6 Things Missing From The Budget Agreement

by Frank James

December 11, 2013 1:13 PM
 
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., walk to announce a tentative agreement Tuesday between Republican and Democratic negotiators on a government spending plan.House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., left, and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., walk to announce a tentative agreement Tuesday between Republican and Democratic negotiators on a government spending plan. 

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The essence of the budget deal reached by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is better understood by looking at what’s missing, rather than what’s included in it.

The agreement by the budget committee chairs is no grand bargain. It’s more like a mini-bargain. And all the missing elements are absent precisely because the yawning ideological rift between Washington Democrats and Republicans made it impossible to include those items and still have the votes to get to “yes” and avoid a government shutdown in mid-January.

In short, it’s the really hard stuff that didn’t make it into the agreement.

So what’s missing? Plenty. Here are some of the holes: Continue reading “6 Things Missing From The Budget Agreement”

Here’s what’s in Paul Ryan and Patty Murray’s mini-budget deal

Here’s what’s in Paul Ryan and Patty Murray’s mini-budget deal

Posted by Ezra Klein on December 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm

1. The total deal is $85 billion. About $45 billion of that replaces sequestration cuts in 2014. About $20 billion replaces sequestration cuts in 2015. About $20 billion is deficit reduction atop sequestration.

2. The sequestration relief is evenly divided between defense spending and non-defense discretionary spending. The sequester’s cuts to mandatory spending are unaffected.

A Least Bad Budget Deal

Review & Outlook

A Least Bad Budget Deal

More spending now for some genuine, if modest, reforms.

Dec. 10, 2013 11:20 p.m. ET
The best that can be said about the House-Senate budget deal announced late Tuesday is that it includes no tax increases, no new incentives for not working, and some modest entitlement reforms. Oh, and it will avoid another shutdown fiasco, assuming enough Republicans refuse to attempt suicide a second time.

The worst part of the two-year deal is that it breaks the 2011 Budget Control Act’s discretionary spending caps for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The deal breaks the caps by some $63 billion over the two years and then re-establishes the caps starting in 2016 where they are in current law at $1.016 trillion. Half of the increase will go to defense and half to the domestic accounts prized by Democrats.

***

Breaking the caps is a victory for Senate Democrats and House Republican Appropriators like Oklahoma’s Tom Cole, who will get more money to spend and will dodge another continuing resolution that doesn’t allow them to set spending priorities. It would be nice to think they’ll spend the money on such useful purposes as cancer or Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health. But they will also get to dole out pork. The deal means overall federal spending will not decline in 2014 as it has the last two years.

WIsconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Washington Sen. Patty Murray in a press conference on the budget plan. Bloomberg News Continue reading “A Least Bad Budget Deal”

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”

U.S. Republicans to keep cuts if budget talks fail: Boehner

U.S. Republicans to keep cuts if budget talks fail: Boehner

 

U.S. House Speaker Boehner calls on a reporter during a news conference in Washington

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) calls on a reporter during a news conference at the Republican …

By David Lawder 40 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives will pursue a stopgap government funding bill that keeps “sequester” automatic spending cuts in place if congressional negotiators fail to reach a budget deal, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday.

 

Boehner told reporters that he hopes budget talks led by Republican Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray can produce a deal that sets spending levels for fiscal 2014.

“I’m hopeful, but if not, the House will be prepared to move” a 2014 spending bill at levels specified by the Budget Control Act, Boehner said. Continue reading “U.S. Republicans to keep cuts if budget talks fail: Boehner”