Dems decry midnight rule change

By Mike Lillis – 10/14/13 03:32 PM ET

House Democrats are fuming about a rule change adopted by Republicans just before the government shut down on Oct. 1, arguing it shows GOP leaders closed agencies intentionally.

Under long-standing House rules, any member of the chamber can bring a measure to the floor. But Republicans altered the rule governing legislation to fund the government so that only House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) holds the power to make such a motion.

The practical effect of that change became apparent on Saturday, when Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, tried to bring the Senate-passed continuing resolution (CR) to the floor, only to be shot down.

“That motion may be offered only by the majority leader or his designee,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who was presiding over the chamber at the time. Continue reading “Dems decry midnight rule change”

Senate leaders near deal to end shutdown, raise debt limit

By Erik Wasson and Alexander Bolton – 10/15/13 06:49 AM ET

An emerging deal to reopen the government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling until February gathered political momentum Monday evening after Senate Republicans signaled they would likely support it.

Lawmakers and aides said the legislation would fund the government until Jan. 15 and extend the nation’s borrowing authority until February but leave ObamaCare largely untouched.

One senior Senate aide said it would raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 while another said Feb. 15 remains a possibility.

It would also establish a Senate-House budget committee to craft a replacement for the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, which would have to report its work product to Congress by Dec. 13. Continue reading “Senate leaders near deal to end shutdown, raise debt limit”

Focus on Senate after Obama rejects House plan

Focus on Senate after Obama rejects House plan

By: Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan and Burgess Everett
October 12, 2013 09:10 AM EDT

Mitch McConnell is shown. | M.Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

Speaker John Boehner told House Republicans Saturday morning that his efforts to strike a deal with President Barack Obama are at a standstill.

There is no agreement, Boehner said in a room in the Capitol Saturday, and there are no negotiations between House Republicans and the White House, since Obama rejected the speaker’s effort to lift the debt ceiling for six weeks and reopen government while setting up a budget negotiating process.

With that, a familiar dynamic has resurfaced 12 days into the government shutdown and five days before Treasury says the nation runs out of borrowing authority: The pendulum has swung back to Senate Republicans, who now look more likely to cut a deal with Obama to end the first government shutdown since 1996, and avoid the first default on U.S. debt in history.

(WATCH: Susan Collins: Meeting with Obama good but inconclusive) Continue reading “Focus on Senate after Obama rejects House plan”

Congress Expected to Grant Back Pay to Furloughed Feds

Congress Expected to Grant Back Pay to Furloughed Feds

This story has been updated. 

The House will vote Saturday on a widely supported bill to grant furloughed federal employees retroactive pay upon the reopening of government, Republican leaders have announced.

The bill is expected to pass with bipartisan support, with Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., backing the measure Friday. The legislation — which was introduced by Reps. Jim Moran, D-Va., and Frank Wolf, R-Va. — has garnered more than 150 co-sponsors, including 18 Republicans. It cleared the House Rules Committee Thursday night, and will require a two-thirds majority in the House before it moves on to the Senate.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., introduced identical legislation in the upper chamber. A spokeswoman for Cardin said the schedule is “only a matter of which [chamber] can move first,” adding she expects Senate Democrats to approve the measure once they receive it. Continue reading “Congress Expected to Grant Back Pay to Furloughed Feds”

House to vote on back pay for furloughed government workers

By Jonathan Easley – 10/04/13 11:32 AM ET

The House will vote Saturday on legislation that would provide back pay for federal workers who have been furloughed during the government shutdown.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) office announced the House would remain in session to vote on new legislation that is “critical” to government operations.

One of the bills will deal with back pay for federal workers on furloughs and is likely to pass with support from both parties.

“The House will pass a bill to pay federal workers for their time in furlough once the shutdown ends,” Cantor said in a tweet. Continue reading “House to vote on back pay for furloughed government workers”