US Senate sends budget deal over crucial hurdle

BBC

17 December 2013 Last updated at 17:31 ET

US Senate sends budget deal over crucial hurdle

The US Capitol in Washington, DC, on 14 November 2013
The US Senate is expected to pass a two-year cross-party budget agreement later this week

A budget bill has passed a US Senate procedural vote, all but guaranteeing its approval this week and lowering the threat of a fresh government shutdown.

In a rare show of cross-party spirit, 12 Republicans joined Democrats to pass the measure 67-33, paving the way for a majority vote later this week.

The two-year budget bill was overwhelmingly approved last week by the US House of Representatives.

President Barack Obama has also backed the budget proposal. Continue reading “US Senate sends budget deal over crucial hurdle”

Post poll: Shutdown hit Virginians more than voters nationally

Post poll: Shutdown hit Virginians more than voters nationally

Recent polls show that the 16-day government shutdown impacted Virginians more than voters nationally, which is perhaps not surprising in light of how many federal workers live in the state and the D.C. metropolitan region.

Thirty-five percent of Virginia registered voters in a Post/Abt-SRBI poll out this week said they were personally inconvenienced by the shutdown, compared to 22 percent of voters nationally in a Post-ABC poll last week said the same. Continue reading “Post poll: Shutdown hit Virginians more than voters nationally”

Republicans have hurt themselves in the battle for the House. Here’s how.

Republicans have hurt themselves in the battle for the House. Here’s how.

The budget standoff that led to a government shutdown exacted a heavy toll on the Republican Party’s image. Now comes fresh evidence to suggest it has complicated the GOP’s effort to retain its House majority.

Data in the new Washington Post-ABC News poll should worry House Republican campaign strategists for several reasons, even as the election is still more than a year away and the GOP still has the upper hand overall. Below are the three biggest causes for concern.

1. A small cushion in GOP districts. Democrats hold a comfortable 48 percent to 40 percent lead among registered voters in the generic ballot test. But it’s not just the topline national numbers (which are not perfect predictors) that should worry Republicans. It’s what’s going on in Republican-held districts that should turn more heads. Republicans hold an 8-point lead in districts they control, compared to Democrats’ 30-point lead in their districts. An 8-point lead might not seem all that bad. But consider that we’re talking about all GOP districts here, the vast majority of which are very conservative and not at any risk of switching control.  What that means is that in the swing GOP seats that will decide who wins the majority, the Republican advantage is probably smaller, if it even exists. Meanwhile, Democrats, who have to play heavy defense in addition to going on offense, appear to be in the better position to buttress their incumbents. Continue reading “Republicans have hurt themselves in the battle for the House. Here’s how.”

Sequestration Standoff

Sequestration Standoff

2/26/2013

As March 1 approaches, across-the-board federal spending cuts, called sequestration, appear almost certain to occur. Republicans and Democrats are not negotiating to resolve the looming crisis. Neither seems sufficiently motivated to compromise.

The problem is not that sequestration is nothing to worry about. According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, sequestration will cut most domestic programs by about 5.3 percent and most defense spending by 7.7 percent. Moreover, these cuts will be compressed into a short, seven-month time frame, which will nearly double their impact for the rest of the year to nine and 13 percent respectively. Continue reading “Sequestration Standoff”