House and Senate negotiators appear to be nearing an agreement that would set government funding levels for the next two years – and avoid another shutdown come January. As always, the devil will be in as-yet-undisclosed details.
By Francine Kiefer, Staff writer / December 6, 2013
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. discusses the unfinished work of Congress and the struggle for Republican and Democratic budget negotiators to reach a compromise, at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday. She is joined by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Md., left, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the ranking member of the House Budget Committee.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Washington
Don’t exhale just yet, but it looks as if a budget deal to avert a government shutdown in January is taking shape.
The agreement is still as wiggly as Jell-O, and plenty of disagreements could cause it to slide off the plate. But after enduring the first government shutdown in 17 years, no federal budget in four years, and worse-than-dismal public approval ratings for Congress, lawmakers are eager to strike a deal as soon as next week – and then enjoy the holidays without the prospect of another budget showdown next month.
If a deal firms up and gets approved by the House and Senate, it will mark a pause, at least, in the fiscal wars that have taken a toll on Washington, the US economy, and the public since 2011. That’s when Republicans leveraged the need to raise the US debt limit to try to extract budget cuts from Democrats. Continue reading “Budget deal in the offing? Outlines emerge, details sketchy, support iffy.”
By: Ginger Gibson
December 5, 2013 04:19 PM EST
Top House Democrats are unhappy with elements of an emerging budget deal that they say abandons the party’s principles.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top House Democrat on the budget conference committee, is upset that the budget deal might not include a call for new taxes. The framework, being negotiated by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), would likely raise revenue from fee increases.
Van Hollen said such an arrangement amounts to abandoning the middle class.
“As these talks have unnecessarily dragged on these priorities are at risk of being left behind,” the Maryland Democrat said. Continue reading “Democrats criticize emerging budget deal”