Hoyer casts ‘no’ vote in break with Dem leaders

December 12, 2013, 07:26 pm

Hoyer casts ‘no’ vote in break with Dem leaders

By Mike Lillis and Erik Wasson

 

Breaking with his fellow Democratic leaders, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Thursday voted against a bipartisan deal to finance the government for the next two years.

The minority whip conceded that the controversial measure was “better than the alternative” of not reaching a deal, but he said he also wanted to make a statement that the package “does not deal with the fundamental issue of long-term fiscal stability.”

The Maryland lawmaker, who represents thousands of current and retired federal workers, acknowledged that his opposition came despite his role in negotiating some of the details of the final bill. Continue reading “Hoyer casts ‘no’ vote in break with Dem leaders”

Key Support For Budget Deal; Deficits Would Rise

by The Associated Press

December 11, 2013 5:13 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A newly minted budget deal to avert future government shutdowns gained important ground Wednesday among House Republicans who are more accustomed to brinkmanship than compromise, even though it would nudge federal deficits higher three years in a row.

There was grumbling from opposite ends of the political spectrum — conservatives complaining about spending levels and liberal Democrats unhappy there would be no extension of an expiring program of benefits for the long-term unemployed.

Yet other lawmakers, buffeted by criticism after last October’s partial government shutdown, found plenty to like in the agreement and suggested it could lead to future cooperation. The plan was announced Tuesday evening by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and quickly endorsed by President Barack Obama. Continue reading “Key Support For Budget Deal; Deficits Would Rise”

Dems threaten budget deal

Dems threaten budget deal

Lauren Schneiderman

By Vicki Needham, Mike Lillis and Bernie Becker – 12/11/13 05:15 PM EST

 

The budget deal worked out by House and Senate negotiators is on the verge of unraveling over the exclusion of federal unemployment benefits, several leading Democrats warned Wednesday.

The lawmakers are outraged by a GOP move to add the Medicare “doc fix” to the package but not a continuation of unemployment benefits — a strategy they say could sink the entire package by scaring away Democratic votes.

Reps. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Sandy Levin (Mich.) said the move creates a “new dynamic” undermining Democratic support for the plan announced Tuesday by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).  Continue reading “Dems threaten budget deal”

A Modest, Common Sense Budget Deal the Tea Party Will Stop at Nothing to Destroy

Politics & Policy

A Modest, Common Sense Budget Deal the Tea Party Will Stop at Nothing to Destroy

By December 11, 2013

 House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray give a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, on Dec. 10

Photograph by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray give a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, on Dec. 10

On Tuesday night, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington announced they had agreed on a budget deal that would ease automatic sequestration cuts by about $60 billion over the next two years and pay for this new spending by raising airline ticket fees, cutting federal pensions and extending a 2 percent cut to Medicare. On the one hand, this is a minor miracle because it breaks the pattern of Congress operating only under crisis conditions that have hurt economic confidence and caused a shutdown. Last week, I explained why passing even a modest deal like this one was very good news. Nickel version: it provides modest stimulus, avoids another shutdown, and makes another default scare less likely. Continue reading “A Modest, Common Sense Budget Deal the Tea Party Will Stop at Nothing to Destroy”

Largest Federal Employee Union Leader Rejects Budget Deal Targeting Federal Pensions

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Largest Federal Employee Union Leader Rejects Budget Deal Targeting Federal Pensions

 
AFGE logo. (PRNewsFoto/American Federation of Government Employees)

AFGE rejects notion that there should be trade-off between federal programs and federal employees

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement in response to the budget deal announced today by the Budget Conference Committee:

“Despite the extraordinarily hard work of several Congressional leaders, AFGE cannot support any budget deal that asks for more from federal employees. AFGE represents more than just the 670,000 federal and D.C government employees on the rolls today, but every other federal worker who will one day take the oath and be forced to live with this needless pension cut.

“AFGE rejects the notion that there should be a trade-off between funding the programs to which federal employees have devoted their lives, and their own livelihoods. Though the $6 billion in increased retirement contributions for new employees is less severe than the administration’s $20 billion proposal, it is still unacceptable.

“Newly hired federal employees already pay 3.1% of their salaries toward their defined benefit pension and 6.2% to Social Security. Forcing employees hired after 2013 to pay an additional 1.3% — for a total of 4.4% — toward their pension will make it all but impossible for them to fund their Thrift Savings Plan accounts.  The result will be a serious shortfall in their retirement income security, and a substantial lowering of their standard of living. Continue reading “Largest Federal Employee Union Leader Rejects Budget Deal Targeting Federal Pensions”