GOP readying for end-of-year spending fights

GOP readying for end-of-year spending fights

Angered by Democratic success in the recent budget deal, Republican aim for policy wins in year-end spending package.


151104_senate_gop_2_gty_1160.jpgSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined by, from left, Sen. Roy Blunt, Sen. John Thune and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn during a Capitol Hill press conference. | Getty

Republicans are threatening to jam Democrats with controversial policy riders in December on everything from Dodd-Frank rollbacks to curbs on the Environmental Protection Agency’s powers, hoping to get revenge on a minority that’s spent the past week gloating over a bipartisan budget deal.

With Congress facing a Dec. 11 deadline to pass a year-end spending bill, the drama will focus on GOP attempts to slip significant policy changes into the omnibus package at the eleventh hour and force congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama to swallow them. Republicans are looking past deal-breakers like defunding Planned Parenthood or blocking Obama’s immigration actions, shifting instead to more granular policies they think Democrats could be forced to accept.
“Democrats insisting that there not be policy riders is … a big mistake,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). “There’s never been an omnibus bill that didn’t have policy riders. This bill will have policy riders in it, and I think it’s only a process of seeing how many and how far they go.”

Continue reading “GOP readying for end-of-year spending fights”

House passes bill to ‘rein in excessive regulatory costs.’ Could it become law?

January 15 at 6:00 AM

The Republican-controlled House this week approved a bill that would impose additional red tape on federal regulators, the people normally dispensing the tape.

The measure, which passed on Tuesday with support from eight Democrats, would require agencies to adopt the least-costly regulations considered during rule-making, with limited exceptions.

The proposal would also add more than 74 new requirements to the rule-making process, many of which would require regulators to carefully document whether they answered questions such as:

* Have you considered the alternative of no federal response?

* Have you considered whether this rule would contribute to the very problem you’re trying to address?

* Are you legally authorized to propose a rule in this situation?

* Have you considered the benefits of alternative rules?

Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who sponsored the legislation, said in a statement last week that the measure would “rein in excessive regulatory costs.”

Although the bill passed the house, it is unclear whether the new Republican-controlled Senate will bother to vote on it, especially after the White House threatened to veto the measure on Monday.

The White House said in a statement that the proposal would “impose unprecedented and unnecessary procedural requirements on agencies that would prevent them from efficiently performing their statutory responsibilities” and “create needless regulatory uncertainty.”

The legislation’s supporters have brushed off that thinking, saying the bill would only give the government a taste of its own medicine.

“We feel your pain,” Dan Danner, chief executive of the National Federation of Independent Business, said in a statement this week. “It shouldn’t be easy for the government to make life harder for small businesses and individual citizens.”

If passed, the bill would hinder some of the Obama administration’s biggest regulatory efforts, including plans to implement stricter carbon-emissions standards and a proposal to reclassify Internet providers as public utilities.

In order to overcome a presidential veto, Congress would need to pass the legislation with a two-thirds vote, or supermajority, after Obama rejects it. Republicans do not have enough seats in the House or Senate to accomplish that feat on their own.

Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.

Feds Sail Smoothly Toward a 2014 Pay Raise

Feds Sail Smoothly Toward a 2014 Pay Raise


For months, federal employees have quietly waited to learn the fate of their long-awaited pay raise.

In August, President Obama affirmed his intention to grant an across-the-board, 1 percent increase. The first raise since 2010 was far from out of the woods, however. In 2012, Obama recommended a 0.5 percent pay raise for 2013, only to have it struck down by Congress.

Congress had the chance to do the same when it ended the government shutdown in October, but declined to do so. It once again could have struck down the raise in the latest budget agreement, but once again let the raise remain. Continue reading “Feds Sail Smoothly Toward a 2014 Pay Raise”

Budget peace breaks out _ after Boehner tough talk

Budget peace breaks out _ after Boehner tough talk

By DAVID ESPO 1 hour ago

Boehner Takes on the Tea Party

WASHINGTON (AP) — Battle-fatigued and suddenly bipartisan, the House voted Thursday night to ease across-the-board federal spending cuts and head off future government shutdowns, acting after Speaker John Boehner unleashed a stinging attack on tea party-aligned conservative groups campaigning for the measure’s defeat.

The legislation, backed by the White House, cleared on a vote of 332-94, with lopsided majorities of Republicans and Democrats alike voting in favor. Final passage is expected next week in the Senate.

The events in the House gave a light coating of bipartisan cooperation to the end of a bruising year of divided government — memorable for a partial government shutdown, flirtation with an unprecedented Treasury default and gridlock on immigration, gun control and other items on President Barack Obama’s second-term agenda.

Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, hailed the vote, saying it “shows Washington can and should stop governing by crisis and both sides can work together to get things done.” Continue reading “Budget peace breaks out _ after Boehner tough talk”

Threats to Your Retirement and Pay

Threats to Your Retirement and Pay


By December 13th, House and Senate appropriators need to come up with a budget to fund the government for next year, or risk another shutdown. Anti-federal employee members of Congress are once again targeting your retirement, pay, and even your jobs for more cuts. You earned your pay and benefits and Congress will never take them away from you without your consent.


Don’t become their ransom paid to solve another manufactured crisis. Use the resources in our Budget War Room to educate your peers, organize your communities, and fight for what you have earned.


What Proposals are on the Table?


House Budget – Paul Ryan (WI) Senate Budget – Patty Murray (WA)
Pay Freeze “Pay for performance” 1% pay increase
Retirement Increases employee pension contributions by 5.5% Leaves retirement intact
Sequestration Preserves sequester cuts, but directs them toward non-defense agencies. Replaces sequester with a mix of taxes and spending cuts
Jobs Cuts 210,000 jobs by attrition by 2015 Maintains current employment levels


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