Rest Up From the Budget Fight, Because There’s a Debt Ceiling One Around the Corner

Rest Up From the Budget Fight, Because There’s a Debt Ceiling One Around the Corner

"I doubt that the House, or, for that matter, the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean debt-ceiling increase," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday.

“I doubt that the House, or, for that matter, the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean debt-ceiling increase,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday. Susan Walsh/AP

Don’t expect the relative fiscal peace on the Hill engendered by the budget deal to last for long. Top Republicans are already looking ahead to the next fight: the debt ceiling.

“I doubt that the House, or, for that matter, the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean debt-ceiling increase,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday. Continue reading “Rest Up From the Budget Fight, Because There’s a Debt Ceiling One Around the Corner”

Military retirees: You betrayed us, Congress

Military retirees: You betrayed us, Congress

By Jennifer Liberto  @CNNMoney December 12, 2013: 3:12 PM ET

 military vets
Retired military veterans are outraged that their pensions are being cut by the budget deal.
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney)

Military retirees are outraged that Congress will start voting Thursday on a budget deal that trims military pensions, calling the move “an egregious breach of faith.”

The Military Coalition, some 27 military groups, wrote to leaders in Congress and President Obama late Wednesday about their “strong objection” and “grave concern” over the budget deal.

The deal cuts pension cost of living raises by 1% for military retirees who aren’t disabled and not yet 62 years old. Cost of living hikes are automatic raises intended to keep up with inflation. Continue reading “Military retirees: You betrayed us, Congress”

Key Support For Budget Deal; Deficits Would Rise

by The Associated Press

December 11, 2013 5:13 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A newly minted budget deal to avert future government shutdowns gained important ground Wednesday among House Republicans who are more accustomed to brinkmanship than compromise, even though it would nudge federal deficits higher three years in a row.

There was grumbling from opposite ends of the political spectrum — conservatives complaining about spending levels and liberal Democrats unhappy there would be no extension of an expiring program of benefits for the long-term unemployed.

Yet other lawmakers, buffeted by criticism after last October’s partial government shutdown, found plenty to like in the agreement and suggested it could lead to future cooperation. The plan was announced Tuesday evening by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and quickly endorsed by President Barack Obama. Continue reading “Key Support For Budget Deal; Deficits Would Rise”

Budget Deal Asks New Feds to Contribute More to Pensions

Budget Deal Asks New Feds to Contribute More to Pensions

“One of the most difficult challenges we faced as we worked through this, was the issue of federal employees and military,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., during a press conference with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
“One of the most difficult challenges we faced as we worked through this, was the issue of federal employees and military,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., during a press conference with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

New federal employees and military retirees would have to contribute more to their pensions under the bipartisan deal the congressional budget conference committee unveiled Tuesday evening.

Federal workers hired on or after Jan. 1, 2014, with less than five years of service would have to pay 4.4 percent toward their defined retirement benefit — 1.3 percent more than the current 3.1 percent that employees hired after 2012 contribute.

Military retirees under the age of 62 would see a decrease, phased-in over the next two years, to the calculation of their cost-of-living adjustment, equal to inflation minus 1 percent. “This change would be gradually phased in, with no change for the current year, a 0.25 percent decrease in December 2014, and a 0.5 percent decrease in December 2015,” according to a summary of the deal. The change would not affect service members who retired because of injury or disability. Continue reading “Budget Deal Asks New Feds to Contribute More to Pensions”

CBO – Options for Reducing the Deficit: Mandatory Spending

Congressional Budget Office

Supporting the congress since 1975

Options for Reducing the Deficit: Mandatory Spending

posted by Sheila Dacey on December 6, 2013

CBO recently published a report on Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014 to 2023. That report is now available in a fully digital version, so users can search the options according to major budget category, budget function, and major program category. The report included 23 options for changing mandatory spending programs (apart from options primarily involving health); they are listed at the bottom of this post with estimates of their budgetary savings.

Trends in Mandatory Spending

Mandatory spending—which totaled about $2.0 trillion in 2013, or about 60 percent of federal outlays, CBO estimates—consists of all spending (other than interest on federal debt) that is not subject to annual appropriations. Lawmakers generally determine spending for mandatory programs by setting the programs’ parameters, such as eligibility rules and benefit formulas, rather than by appropriating specific amounts each year. Mandatory spending is net of offsetting receipts—certain fees and other charges that are recorded as negative budget authority and outlays. Continue reading “CBO – Options for Reducing the Deficit: Mandatory Spending”