Hopes rise for budget deal as leaders head to White House

By Justin Sink – 10/14/13 01:43 PM ET

President Obama will meet top congressional leaders on Monday at the White House amid signs that senators could be nearing a deal to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.

Obama will meet with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) at 3 p.m., a White House official said. Vice President Biden will attend as well.

Reid and McConnell, who took the reins of the fiscal talks over the weekend, huddled for 30 minutes on Monday morning. Asked after the meeting whether Senate leaders would have an agreement to present to Obama, Reid said, “[I] sure hope so.”

“We’re working on everything,” Reid said when asked about the scope of the negotiations. “We continue to work on it. It’s not done yet.” Continue reading “Hopes rise for budget deal as leaders head to White House”

Senate approves measure to keep federal government operating

By Alexander Bolton – 09/27/13 01:49 PM ET

The Senate voted along party lines Friday to pass a stopgap spending measure lasting until Nov. 15 after removing controversial language to defund ObamaCare.

The 54-44 vote puts the Senate on a collision course with the House, where Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said the stripped-down bill will not reach the floor.

House conservatives on Friday rallied around a proposal to attach a one-year delay of the healthcare law and send it back to the Senate. Senate Democrats say this will be rejected and result in a government shutdown.

If Congress does not resolve the impasse by Tuesday, funding will expire and many government services will be limited.

Final passage of the Senate bill was assured after 25 Republicans joined 54 Democrats in voting to end debate on the measure and set up a final vote. Final passage only required a simple majority. Continue reading “Senate approves measure to keep federal government operating”

Senate GOP Divide on Display in Shutdown Fight

Senate GOP Divide on Display in Shutdown Fight

The normally sleepy Senate chamber crackled with drama on Thursday.

Sen. Bob Corker got so frustrated with Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee on the Senate floor Thursday that the presiding officer—Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin—admonished members that rules require them to refer to each other in the third person.

“It’s my understanding that the reason you don’t want to send a bill over to the House who could possibly put in place some very good policies for us here … is that you want the American people and the outside groups that you’ve been in contact with to be able to watch us tomorrow,” Corker said.

The offending remarks were calling a colleague “you,” but the real offense, in Corker’s view, is one the Senate has been grappling with since Cruz’s 21-hour talk-a-thon in opposition of Obamacare. Continue reading “Senate GOP Divide on Display in Shutdown Fight”

Senate to vote on funding bill, leaving Boehner tough choices

By Alexander Bolton – 09/27/13 05:30 AM ET

The Senate will vote Friday on legislation to keep the government funded, setting up a weekend showdown with the House and tough choices for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has scheduled a series of four votes beginning at 12:30 p.m., one of which will strip language defunding ObamaCare from the stopgap spending measure.

Boehner will have to decide how to respond knowing any substantive changes to the Senate bill heightens the likelihood of a government shutdown.

Senate aides said senators would leave town for the weekend but remain on alert to return to Washington on short notice in case the House acts quickly. Continue reading “Senate to vote on funding bill, leaving Boehner tough choices”

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”