Government shutdown lurks in budget negotiations

Government shutdown lurks in budget negotiations

The Budget Bipartisan Act of 2015 is like a paper map for preventing government shutdown. While it lays out a clear route to where you want to go, it’s still depends on the user to get there.

The legislation, which was signed into law on Nov. 2, provides the broad strokes of how to fund the government for the next two years, but Congress still has to decide exactly how it will appropriate funding by Dec. 11 or the government could still shutdown.  That said, passive of what can be deemed a spending guide of sorts has legislative watchers cautiously optimistic.

“It will provide a small amount of stability and some predictability for the government overall,” said Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel of the Professional Services Council. “There are still some hurdles to overcome between now and Dec. 11. We’ll be watching those closely, but having this agreement is far better than not having it.”

Continue reading “Government shutdown lurks in budget negotiations”

Paul Ryan prepares to ascend to speaker; pile of mess awaits

Paul Ryan prepares to ascend to speaker; pile of mess awaits

Associated Press

Associated Press Videos

Boehner: Paul Ryan Would Make A Great Speaker

Boehner: Paul Ryan Would Make A Great Speaker

Boehner: Paul Ryan Would Make A Great Speaker

WASHINGTON (AP) — The honeymoon might be over before it even begins for House Speaker-in-waiting Paul Ryan when he is elevated to the top job this coming week.

The Wisconsin Republican, on track to prevail in secret-ballot GOP elections Wednesday and in a full House vote Thursday, would take over at a moment of chaos notable even for a Congress where crisis has become routine.

Lawmakers are barreling toward a Nov. 3 deadline to raise the federal borrowing limit or face an unprecedented government default, and there’s no plan in sight for averting it.

Crucial highway funding authority is about to expire, requiring a short-term extension that no one supports.

And early December will bring the next chapter in the government shutdown wars, with a must-pass deadline for spending legislation a ripe opportunity for brinksmanship.

Continue reading “Paul Ryan prepares to ascend to speaker; pile of mess awaits”

What Paul Ryan believes in

What Paul Ryan believes in

October 21 at 11:46 AM

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday he would run for speaker of the House–under certain conditions. The job could yield many headaches, but he’ll at least have the last laugh over Newt Gingrich, the former speaker who has criticized Ryan’s proposals to overhaul Medicare.

“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” Gingrich said in 2011. “I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.”

Now Ryan might have the chance to press forward on his vision as the top Republican official in the country.

Gingrich, a Republican who represented Georgia in Congress, later apologized to Ryan. All the same, the remarks from a lawmaker who was himself instrumental in overhauling welfare in 1996 are revealing.

Continue reading “What Paul Ryan believes in”

Freedom Caucus wary of Ryan’s demands


M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

Freedom Caucus wary of Ryan’s demands

Some conservatives complain he’s setting them up to be blamed if he decides not to run.

By LAUREN FRENCH 10/20/15 11:50 PM EDT

Paul Ryan wants a full embrace from the House Freedom Caucus before he runs for House speaker. Early signs from the conservatives are they might never get there.

After Ryan addressed Republicans late Tuesday, saying he would need conservative backing to run, lawmakers in the 40-member group of hard-line conservatives came away wary of the Ways and Means chief’s demand for unconditional support. They were dismissive of his Ryan’s request that they relinquish a procedural tactic they used to threaten to strip outgoing Speaker John Boehner of his title – one of the most potent weapons in the group’s arsenal.

And it is clear the conservative lawmakers will insist on more specifics from Ryan before they would consider an endorsement. Sources within the caucus said he’ll have to discuss policy and procedural changes the Freedom Caucus wants and offer up tangible promises to decentralize power from leadership to rank-and-file members if he wants their backing. Continue reading “Freedom Caucus wary of Ryan’s demands”

Potential Speaker Paul Ryan Just Issued A List Of Demands To Republicans. The Right Wing Isn’t Happy.

Potential Speaker Paul Ryan Just Issued A List Of Demands To Republicans. The Right Wing Isn’t Happy.

OCT 20, 2015 9:53PM


Paul Ryan, who has said repeatedly he does not want to be House Speaker, now will consider the position. But only if the all Republican House members, including the hard-line “Freedom Caucus,” agree to a series of demands.

What the Freedom Caucus wants

The Freedom Caucus, which consists of about 40 members, had been demanding that potential candidates for speaker make a detailed set of substantive commitments in exchange for their support. Kevin McCarthy wouldn’t agree to these, so the Freedom Caucus endorsed another candidate. McCarthy was then forced to drop out because he didn’t have enough support to be elected speaker.

McCarthy had good reason to resist. Although Freedom Caucus members say they want “process reforms,” they are actually seeking a series of commitments from a potential speaker candidates that would send the country over a cliff.

For example, they want the next speaker to refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless it is tied to cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. This is something the Democrats in Congress and President Obama would never agree to, potentially setting up the country for catastrophic default. Continue reading “Potential Speaker Paul Ryan Just Issued A List Of Demands To Republicans. The Right Wing Isn’t Happy.”

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