US Senate sends budget deal over crucial hurdle

BBC

17 December 2013 Last updated at 17:31 ET

US Senate sends budget deal over crucial hurdle

The US Capitol in Washington, DC, on 14 November 2013
The US Senate is expected to pass a two-year cross-party budget agreement later this week

A budget bill has passed a US Senate procedural vote, all but guaranteeing its approval this week and lowering the threat of a fresh government shutdown.

In a rare show of cross-party spirit, 12 Republicans joined Democrats to pass the measure 67-33, paving the way for a majority vote later this week.

The two-year budget bill was overwhelmingly approved last week by the US House of Representatives.

President Barack Obama has also backed the budget proposal. Continue reading “US Senate sends budget deal over crucial hurdle”

Cuts for military retirees costing GOP support for budget deal

Federal Eye

Cuts for military retirees costing GOP support for budget deal

GOP lawmakers and military groups have lined up against the bipartisan budget deal making its way through Congress because of a provision that would trim pay for young military retirees.

In a joint statement last week, Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said they cannot support the legislation because it “disproportionately and unfairly targets those who have put their lives on the line to defend our country.”

The budget agreement, crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), would reduce cost-of-living adjustments for working-age military retirees by 1 percent starting in December 2015, although the existing rate would apply again once former service members reach age 62. Continue reading “Cuts for military retirees costing GOP support for budget deal”

What the budget deal means for you

The Fix

What the budget deal means for you

After a major vote in the House of Representatives Thursday, a bipartisan budget deal that would keep the government open into 2015 appears likely to become law. You might not really be all that interested in the effect this compromise will have on the economy or in the feud between Republican leaders and the conservative faction in their party. You might be too jaded to ask whether this compromise marks the beginning of a grand new era of cooperation on Capitol Hill or whether it’s just a fluke. But you should still know what’s in the deal. Here’s why:

1. Airline tickets will become more expensive.

Negotiators, led by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), didn’t want to raise taxes, but the money to restore some of the sequester cuts had to come from somewhere, so they found some creative ways of getting it. One of their solutions is to increase the fee you pay to the Transportation Security Administration when you purchase a plane ticket.

The price of a typical round-trip airline ticket will increase $6.20. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

The price of a typical round-trip airline ticket will increase $6.20. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

A typical fee of $5 on a round-trip ticket would more than double to $11.20. Continue reading “What the budget deal means for you”

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”

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”