What the budget deal means for you

The Fix

What the budget deal means for you

After a major vote in the House of Representatives Thursday, a bipartisan budget deal that would keep the government open into 2015 appears likely to become law. You might not really be all that interested in the effect this compromise will have on the economy or in the feud between Republican leaders and the conservative faction in their party. You might be too jaded to ask whether this compromise marks the beginning of a grand new era of cooperation on Capitol Hill or whether it’s just a fluke. But you should still know what’s in the deal. Here’s why:

1. Airline tickets will become more expensive.

Negotiators, led by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), didn’t want to raise taxes, but the money to restore some of the sequester cuts had to come from somewhere, so they found some creative ways of getting it. One of their solutions is to increase the fee you pay to the Transportation Security Administration when you purchase a plane ticket.

The price of a typical round-trip airline ticket will increase $6.20. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

The price of a typical round-trip airline ticket will increase $6.20. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

A typical fee of $5 on a round-trip ticket would more than double to $11.20. Continue reading “What the budget deal means for you”

Cardin expresses outrage over fed worker cuts

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., on Capitol Hill.
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., on Capitol Hill. (Getty Images )
December 06, 2013|By John Fritze | The Baltimore Sun

Sen. Ben Cardin sent a letter to Democratic Senate leaders Thursday (December 06, 2013 Senator Cardin Letter to Senator Reid re Budget Agreement Federal Workers) expressing outrage over reports that a budget deal developing in Congress may include further cuts to the federal workforce — the latest member of Maryland’s delegation to push back on the possibilities of those cuts.

Lawmakers in states with a high concentration of federal employees are reacting to rumors that negotiators are considering a 5.5 percentage point increase in how much federal employees would contribute toward retirement plans. Maryland is home to some 300,000 federal workers. Continue reading “Cardin expresses outrage over fed worker cuts”

Budget negotiators face alarm from federal workers

Budget negotiators face alarm from federal workers

By Lisa Desjardins CNN Congressional Reporter
POSTED: 8:14 PM Dec 05 2013
WASHINGTON (CNN) -A top lobbying group for federal workers rushed to Capitol Hill Thursday, following news that budget negotiators were considering a $20 billion change in government workers’ paychecks. The fast pushback is a potential political issue for budget leaders who aides say have been getting closer to a deal.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, who sits on the budget compromise committee, told reporters Thursday that Republicans were pushing for, and negotiators have been discussing, a proposal to increase how much most federal workers contribute toward their pension. A senior Republican House aide confirmed to CNN that the idea has been on the table in spending talks.

“This is something we strongly oppose,” said Jessica Klement, spokeswoman for the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, or NARFE. Out of breath while walking between congressional offices, Klement told CNN she is worried that the change may already be a done deal. Continue reading “Budget negotiators face alarm from federal workers”

Budget deal allows for January federal pay raise

Budget deal allows for January federal pay raise

(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The budget measure that ended the partial government shutdown allows for a 1 percent raise for federal employees in January in addition to providing back pay for those furloughed, according to two Democratic Maryland senators.

“The promise of a modest pay raise and back pay for furloughed government employees are good first steps in recognizing the value of federal workers,” said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee in a joint statement with Sen. Ben Cardin.

“I’m proud we were able to fulfill our promise to make them whole again with back pay and finally break through the pay freeze with a modest adjustment for next year,” said Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. Continue reading “Budget deal allows for January federal pay raise”

Federal workers rally on Hill

Federal workers rally on Hill 

By GINGER GIBSON | 10/4/13 1:58 PM EDT

Hundreds of furloughed federal employees rallied outside the Capitol on Friday to call on Congress to vote to reopen government.

Led by more than 20 members of Congress and public employee union leadership, the crowd chanted, “We want to work” and “Let them vote,” alluding to the demand by Democrats to hold a House vote on a “clean CR” that approves government funding but doesn’t gut Obamacare.

For the first few days of the shutdown only small groups of federal employees have demonstrated outside the Capitol. But on Friday they made their biggest demonstration yet. Continue reading “Federal workers rally on Hill”