Both sides agree: No major budget deal foreseen

Both sides agree: No major budget deal foreseen

By ANDREW TAYLOR 6 hours ago
FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2013, photo, House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., laughs as he walks to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Forget a grand bargain. Reaching even a small budget deal will be a challenge when negotiators start meeting in an effort to salvage any kind of agreement in the aftermath of this month’s shutdown debacle and debt limit crisis. "If we focus on some big, grand bargain then we’re going to focus on our differences and both sides are going to require that the other side compromises some core principle and then we’ll get nothing done," Ryan, said in an interview on Oct. 24. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)
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FILE – In this Oct. 11, 2013, photo, House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., laughs as he walks to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Forget a grand bargain. Reaching even a small budget deal will be a challenge when negotiators start meeting in an effort to salvage any kind of agreement in the aftermath of this month’s shutdown debacle and debt limit crisis. “If we focus on some big, grand bargain then we’re going to focus on our differences and both sides are going to require that the other side compromises some core principle and then we’ll get nothing done,” Ryan, said in an interview on Oct. 24. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — On this, GOP budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan and top Senate Democrat Harry Reid can agree: There won’t be a “grand bargain” on the budget.

Instead, the Wisconsin Republican and the Nevada Democrat both say the best Washington can do in this bitterly partisan era of divided government is a small-ball bargain that tries to take the edge off of automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

Official Capitol Hill negotiations start next week, but Ryan and Reid both weighed in Thursday to tamp down any expectations that the talks might forge a large-scale agreement where several previous high-level talks have failed. Continue reading “Both sides agree: No major budget deal foreseen”

AFGE Statement on Government Shutdown

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 1, 2013

Contact:Tim Kauffman
202-639-6405/202-374-6491
kaufft@afge.org

AFGE Statement on Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement:

“The moment we have been dreading has arrived.  The House of Representatives has shut down the federal government, locking out 800,000 federal employees who want to go to work to support the American people.

“The seriousness of refusing the fund the government seems to elude the members of the House who maneuvered us into this lockout.  It’s anybody’s guess what their real goals may be:  Do they enjoy creating chaos?  Do they enjoy inflicting additional hardship on the working- and middle-class employees who provide services to the American public?  Do they hate the notion of letting the uninsured buy affordable insurance, or just hate the idea that the government is helping them do so?

“Or is this just an elaborate way to destroy the most popular and successful government programs, Social Security and Medicare?

“President Obama has promised that he will not negotiate to end this crisis, and we strongly support that position.  Recent similar standoffs have been resolved largely on the backs of federal employees, taking away our pay, retirement, and jobs.  This time, we expect the administration to hold firm, and resist the temptation to give in by cutting federal retirement or Social Security.  There is no justification for using federal employees to pay ransom.”

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The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia. For the latest AFGE news and information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Sequestration could be bad for your health

POSTED: Sunday, March 3, 2013, 5:05 AM
Robert I. Field, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H., Professor, Earle Mack School of Law & Drexel School of Public Health

With no deal in Washington to stop it, the sequestration of federal funds is about to begin. It could be enough to make you sick – literally.

Some of the automatic budget cuts won’t be felt for months, if sequestration lasts that long. But several cuts involving health care will hit us much sooner. And they could hit us hard.

Here are five to be especially concerned about. (Figures for their impacts this year in Pennsylvania are available here.) Continue reading “Sequestration could be bad for your health”

Ryan budget seeks higher retirement contributions by federal employees

Ryan budget seeks higher retirement contributions by federal employees

Posted by Eric Yoder on March 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm

The federal workforce would be reduced by attrition and employees would pay more toward their retirement benefits under the budget plan unveiled Tuesday by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

“The federal government’s responsibilities require a strong federal workforce. Federal workers deserve to be compensated equitably for their important work, but their pay levels, pay increases and fringe benefits should be reformed to better align with those of their private-sector counterparts,” the plan says.

“The federal workforce is composed of some of the best-educated and most dedicated people in America. This workforce is integral to a well-functioning government. However, taxpayers must also receive an excellent value for their dollars,” it adds. Continue reading “Ryan budget seeks higher retirement contributions by federal employees”

Paul Ryan’s New Budget Promises Don’t Add Up

Paul Ryan’s New Budget Promises Don’t Add Up

Mary Altaffer/AP

Paul Ryan made two promises, but he can only keep one. As Ryan finishes up the new House Republican budget before he presents it to reporters Wednesday, he’s confronting a last-minute problem on Medicare, Politico’s Jake Sherman and Jonathan Allen report. He’s promised House Republicans that his budget will balance itself in a decade — instead of three, as his earlier budgets did. But he’s also promised that his plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system wouldn’t effect anyone over the age of 55. Paul Ryan simply cannot do both of those things. Continue reading “Paul Ryan’s New Budget Promises Don’t Add Up”