How the Budget Deal Will Die

How the Budget Deal Will Die

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Charles Dharapak/AP

Rep. Paul Ryan began the budget conference committee last month by warning Democrats that they would sabotage the negotiations by insisting on a debate over more revenue.

“If this conference becomes an argument about taxes, we’re not going to get anywhere,” Ryan told the group on Oct. 30. It took Democrats all of one week to dismiss his advice.

Several liberal lawmakers on the committee drafted a memo last week detailing “egregious tax loopholes” that could be closed to raise revenue and help soften sequester cuts—a nonstarter for Ryan and the House Republican Conference. Continue reading “How the Budget Deal Will Die”

Tale Of The Tape: Comparing The Budget Committee Heads

by Frank James

October 30, 201311:08 AM

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., differ in style and ideology but show signs of having a good working relationship.Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., differ in style and ideology but show signs of having a good working relationship.

Two wily veterans of Congress’ fiscal wars will lead the budget talks scheduled to start Wednesday: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the heads of the House and Senate budget committees.

As the 29 lawmakers on the budget conference committee — 22 from the Senate and seven from the House — sit down to begin negotiations, they’ll have in Ryan and Murray two lawmakers who from most accounts get along well despite their many differences.

“I think they’ve established a good working relationship with mutual respect for each other when you think about how many of our leaders aren’t really talking to each other anymore,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, who has talked about fiscal matters with both lawmakers over the years. Continue reading “Tale Of The Tape: Comparing The Budget Committee Heads”

Budget Negotiators Agree on One Thing: Avoiding Another Shutdown

Budget Negotiators Agree on One Thing: Avoiding Another Shutdown

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has introduced a bill to end government shutdowns.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has introduced a bill to end government shutdowns. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Congressional budget negotiators on Wednesday attempted to temper expectations for a big deal, and lawmakers dug in along party lines on the issue of continuing sequestration.

The bicameral budget conference committee, put into place as a condition of reopening the government after the recent 16-day shutdown, held its first official meeting Wednesday and each of the 29 members spoke on the need to reduce the federal deficit. While Democrats and Republicans largely disagreed on how to get there, they largely agreed on one idea: think small.

“I don’t think we’re going to do a grand bargain here,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. “Let’s at least do a good bargain for the American people.” Continue reading “Budget Negotiators Agree on One Thing: Avoiding Another Shutdown”

John Kerry: Foreign Leaders Mocked Us Over the Shutdown

John Kerry: Foreign Leaders Mocked Us Over the Shutdown

State Department

Just how bad was the shutdown for America’s image on the world stage? So bad, says Secretary of State John Kerry, that foreign officials joked about buying him meals.

“I have seen how our allies, our partners and those who wish to challenge us or to do us harm are all sizing us up every day,” Kerry said at an event hosted by Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank. “What we do in Washington matters deeply…that’s why a self-inflicted wound like the shutdown can never happen again.”

Kerry added that the shutdown delayed security aid to Israel. “The dysfunction and the shutdown and the simplistic dialogue that came with it didn’t impress anyone,” he said. Continue reading “John Kerry: Foreign Leaders Mocked Us Over the Shutdown”

Senate Reaches Bipartisan Fiscal Deal

Senate Reaches Bipartisan Fiscal Deal

Doug Mills/The New York Times

The House speaker, John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, arrived for a meeting on Wednesday morning.

By and
Published: October 16, 2013

WASHINGTON — Senate Democratic and Republican leaders on Wednesday reached final agreement on a deal to reopen the government and extend its borrowing authority into February, with votes in the House and the Senate possibly to begin in the afternoon, according to aides familiar with the negotiations.

Senate Republicans have gathered for a final review, but lawmakers have given no indication they will block it. A government shutdown into its third week yielded virtually no concessions to the Republicans other than some minor tightening of income verifications for people obtaining subsidized insurance premiums under the new health care law.

Under the agreement, the government would be funded through Jan. 15, and the debt ceiling will be extended to Feb. 7. The Senate will take up a separate motion to instruct House and Senate negotiators to reach accord by Dec. 13 on a long-term blueprint for tax-and-spending policies over the next decade. Continue reading “Senate Reaches Bipartisan Fiscal Deal”