Why Harry Reid Fears a Long-Term Shutdown Deal

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| Tue Oct. 15, 2013 12:00 AM PDT
Zhang Jun/Xinhua/ZUMAPress

As the week of a possible government default began, talks aimed at ending the shutdown and the debt ceiling crisis revolved around a new wrinkle: the resistance of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his fellow Senate Democrats to an agreement funding the government for a longer, rather than shorter, period of time. Say what?

Why is kicking the can down the road a couple of months a better option than staving off another government-spending showdown for a half year, as Republicans prefer? It’s because the Republican plan would lock in for even longer the $1.2 trillion in budget cuts known as sequestration, which went into effect in March and which Democrats really hate. Continue reading “Why Harry Reid Fears a Long-Term Shutdown Deal”

Senate leaders near deal to end shutdown, raise debt limit

By Erik Wasson and Alexander Bolton – 10/15/13 06:49 AM ET

An emerging deal to reopen the government and raise the nation’s debt ceiling until February gathered political momentum Monday evening after Senate Republicans signaled they would likely support it.

Lawmakers and aides said the legislation would fund the government until Jan. 15 and extend the nation’s borrowing authority until February but leave ObamaCare largely untouched.

One senior Senate aide said it would raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 while another said Feb. 15 remains a possibility.

It would also establish a Senate-House budget committee to craft a replacement for the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, which would have to report its work product to Congress by Dec. 13. Continue reading “Senate leaders near deal to end shutdown, raise debt limit”

Reid, McConnell near deal to end shutdown, raise $16.7T debt limit

By Erik Wasson and Alexander Bolton – 10/14/13 04:20 PM ET

An emerging Senate deal would raise the nation’s $16.7 trillion debt ceiling until mid-February, according to Senate aides.

There were conflicting claims on how long the extension would last, with one aide saying it would go to Feb. 15 and another saying Feb. 7.

It would immediately reopen the government and fund it until Jan. 15, the aides said.

The deal on the table between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would also establish a House-Senate budget committee to come up with a replacement for automatic sequestration cuts. The conference committee would have to report back to Congress by Dec. 13. Continue reading “Reid, McConnell near deal to end shutdown, raise $16.7T debt limit”

Reid hopes to complete fiscal deal ahead of White House meeting

By Alexander Bolton – 10/14/13 12:45 PM ET

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) hopes to have a deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling by the time Senate leaders travel to the White House Monday afternoon.

Reid, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) are scheduled to meet with President Obama at 3 p.m.

Asked if Senate leaders would reach a deal by then, Reid said, “[I] sure hope so.” Continue reading “Reid hopes to complete fiscal deal ahead of White House meeting”

Back Pay Bill in Senate Limbo

Back Pay Bill in Senate Limbo

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters on Monday that it would be “premature” to consider a back pay bill.
Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters on Monday that it would be “premature” to consider a back pay bill. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

This story has been updated.

The Senate hasn’t taken any action yet on legislation that would give back pay to federal employees furloughed during the government shutdown.

While the bill enjoys broad support in the upper chamber, several Republicans reportedly oppose the legislation’s swift passage through procedural shortcuts, such as a voice vote or unanimous consent agreement, and want the opportunity to offer amendments.

The House on Saturday unanimously passed a bill that would grant retroactive pay to employees forced to take unpaid leave during the government shutdown, now in its eighth day. President Obama has said he would sign the legislation into law if Congress approves it. Continue reading “Back Pay Bill in Senate Limbo”