Do-Nothing Congress Dithers on Budget as Deadline Nears

By Heidi Przybyla & Brian Wingfield – Nov 28, 2013 11:00 PM CT
Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo
Rear Adm. Mike Franken, Chief of Legislative Affairs for the Secretary of the Navy, left, speaks with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Nov. 7, 2013, prior to Greenert testifying before the Senate Armed Service Committee hearing on the impact of sequestration on nation defense.

Congress’s latest attempt at crafting a budget plan is on track to end up the same way as others have in the past decade: with little or no agreement.

Do-Nothing Congress Dithers on Budget as Panel’s Deadline Nears

The Capitol building in Washington,. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Negotiators have little chance of breaking this string of futility, even after a 16-day government shutdown in October that cost the U.S. economy $24 billion. If they do, it’ll only be to curb automatic spending cuts, including $19 billion that hits the Pentagon starting in January.

Now budget experts, labor unions and business groups are saying enough’s enough, and questioning why lawmakers can’t live within their means the way ordinary Americans do and instead lurch from one budget standoff to the next. Continue reading “Do-Nothing Congress Dithers on Budget as Deadline Nears”

Tale Of The Tape: Comparing The Budget Committee Heads

by Frank James

October 30, 201311:08 AM

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., differ in style and ideology but show signs of having a good working relationship.Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., differ in style and ideology but show signs of having a good working relationship.

Two wily veterans of Congress’ fiscal wars will lead the budget talks scheduled to start Wednesday: Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the heads of the House and Senate budget committees.

As the 29 lawmakers on the budget conference committee — 22 from the Senate and seven from the House — sit down to begin negotiations, they’ll have in Ryan and Murray two lawmakers who from most accounts get along well despite their many differences.

“I think they’ve established a good working relationship with mutual respect for each other when you think about how many of our leaders aren’t really talking to each other anymore,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, who has talked about fiscal matters with both lawmakers over the years. Continue reading “Tale Of The Tape: Comparing The Budget Committee Heads”