Lawmakers Cite Progress On Budget Near Deadline

The New York Times

Lawmakers Cite Progress On Budget Near Deadline

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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”

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”

Here comes Sequester: Part 2

By Erik Wasson – 05/22/13 06:00 AM ET

An unwelcome sequel is scheduled for January release and it’s titled Sequester: Part 2.

It is increasingly likely that this second round of indiscriminate cuts will reprise the first sequester, with concomitant public frustration about Washington’s inability to budget rationally.

The first sequester, triggered by the 2011 Budget Control Act, required agencies to cut $80 billion equally from across their operations.

Lawmakers in both parties said they wanted to avoid using this blunt fiscal ax and criticized it for cutting the good with the bad. Agency heads decried worker furloughs and warned of economic pain. Continue reading “Here comes Sequester: Part 2”

Senate Dems unveil $110 billion sequester-replacement package

By Alexander Bolton and Erik Wasson – 02/14/13 01:51 PM ET

Senate Democratic leaders unveiled a $110 billion sequester-replacement bill at a closed-door caucus meeting Thursday that would replace $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set to hit March 1.

The Senate Democratic package is split evenly between spending cuts and provisions raising new tax revenues, according to a Democratic source.

It would raise nearly $54 billion in taxes by implementing the Buffett Rule, setting a minimum effective tax rate for wealthy individuals and families. It would raise additional revenues by changing the tax treatment of oil extraction from oil sands. Continue reading “Senate Dems unveil $110 billion sequester-replacement package”

View From the Left: Obama ‘Kept Giving Stuff Away’

The New York Times
January 1, 2013

View From the Left: Obama ‘Kept Giving Stuff Away’

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President Obama’s fiscal deal with Republicans has touched off a fresh wave of grievance among disappointed liberals who complained that he caved in on taxes and sent a signal that he would ultimately surrender on other priorities as he prepared to open his second term.

While most Democratic senators went along with the compromise in an early-morning vote on Tuesday, activists, labor leaders and liberal economists issued a harsh barrage against the deal. The president, they said, squandered his election victory by allowing too many wealthy Americans to keep income and estate tax cuts that otherwise would have expired.

The criticism frustrated the White House, which argued that the president held true to his top priorities by forcing Republicans to accept higher income tax rates on higher income levels after they had long refused to do so. Aides noted that Mr. Obama also won important concessions in extending unemployment benefits and targeted tax credits, while beating back Republican demands to scale back the growth of entitlement benefits. Continue reading “View From the Left: Obama ‘Kept Giving Stuff Away’”