throwing-Grandma-Off-Cliff Ads Dim Odds of Medicare Cuts”

Beyond The Shutdown, There’s A Bigger Battle Brewing

by Scott Horsley October 01, 2013 5:02 PM

The Capitol is mirrored in its reflecting pool early Tuesday, as the partial federal shutdown began. But there’s a battle still to come in which the stakes are even higher.

The Capitol is mirrored in its reflecting pool early Tuesday, as the partial federal shutdown began. But there's a battle still to come in which the stakes are even higher.
J. David Ake/AP

This week’s government shutdown could be just a warmup for an even bigger budget battle in a couple of weeks.

Congress has to raise the limit on the amount of money the federal government is allowed to borrow by Oct. 17. If the debt ceiling is not raised on time, President Obama warns that Washington won’t be able to keep paying its bills. Continue reading “Beyond The Shutdown, There’s A Bigger Battle Brewing”

Treasury: Debt Limit D-Day is Oct. 17

Treasury: Debt Limit D-Day is Oct. 17

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew informed lawmakers of the new date.
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew informed lawmakers of the new date. Evan Vucci/AP

Uncle Sam will exhaust its emergency borrowing authority by Oct. 17 and won’t have enough money to pay all its bills if Congress does not increase the debt limit, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said on Wednesday.

Without an increase in the $16.7 trillion debt limit and no more emergency borrowing authority to draw from, the government could default for the first time in history. That would put federal civilian and military salaries at risk, and could result in pay delays governmentwide.

Lew said that no later than Oct. 17, Treasury will have exhausted its emergency borrowing authority or “extraordinary measures,” which it tapped in May when the government hit the debt ceiling. The emergency borrowing authority has allowed the government to stay afloat through the summer. Continue reading “Treasury: Debt Limit D-Day is Oct. 17”

Sequestration Standoff

Sequestration Standoff

2/26/2013

As March 1 approaches, across-the-board federal spending cuts, called sequestration, appear almost certain to occur. Republicans and Democrats are not negotiating to resolve the looming crisis. Neither seems sufficiently motivated to compromise.

The problem is not that sequestration is nothing to worry about. According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, sequestration will cut most domestic programs by about 5.3 percent and most defense spending by 7.7 percent. Moreover, these cuts will be compressed into a short, seven-month time frame, which will nearly double their impact for the rest of the year to nine and 13 percent respectively. Continue reading “Sequestration Standoff”