GOP readying for end-of-year spending fights

GOP readying for end-of-year spending fights

Angered by Democratic success in the recent budget deal, Republican aim for policy wins in year-end spending package.

By BURGESS EVERETT and SEUNG MIN KIM 11/05/15 05:15 AM EST

151104_senate_gop_2_gty_1160.jpgSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined by, from left, Sen. Roy Blunt, Sen. John Thune and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn during a Capitol Hill press conference. | Getty

Republicans are threatening to jam Democrats with controversial policy riders in December on everything from Dodd-Frank rollbacks to curbs on the Environmental Protection Agency’s powers, hoping to get revenge on a minority that’s spent the past week gloating over a bipartisan budget deal.

With Congress facing a Dec. 11 deadline to pass a year-end spending bill, the drama will focus on GOP attempts to slip significant policy changes into the omnibus package at the eleventh hour and force congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama to swallow them. Republicans are looking past deal-breakers like defunding Planned Parenthood or blocking Obama’s immigration actions, shifting instead to more granular policies they think Democrats could be forced to accept.
“Democrats insisting that there not be policy riders is … a big mistake,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). “There’s never been an omnibus bill that didn’t have policy riders. This bill will have policy riders in it, and I think it’s only a process of seeing how many and how far they go.”

Continue reading “GOP readying for end-of-year spending fights”

$1.1 trillion spending bill unveiled

$1.1 trillion spending bill unveiled
By: David Rogers
January 13, 2014 08:08 PM EST

The Capitol is pictured. | AP PhotoHouse-Senate negotiators rolled out a $1.1 trillion spending bill Monday night — a giant package that fills in the blanks of the December budget agreement and promises to restore some order to government funding over the next year.

Under pressure from Republicans, the measure keeps a tight rein on new funding for Wall Street regulators and effectively freezes appropriations for President Barack Obama’s health care program at the reduced, post-sequester level.

But the White House retains the flexibility to find the financing it needs to implement the health exchanges and appears satisfied to have avoided the most contentious restrictions proposed by conservatives.

(Also on POLITICO: What’s in the $1.1T government spending bill?) Continue reading “$1.1 trillion spending bill unveiled”

Senators Look to Block Budget Deal’s Cut to Military Retirement

Senators Look to Block Budget Deal’s Cut to Military Retirement

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Senators blocked a proposal to restore $6 billion in cuts to military retirees as part of the budget deal, but the issue will be back when the Senate reconvenes at the start of 2014.

The recently passed deal decreases the annual cost-of-living adjustment for working-age military retirees by 1 percent over 10 years. But the cut doesn’t begin taking effect until December 2015, and a handful of senators and outside groups are hoping that’s enough time to stop it.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., moved early to undercut the provision. He said before the budget agreement was passed that panel members would review any changes next year. A specific timeline for such a review has yet to be announced, and Levin only offered that the review would happen before the cuts start. Continue reading “Senators Look to Block Budget Deal’s Cut to Military Retirement”

Budget compromise clears Senate procedural hurdle

Budget compromise clears Senate procedural hurdle

By Ted Barrett and Tom Cohen, CNN
updated 12:13 PM EST, Tue December 17, 2013
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Washington (CNN) — A federal budget compromise that already passed the House cleared a key procedural hurdle on Tuesday in the Senate, increasing the likelihood it will win final Congressional approval this week.

President Barack Obama has signaled his support for the plan worked out by the budget committee leaders in each chamber that would guide government spending into 2015 to defuse the chances of another shutdown such as the one that took place in October.

Tuesday’s vote overcame a Republican filibuster attempt that required 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to proceed on the budget measure. The count was 67-33, with a dozen Republicans joining the 55 Democrats and independents in support of the plan.

Final approval in the Senate requires a simple majority of 51 votes. The budget plan easily passed the House last week on a 332-94 vote. Continue reading “Budget compromise clears Senate procedural hurdle”

Rest Up From the Budget Fight, Because There’s a Debt Ceiling One Around the Corner

Rest Up From the Budget Fight, Because There’s a Debt Ceiling One Around the Corner

"I doubt that the House, or, for that matter, the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean debt-ceiling increase," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday.

“I doubt that the House, or, for that matter, the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean debt-ceiling increase,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday. Susan Walsh/AP

Don’t expect the relative fiscal peace on the Hill engendered by the budget deal to last for long. Top Republicans are already looking ahead to the next fight: the debt ceiling.

“I doubt that the House, or, for that matter, the Senate, is willing to give the president a clean debt-ceiling increase,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday. Continue reading “Rest Up From the Budget Fight, Because There’s a Debt Ceiling One Around the Corner”