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”

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”

White House, GOP strike budget deal

White House, GOP strike budget deal

By Alexander Bolton and Sarah Ferris – 10/26/15 08:28 PM EDT

Senior White House officials and congressional leaders have struck a deal to raise the debt limit and set the federal budget for the next two years, say sources familiar with the talks.

The deal would extend the debt ceiling to March 2017 and bust budget limits set by a 2011 agreement that imposed a decade of reduced spending known as sequestration on the government.

It would raise those caps by a total of $112 billion in fiscal 2016 and 2017, according to a person briefed on the agreement.

Those funds would be divided equally between defense and nondefense spending, charting a compromise between Republican defense hawks pushing for more Pentagon spending and Democrats who wanted more spending on domestic programs as well. Continue reading “White House, GOP strike budget deal”

Ryan says budget process ‘stinks,’ but deal expected to pass

Ryan says budget process ‘stinks,’ but deal expected to pass

By Ian Swanson and Scott Wong – 10/27/15 09:36 AM EDT

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is distancing himself from a pending budget deal ahead of his expected election this week as Speaker.

Ryan told CNN’s Manu Raju he doesn’t have a position yet on the deal negotiated by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the man he is likely to succeed.

“I’m reserving judgment on this agreement because, quite frankly, I haven’t seen it yet on paper,” Ryan said of the budget bill, which was posted late Monday night.

But Ryan criticized how the deal to extend the government’s borrowing limit and increase spending came together, saying “this process stinks” in the interview televised on CNN. Continue reading “Ryan says budget process ‘stinks,’ but deal expected to pass”

White House, GOP near two-year budget deal

White House, GOP near two-year budget deal

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By Alexander Bolton – 10/26/15 12:35 PM EDT

Senior White House officials and congressional leaders are nearing a deal to raise the debt limit and set the budget for the next two years, say sources familiar with the talks.

The agreement is not yet final as negotiators still need to settle a dispute over controversial policy riders, but congressional leaders hope to announce something Monday evening, according to a Senate source. The deal would cover the 2016 and 2017 budget years. Continue reading “White House, GOP near two-year budget deal”