House approves budget deal in big 266-167 vote

House approves budget deal in big 266-167 vote

By Mike Lillis and Peter Schroeder – 10/28/15 05:14 PM EDT

House lawmakers in both parties joined forces Wednesday to pass a sweeping budget deal that marks both a parting victory for outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and a valedictory gift for his likely replacement, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

The final vote was 266 to 167, with 79 Republicans joining every Democrat in sealing passage. Ryan was among the supporters.

The legislation, which raises federal spending levels and expands the government’s borrowing authority, would push two of Congress’s fiercest fiscal fights well beyond next year’s elections, avoiding potential standoffs with President Obama and easing Ryan’s transition into the Speaker’s chair. Continue reading “House approves budget deal in big 266-167 vote”

Unions lash out at ObamaCare regs

January 29, 2014, 02:33 pm

Unions lash out at ObamaCare regs

By Kevin Bogardus

Leaders of major labor unions say they are “bitterly disappointed” with the regulatory changes made to ObamaCare, arguing they do little to help workers who are suffering under the law.

In a letter dated Monday, leaders of major unions told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that proposed regulations for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would do nothing to help union health plans.

They said the administration has failed to address their concerns about worker health plans, and the healthcare law threatens to lower living standards for the working class.

“It would be a sad irony if the signature legislative accomplishment of an administration committed to reducing income inequality cut living standards for middle income and low wage workers,” the labor leaders wrote. Continue reading “Unions lash out at ObamaCare regs”

Even small ball too much for Congress

Even small ball too much for Congress

By: Darren Samuelsohn and David Nather
January 22, 2014 05:01 AM EST

From left, clockwise: Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi are shown in this composite. | AP Photos

Everybody knows that Congress can’t do anything big any more – but it turns out Capitol Hill is equally hapless about getting the small stuff done as well.

All the dysfunctional partisan gridlock keeping the House and Senate worlds apart on the transcendent issues of the day also means little progress on the no-brainers, like technical corrections and minor fixes to Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. Revamping the nation’s energy policies with low-hanging fruit proposals championed by both Democratic and GOP lawmakers are stuck, too.

It’s a broken government with messy consequences. Absent action from Congress, the Obama administration is stuck navigating a maze of murky statutes and crafting regulations ripe for lawsuits. A glance at recent Supreme Court and federal appellate court dockets underscores what happens when inertia rules in the House and Senate.

(PHOTOS: Senators up for election in 2014) Continue reading “Even small ball too much for Congress”

Senate Ends Budget Debate, Clearing Way for Passage

Senate Ends Budget Debate, Clearing Way for Passage

 
Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, spoke to members of the media on Tuesday.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesStephen Crowley/The New York TimesStephen Crowley/The New York TimesStephen Crowley/The New York TimesStephen Crowley/The New York Times

By

Published: December 17, 2013 194 Comments

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan tax-and-spending plan designed to bring some normalcy to Congress’s budgeting after three years of chaos cleared its final hurdle on Tuesday when 67 senators voted to end debate on the measure and bring it to a final vote before it goes to President Obama for his signature.

The 67-33 vote easily surpassed the 60-vote threshold to break a filibuster and made way for final passage with a simple, 51-vote majority, likely on Wednesday. Republican support was surprisingly strong after days of uncertainty fueled by political posturing and Tea Party opposition.

The budget plan would restore $63 billion to defense and domestic programs in fiscal 2014 and 2015 from the levels they would have received if automatic, across-the-board spending cuts were to resume in January. Over 10 years, the plan would decrease cumulative deficits slightly by trimming military and federal worker pensions, extending a 2 percent cut to Medicare providers into next decade and making other changes, like ending federal research for some fossil-fuel discovery efforts. Continue reading “Senate Ends Budget Debate, Clearing Way for Passage”

A Modest, Common Sense Budget Deal the Tea Party Will Stop at Nothing to Destroy

Politics & Policy

A Modest, Common Sense Budget Deal the Tea Party Will Stop at Nothing to Destroy

By December 11, 2013

 House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray give a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, on Dec. 10

Photograph by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray give a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, on Dec. 10

On Tuesday night, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington announced they had agreed on a budget deal that would ease automatic sequestration cuts by about $60 billion over the next two years and pay for this new spending by raising airline ticket fees, cutting federal pensions and extending a 2 percent cut to Medicare. On the one hand, this is a minor miracle because it breaks the pattern of Congress operating only under crisis conditions that have hurt economic confidence and caused a shutdown. Last week, I explained why passing even a modest deal like this one was very good news. Nickel version: it provides modest stimulus, avoids another shutdown, and makes another default scare less likely. Continue reading “A Modest, Common Sense Budget Deal the Tea Party Will Stop at Nothing to Destroy”