$1.1 trillion spending bill unveiled

$1.1 trillion spending bill unveiled
By: David Rogers
January 13, 2014 08:08 PM EST

The Capitol is pictured. | AP PhotoHouse-Senate negotiators rolled out a $1.1 trillion spending bill Monday night — a giant package that fills in the blanks of the December budget agreement and promises to restore some order to government funding over the next year.

Under pressure from Republicans, the measure keeps a tight rein on new funding for Wall Street regulators and effectively freezes appropriations for President Barack Obama’s health care program at the reduced, post-sequester level.

But the White House retains the flexibility to find the financing it needs to implement the health exchanges and appears satisfied to have avoided the most contentious restrictions proposed by conservatives.

(Also on POLITICO: What’s in the $1.1T government spending bill?) Continue reading “$1.1 trillion spending bill unveiled”

Rogers, Mikulski unveil $1 trillion spending bill

Rogers, Mikulski unveil $1 trillion spending bill

Tuesday – 1/14/2014, 4:25am  ET

ANDREW TAYLOR
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top congressional negotiators Monday night released a bipartisan $1.1 trillion spending bill that would pay for the operations of government through October and finally put to rest the bitter budget battles of last year.

The massive measure fleshes out the details of the budget deal that Congress passed last month. That pact gave relatively modest, but much-sought relief to the Pentagon and domestic agencies after deep budget cuts last year.

The bill would avert spending cuts that threatened construction of new aircraft carriers and next-generation Joint Strike Fighters. It maintains rent subsidies for the poor, awards federal civilian and military workers a 1 percent raise and beefs up security at U.S. embassies across the globe. The Obama administration would be denied money to meet its full commitments to the International Monetary Fund but get much of the money it wanted to pay for implementation of the new health care law and the 2010 overhaul of financial regulations. Continue reading “Rogers, Mikulski unveil $1 trillion spending bill”

Former Budget Chief, On Why It Can Be Tough to Work for Government

Former Budget Chief, On Why It Can Be Tough to Work for Government

Former Budget Director Peter Orszag
Former Budget Director Peter Orszag Lauren Victoria Burke/AP File Photo

Peter Orszag quit his government job. For three and a half years, he ran two federal budget agencies, and in 2010, he defected to Wall Street. Even though he thinks the government desperately needs more smart people, he has deep empathy for those who flee to the private sector.

“In a hyperpolarized environment in which we effectively have a bipolar Congress with no middle, there are just much smaller returns to being in government,” he said during an interview with The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons on Wednesday. Because of this, smart people working in business see less appeal in taking a pay cut and moving to Washington. “What would excite many of the people I know about being in government would be the opportunity to actually do things, rather than just lob grenades at each other,” he said. Continue reading “Former Budget Chief, On Why It Can Be Tough to Work for Government”

Lawmakers Cite Progress On Budget Near Deadline

The New York Times

Lawmakers Cite Progress On Budget Near Deadline

By

WASHINGTON — With the next budget deadline just weeks away, top lawmakers said this week that they had made significant progress negotiating a huge government-wide spending bill that gives the once mighty congressional Appropriations Committees a chance to reassert control over the flow of federal dollars.

“We have a chance to prove to the rest of the Congress that we can produce bills,” Representative Harold Rogers, the Kentucky Republican who is the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in an interview.

The past few years have proved frustrating for members of the spending panels. With House Republicans unable to come to terms with Senate Democrats on a budget, the government has functioned mainly under a series of continuing resolutions that have taken the Appropriations Committees out of the game. Continue reading “Lawmakers Cite Progress On Budget Near Deadline”

Inside the budget agreement

Inside the budget agreement

The U.S. Capitol is pictured. | AP Photo
After October’s shutdown crisis, lawmakers seem most focused on the here-and-now. | AP Photo
By DAVID ROGERS | 12/11/13 8:58 AM EST

The House-Senate budget bill is 77-pages of largely modest savings but also salted with a variety of “good government” reforms that could help win votes for passage.

For example, all states would be required to use a Treasury program to crack down on fraud and over-payments in jobless benefits. New restrictions are added to better control access to Social Security data and protect against identity theft—a bipartisan cause in the House championed by conservative Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), as well as Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), chairman of his party’s caucus.

 And the agreement puts a first-time $487,000 cap on what the government will compensate contractors for the top salaries of their executives. That’s still higher than the president’s own $400,000 salary and what the White House first wanted in a proposal last spring. But it would significantly alter the current system for both defense and non-defense contractors. Continue reading “Inside the budget agreement”