Budget compromise clears Senate procedural hurdle

Budget compromise clears Senate procedural hurdle

By Ted Barrett and Tom Cohen, CNN
updated 12:13 PM EST, Tue December 17, 2013
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Washington (CNN) — A federal budget compromise that already passed the House cleared a key procedural hurdle on Tuesday in the Senate, increasing the likelihood it will win final Congressional approval this week.

President Barack Obama has signaled his support for the plan worked out by the budget committee leaders in each chamber that would guide government spending into 2015 to defuse the chances of another shutdown such as the one that took place in October.

Tuesday’s vote overcame a Republican filibuster attempt that required 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to proceed on the budget measure. The count was 67-33, with a dozen Republicans joining the 55 Democrats and independents in support of the plan.

Final approval in the Senate requires a simple majority of 51 votes. The budget plan easily passed the House last week on a 332-94 vote. Continue reading “Budget compromise clears Senate procedural hurdle”

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”

Congressional budget talks at critical point

Congressional budget talks at critical point

Congressional budget talks at critical pointWashington (CNN) – Congressional budget talks have entered a pivotal phase with some lawmakers working to lower expectations. But the two top negotiators and their staff have outlined how a possible deal, if they agree on one, could get through the House and Senate.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Washington, are leading a conference committee convened to work out differences between House and Senate budget resolutions.

The marquee issue is more forced spending cuts, or sequester, set to take effect in mid-January.

The committee has until December 13 to agree on spending levels and how to tackle the sweeping cuts that would total $110 billion. Continue reading “Congressional budget talks at critical point”

Congressional budget talks at critical point

Congressional budget talks at critical point

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Congressional budget talks at critical point

Washington (CNN) – Congressional budget talks have entered a pivotal phase with some lawmakers working to lower expectations. But the two top negotiators and their staff have outlined how a possible deal, if they agree on one, could get through the House and Senate.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Washington, are leading a conference committee convened to work out differences between House and Senate budget resolutions.

The marquee issue is more forced spending cuts, or sequester, set to take effect in mid-January.

The committee has until December 13 to agree on spending levels and how to tackle the sweeping cuts that would total $110 billion. Continue reading “Congressional budget talks at critical point”

Boehner’s choice: Tea party or America?

Boehner’s choice: Tea party or America?

By Maria Cardona, CNN Contributor
updated 9:46 AM EDT, Mon October 21, 2013
 
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Maria Cardona: Shutdown resolution hinged on whether Boehner would defy tea party
  • She says Boehner’s job appears safe, but some question his leadership
  • She says he seems to ignore interests of Americans in favor of tea party, a losing proposition
  • Cardona: Boehner must lead if he wants to save GOP House districts that appear vulnerable

Maria Cardona

Editor’s note: Maria Cardona is a Democratic strategist, a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton and former communications director for the Democratic National Committee.

Watch this video(CNN) — Speaking to the nation after Congress reached a deal to reopen the government and temporarily raise the debt ceiling, President Barack Obama said we are “Americans first” and need to put partisan interests aside to get things done.

But can we? The recent shenanigans do not bode well for the future. Continue reading “Boehner’s choice: Tea party or America?”