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 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?’”
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.
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”