John Boehner’s offer puts President Obama on the spot

 John Boehner’s offer puts President Obama on the spotBy: Carrie Budoff Brown and Jonathan Allen
October 10, 2013 03:34 PM EDT
John Boehner and Barack Obama are pictured. | AP Photos
President Barack Obama may get the clean debt limit extension he’s been demanding, but it wouldn’t be a clean victory.By adopting the House GOP plan to raise the debt ceiling, Obama would avoid a potentially crippling blow to the economy and, in the White House’s view, finally break Republicans of their habit of seeking concessions each time the debt ceiling needs to be raised.

But the downsides are significant. The federal government might not immediately reopen, there’s no guarantee Republicans would stop using the debt limit as leverage in the future and Obama could find himself in the same position once the temporary extension expires.

(PHOTOS: 25 great shutdown quotes) Continue reading “John Boehner’s offer puts President Obama on the spot”

As financial markets show signs of worry, White House plans meetings with lawmakers

 

As financial markets show signs of worry, White House plans meetings with lawmakers

By , and , Updated: Wednesday, October 9, 3:20 PM

With financial markets reflecting growing concern about the potential for a U.S. default, the White House on Wednesday announced a series of meetings with lawmakers from both parties to focus on the government shutdown, looming debt crisis and festering fiscal stalemate.

House Democrats have been invited to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW on Wednesday afternoon, a White House official said. Senate Democrats, House Republicans and Senate Republicans will be asked to attend similar sessions in the coming days.

The meetings come as Republicans are accusing President Obama of not negotiating with them over the budget and debt-ceiling impasse. On Tuesday, Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) clashed publicly, and no progress was made on how to reopen the government and pay the nation’s bills.

[Read the latest updates on the shutdown.] Continue reading “As financial markets show signs of worry, White House plans meetings with lawmakers”

Budget cuts would hit Congress but not its members

Budget cuts would hit Congress but not its members

Feb. 26, 2013 – 11:22AM   |  By GREGORY KORTE   |
Members of Congress would not take paycuts under sequestration, but they might have to cut staff members.

Members of Congress would not take paycuts under sequestration, but they might have to cut staff members. (Karen Bleier / AFP)

As the rest of the federal government prepares for furloughs, layoffs and sweeping budget cuts caused by sequestration, the people who could prevent the cuts are the ones whose paychecks are protected: members of Congress.

The 27th Amendment to the Constitution — intended to prevent members of Congress from voting themselves a pay raise — also prohibits them from taking a pay cut until after the next election.

Congress will feel the pain in other ways. Members’ office budgets, committee staff and leadership offices will all see the same across-the-board cuts as any other discretionary, non-defense spending. Continue reading “Budget cuts would hit Congress but not its members”

Fed pay freeze vote postponed

Fed pay freeze vote postponed

“We must pass our bills and responsibly budget for our future,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said.
“We must pass our bills and responsibly budget for our future,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said. Charles Dharapak/AP

This story has been updated.

The House will not consider a bill this week that extends the pay freeze for civilian government workers, allowing some time for federal employee advocates to continue their crusade against the measure.

The chamber scheduled a vote on H.R. 273 for Wednesday, but has decided to postpone its consideration, and instead move on legislation that would withhold congressional pay if lawmakers fail to pass a budget in the next few months. “We are now voting on the No Budget No Pay bill tomorrow,” said Megan Whittemore, a spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. Continue reading “Fed pay freeze vote postponed”