House approves budget deal in big 266-167 vote

House approves budget deal in big 266-167 vote

By Mike Lillis and Peter Schroeder – 10/28/15 05:14 PM EDT

House lawmakers in both parties joined forces Wednesday to pass a sweeping budget deal that marks both a parting victory for outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and a valedictory gift for his likely replacement, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

The final vote was 266 to 167, with 79 Republicans joining every Democrat in sealing passage. Ryan was among the supporters.

The legislation, which raises federal spending levels and expands the government’s borrowing authority, would push two of Congress’s fiercest fiscal fights well beyond next year’s elections, avoiding potential standoffs with President Obama and easing Ryan’s transition into the Speaker’s chair. Continue reading “House approves budget deal in big 266-167 vote”

Unions lash out at ObamaCare regs

January 29, 2014, 02:33 pm

Unions lash out at ObamaCare regs

By Kevin Bogardus

Leaders of major labor unions say they are “bitterly disappointed” with the regulatory changes made to ObamaCare, arguing they do little to help workers who are suffering under the law.

In a letter dated Monday, leaders of major unions told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that proposed regulations for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would do nothing to help union health plans.

They said the administration has failed to address their concerns about worker health plans, and the healthcare law threatens to lower living standards for the working class.

“It would be a sad irony if the signature legislative accomplishment of an administration committed to reducing income inequality cut living standards for middle income and low wage workers,” the labor leaders wrote. Continue reading “Unions lash out at ObamaCare regs”

Even small ball too much for Congress

Even small ball too much for Congress

By: Darren Samuelsohn and David Nather
January 22, 2014 05:01 AM EST

From left, clockwise: Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi are shown in this composite. | AP Photos

Everybody knows that Congress can’t do anything big any more – but it turns out Capitol Hill is equally hapless about getting the small stuff done as well.

All the dysfunctional partisan gridlock keeping the House and Senate worlds apart on the transcendent issues of the day also means little progress on the no-brainers, like technical corrections and minor fixes to Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. Revamping the nation’s energy policies with low-hanging fruit proposals championed by both Democratic and GOP lawmakers are stuck, too.

It’s a broken government with messy consequences. Absent action from Congress, the Obama administration is stuck navigating a maze of murky statutes and crafting regulations ripe for lawsuits. A glance at recent Supreme Court and federal appellate court dockets underscores what happens when inertia rules in the House and Senate.

(PHOTOS: Senators up for election in 2014) Continue reading “Even small ball too much for Congress”

How Patty Murray won over Dems on budget fight

How Patty Murray won over Dems on budget fight

By: Manu Raju
December 13, 2013 05:03 AM EST

Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray talks with POLITICO about negotiating a budget plan on Dec. 11. | John Shinkle/POLITICO

President Barack Obama was on the phone repeatedly with Sen. Patty Murray during the high-stakes budget talks and asked how he could help.

Murray’s response: I got this.

The veteran Washington Democrat, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, had quietly and methodically built a close relationship with a man long vilified by the White House and congressional Democrats: Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican and Mitt Romney’s running mate. But after private negotiations with each other, starting in the Senate dining room exactly a year ago and culminating after Murray’s tense talks with furious House Democrats, the two were able to do what seemed impossible in a gridlocked Congress: Reach a bipartisan budget accord.

(Also on POLITICO: GOP and conservative groups: The breakup begins) Continue reading “How Patty Murray won over Dems on budget fight”

Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points

Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points

Summary of Elements Impacting Feds:

1. Post-12/31/13 hires will pay an additional 1.3% toward their pensions, for total of 4.4%

2. FEHB will add a ‘self plus one’ option, which inevitably increases family plan premiums

3. Contractor salary reimbursement cap dropped to $487,000

4. The total deal is $85 billion. About $45 billion of that replaces sequestration cuts in 2014. About $20 billion replaces sequestration cuts in 2015. (Washington Post) Continue reading “Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points”