President Obama Signs Budget, Defense Bills

by Scott Neuman

December 26, 2013 4:50 PM

President Obama speaks to current and retired members of the U.S. military and their families as they eat a Christmas Day meal in the Anderson Hall mess hall at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Wednesday.President Obama speaks to current and retired members of the U.S. military and their families as they eat a Christmas Day meal in the Anderson Hall mess hall at Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Wednesday.

Getty Images

President Obama on Thursday signed the bipartisan budget bill agreed upon earlier this month, setting the stage for an easing of mandatory spending cuts over the next two years.

The , following its passage in the Republican-dominated House.

The president also signed the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2014.

As The Associated Press reports:

“Obama signed the bill Thursday while vacationing in Hawaii. The deal reduces across-the-board cuts already scheduled to take effect, restoring about $63 billion over two years. It includes a projected $85 billion in other savings. Continue reading “President Obama Signs Budget, Defense Bills”

Lawmakers Cite Progress On Budget Near Deadline

The New York Times

Lawmakers Cite Progress On Budget Near Deadline

By

WASHINGTON — With the next budget deadline just weeks away, top lawmakers said this week that they had made significant progress negotiating a huge government-wide spending bill that gives the once mighty congressional Appropriations Committees a chance to reassert control over the flow of federal dollars.

“We have a chance to prove to the rest of the Congress that we can produce bills,” Representative Harold Rogers, the Kentucky Republican who is the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in an interview.

The past few years have proved frustrating for members of the spending panels. With House Republicans unable to come to terms with Senate Democrats on a budget, the government has functioned mainly under a series of continuing resolutions that have taken the Appropriations Committees out of the game. Continue reading “Lawmakers Cite Progress On Budget Near Deadline”

Government pensions among budget bargaining points: ‘Why does Congress always pick on federal employees?’

Crumpled dollar bill.jpeg.JPG
(Contributed photo/Thinkstock)Thinkstock.

Government employees would be required to contribute more towards their pensions while federal retirees would see their benefit cuts under a Republican proposal designed to offset the impact of sequestration.

Reps. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo. and Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla. have introduced the “Provide for the Common Defense Act” in an effort to roll back the Pentagon’s portion of sequestration through changes to federal benefits. The bill would also lower the federal deficit by some $200 billion over the next decade. Continue reading “Government pensions among budget bargaining points: ‘Why does Congress always pick on federal employees?’”

GOP bill would reduce federal retiree benefits to offset defense cuts

GOP bill would reduce federal retiree benefits to offset defense cuts

Published December 05, 2013

FoxNews.com

RTREIRE.jpgAn aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington.Reuters

Two Republican lawmakers have introduced a proposal that would require federal employees to contribute more of their salary toward retiree benefits in order to offset deep cuts to the Defense Department.

The “Provide for the Common Defense Act,” introduced by Reps. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., and Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., would eliminate sequester-related budget cuts for the Pentagon over the next two years, the lawmakers said in a statement.

The legislation increases federal employee’s contributions toward their retirement costs, from 0.8 percent to 2.0 percent of pay, over a three-year period. The bill would also eliminate the Federal Employee Retirement System Annuity Supplement for new employees.   Continue reading “GOP bill would reduce federal retiree benefits to offset defense cuts”

Do-Nothing Congress Dithers on Budget as Deadline Nears

By Heidi Przybyla & Brian Wingfield – Nov 28, 2013 11:00 PM CT
Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo
Rear Adm. Mike Franken, Chief of Legislative Affairs for the Secretary of the Navy, left, speaks with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Nov. 7, 2013, prior to Greenert testifying before the Senate Armed Service Committee hearing on the impact of sequestration on nation defense.

Congress’s latest attempt at crafting a budget plan is on track to end up the same way as others have in the past decade: with little or no agreement.

Do-Nothing Congress Dithers on Budget as Panel’s Deadline Nears

The Capitol building in Washington,. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Negotiators have little chance of breaking this string of futility, even after a 16-day government shutdown in October that cost the U.S. economy $24 billion. If they do, it’ll only be to curb automatic spending cuts, including $19 billion that hits the Pentagon starting in January.

Now budget experts, labor unions and business groups are saying enough’s enough, and questioning why lawmakers can’t live within their means the way ordinary Americans do and instead lurch from one budget standoff to the next. Continue reading “Do-Nothing Congress Dithers on Budget as Deadline Nears”