How Patty Murray won over Dems on budget fight

How Patty Murray won over Dems on budget fight

By: Manu Raju
December 13, 2013 05:03 AM EST

Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray talks with POLITICO about negotiating a budget plan on Dec. 11. | John Shinkle/POLITICO

President Barack Obama was on the phone repeatedly with Sen. Patty Murray during the high-stakes budget talks and asked how he could help.

Murray’s response: I got this.

The veteran Washington Democrat, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, had quietly and methodically built a close relationship with a man long vilified by the White House and congressional Democrats: Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican and Mitt Romney’s running mate. But after private negotiations with each other, starting in the Senate dining room exactly a year ago and culminating after Murray’s tense talks with furious House Democrats, the two were able to do what seemed impossible in a gridlocked Congress: Reach a bipartisan budget accord.

(Also on POLITICO: GOP and conservative groups: The breakup begins) Continue reading “How Patty Murray won over Dems on budget fight”

Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points

Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points

Summary of Elements Impacting Feds:

1. Post-12/31/13 hires will pay an additional 1.3% toward their pensions, for total of 4.4%

2. FEHB will add a ‘self plus one’ option, which inevitably increases family plan premiums

3. Contractor salary reimbursement cap dropped to $487,000

4. The total deal is $85 billion. About $45 billion of that replaces sequestration cuts in 2014. About $20 billion replaces sequestration cuts in 2015. (Washington Post) Continue reading “Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points”

Hoyer casts ‘no’ vote in break with Dem leaders

December 12, 2013, 07:26 pm

Hoyer casts ‘no’ vote in break with Dem leaders

By Mike Lillis and Erik Wasson

 

Breaking with his fellow Democratic leaders, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Thursday voted against a bipartisan deal to finance the government for the next two years.

The minority whip conceded that the controversial measure was “better than the alternative” of not reaching a deal, but he said he also wanted to make a statement that the package “does not deal with the fundamental issue of long-term fiscal stability.”

The Maryland lawmaker, who represents thousands of current and retired federal workers, acknowledged that his opposition came despite his role in negotiating some of the details of the final bill. Continue reading “Hoyer casts ‘no’ vote in break with Dem leaders”

Dems threaten budget deal

Dems threaten budget deal

Lauren Schneiderman

By Vicki Needham, Mike Lillis and Bernie Becker – 12/11/13 05:15 PM EST

 

The budget deal worked out by House and Senate negotiators is on the verge of unraveling over the exclusion of federal unemployment benefits, several leading Democrats warned Wednesday.

The lawmakers are outraged by a GOP move to add the Medicare “doc fix” to the package but not a continuation of unemployment benefits — a strategy they say could sink the entire package by scaring away Democratic votes.

Reps. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Sandy Levin (Mich.) said the move creates a “new dynamic” undermining Democratic support for the plan announced Tuesday by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).  Continue reading “Dems threaten budget deal”

Mixed Reviews for Proposed Pension Contribution Hikes

Mixed Reviews for Proposed Pension Contribution Hikes

J. David Cox, AFGE National President
J. David Cox, AFGE National President AFGE

The budget deal has been struck.

To review, the compromise package to roll back sequestration cuts required by the 2011 Budget Control Act for two years targets federal employees’ pensions as expected. While current workers were spared, civil servants hired after 2013 would pay 4.4 percent of their annual salaries toward their defined retirement benefit. This marks a 1.3 percent increase from the current contribution requirement for new hires, though any employee hired in or before 2012 pays only 0.8 percent of their salary toward their pension.

Military retirees’ pensions would also take a hit, as the deal requires a less generous annual cost of living adjustment. Overall, the plan takes $12 billion in savings from federal workers. Continue reading “Mixed Reviews for Proposed Pension Contribution Hikes”