Some Senate GOPers look for way out

Some Senate GOPers look for way out

Susan Collins, John McCain and Rob Portman are shown in this composite image. | AP PhotosCollins, McCain and Portman are eager to take matters into their own hands. | AP Photos

By MANU RAJU and BURGESS EVERETT | 10/4/13 5:11 PM EDT Updated: 10/4/13 6:32 PM EDT

They have been sitting out the budget impasse that led to the government shutdown — and only been a spectator in the bitter battle between House Republicans and Senate Democrats.

But some uneasy Senate Republicans are eager to take matters into their own hands.

Moderates like Susan Collins of Maine, conservatives like Rob Portman of Ohio and deal-makers like John McCain of Arizona have quietly begun to reach out to top Senate Democratic leaders to see if they can help break the political logjam. There’s no indication the informal talks will lead to a resolution, particularly since the White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refuse to negotiate before House Republicans agree to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government with no policy strings attached.

(WATCH: Key moments leading to shutdown deadline) Continue reading “Some Senate GOPers look for way out”

Democrats push to connect CR, debt ceiling

Democrats push to connect CR, debt ceiling

Democrats hold a press conference on Oct. 2, 2013. | M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

‘We will act on a clean debt ceiling,’ Harry Reid says. | M.Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

By BURGESS EVERETT | 10/3/13 2:10 PM EDT

Senate Democrats hope to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government in one fell swoop, leaders indicated on Thursday.

Democratic demands are the same as they’ve always been: They want the GOP to agree to a debt ceiling increase and a continuing resolution to open the government that doesn’t include policy riders, particularly related to Obamacare. But now that the government is closed and the debt limit just two weeks away, leadership on Thursday sought to more explicitly connect the two critical items.

What does this mean for Americans? The government may be closed for weeks. Continue reading “Democrats push to connect CR, debt ceiling”

White House Warns Of Sequestration’s Effects

by Krishnadev Calamur

February 17, 201311:27 AM
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough at the White House on Jan. 25.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough at the White House on Jan. 25.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

The White House and congressional Democrats are sounding the alarm bells over the consequences of the sequester, the across-the-board cuts to the budget that are scheduled to go into effect in March.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said the cuts would offset “pretty good” economic activity over the past few months. He said President Obama had a plan to cut an addition $1.5 trillion from the deficit.

“He’s ready to do another $1.5 trillion to get up to the $4 trillion target that economists across the country tell us is needed to stabilize the debt over the next 10 years,” McDonough said on ABC’s This Week. “So that’s exactly what the president has done, working with Democrats and Republicans.” Continue reading “White House Warns Of Sequestration’s Effects”

Conservatives’ Tax Strategy: Use Economic Fears to Cut Taxes for the Wealthy

Conservatives’ Tax Strategy: Use Economic Fears to Cut Taxes for the Wealthy

Posted on October 23, 2012

 

Congressional conservatives have revealed their negotiating strategy for dealing with the fiscal cliff slope: scare the public and congressional Democrats into a deal that reduces the deficit through spending cuts alone. These fears have been blown out of proportion. A fiscal Armageddon will not happen on Jan. 1, 2013.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) tipped their strategy when they responded to a speech by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who called on Democrats to fight to retain Clinton-era income tax levels for upper-income households. Schumer urged Democrats to allow the top two income tax brackets to revert back to 36 and 39.6 percent (from their current levels – 33 and 35 percent) and to increase the capital gains tax rate to some level below 40 percent (from today’s 15 percent). Continue reading “Conservatives’ Tax Strategy: Use Economic Fears to Cut Taxes for the Wealthy”