Budget deal now has enough votes to pass Senate

The Fix

Budget deal now has enough votes to pass Senate

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) appears to have the votes needed to push a budget agreement over the finish line. (AP)
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) appears to have the votes needed to push a budget agreement over the finish line. (AP)

This item has been updated.

A bipartisan budget agreement already passed overwhelmingly by the House now appears to have sufficient support to survive a key procedural test vote in the U.S. Senate later this week.

Final passage of the bill with a simple majority of senators doesn’t appear in doubt — but the legislation written by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) must first clear a procedural hurdle to end formal debate and proceed to final passage.

Supporters must garner at least 60 votes to proceed to final passage of the legislation. Assuming all 55 members of the Senate Democratic caucus vote “yes,” they will need at least five Republicans to join them. Continue reading “Budget deal now has enough votes to pass Senate”

Bill would end pensions for new feds

Bill would end pensions for new feds

Nov. 18, 2013 – 06:00AM   |  By SEAN REILLY   |
Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing Recent IRSSen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., questions current and former IRS employees May 21 before the Senate Finance Committee in Washington. (Getty Images)

Newly hired federal employees would not be eligible for traditional pensions under a bill reintroduced last week by Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and two colleagues.

The measure, which would also apply to new members of Congress, would end the defined benefit portion of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) for employees who come on board starting six months after it is signed into law, according to a news release from Burr’s office.

New federal employees could still participate in the Thrift Savings Plan,the federal government’s equivalent of a 401(k)-type program under which agencies match employees’ contributions up to 5 percent of their salaries.

Continue reading “Bill would end pensions for new feds”

Republican Senators Propose Eliminating New Feds’ Pensions

Republican Senators Propose Eliminating New Feds’ Pensions

The Public-Private Employees Retirement Parity Act was introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. (left); Richard Burr, R-N.C.; and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. (not pictured)
The Public-Private Employees Retirement Parity Act was introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. (left); Richard Burr, R-N.C.; and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. (not pictured) J. Scott Applewhite/AP

A group of Republican senators has introduced a bill to slash retirement pensions for new federal employees, saying the current system unfairly compensates public-sector workers as compared to their private-sector counterparts.

The Public-Private Employees Retirement Parity Act, introduced by Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.; and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., would eliminate the defined benefit portion of the Federal Employees Retirement System for all new government workers hired six months after its enactment. New employees would still receive matching agency contributions into their Thrift Savings Plan of up to 5 percent.

“Right now, federal government workers receive far more generous retirement benefits than private-sector employees,” said Burr, who sponsored a similar bill in 2011 that never made it out of committee. “The cost to taxpayers of these benefits is unsustainable and we simply cannot afford it. We cannot ask taxpayers to continue to foot the bill for public employee benefits that are far more generous than their own.”

Continue reading “Republican Senators Propose Eliminating New Feds’ Pensions”