What the budget deal means for you

The Fix

What the budget deal means for you

After a major vote in the House of Representatives Thursday, a bipartisan budget deal that would keep the government open into 2015 appears likely to become law. You might not really be all that interested in the effect this compromise will have on the economy or in the feud between Republican leaders and the conservative faction in their party. You might be too jaded to ask whether this compromise marks the beginning of a grand new era of cooperation on Capitol Hill or whether it’s just a fluke. But you should still know what’s in the deal. Here’s why:

1. Airline tickets will become more expensive.

Negotiators, led by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), didn’t want to raise taxes, but the money to restore some of the sequester cuts had to come from somewhere, so they found some creative ways of getting it. One of their solutions is to increase the fee you pay to the Transportation Security Administration when you purchase a plane ticket.

The price of a typical round-trip airline ticket will increase $6.20. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

The price of a typical round-trip airline ticket will increase $6.20. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

A typical fee of $5 on a round-trip ticket would more than double to $11.20. Continue reading “What the budget deal means for you”

Inside the budget agreement

Inside the budget agreement

The U.S. Capitol is pictured. | AP Photo
After October’s shutdown crisis, lawmakers seem most focused on the here-and-now. | AP Photo
By DAVID ROGERS | 12/11/13 8:58 AM EST

The House-Senate budget bill is 77-pages of largely modest savings but also salted with a variety of “good government” reforms that could help win votes for passage.

For example, all states would be required to use a Treasury program to crack down on fraud and over-payments in jobless benefits. New restrictions are added to better control access to Social Security data and protect against identity theft—a bipartisan cause in the House championed by conservative Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), as well as Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), chairman of his party’s caucus.

 And the agreement puts a first-time $487,000 cap on what the government will compensate contractors for the top salaries of their executives. That’s still higher than the president’s own $400,000 salary and what the White House first wanted in a proposal last spring. But it would significantly alter the current system for both defense and non-defense contractors. Continue reading “Inside the budget agreement”

Ryan deal gets positive review at closed-door GOP conference

December 11, 2013, 12:15 pm

Ryan deal gets positive review at closed-door GOP conference

By Erik Wasson and Russell Berman

Greg Nash

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) won positive reviews from skeptical House Republicans on Wednesday morning for the budget deal he negotiated with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), as senior lawmakers predicted a strong vote as early as Thursday.

While some conservatives criticized the deal, lawmakers said there was little sign of the kind of revolt that has derailed Republican fiscal plans in the past. The House is likely to vote on the plan Thursday, and because party leaders expect significant support from Democrats, they are not sweating defections from the right flank.

“We feel very good about where we are with our members,” Ryan told reporters after pitching his plan to lawmakers in a private party meeting. Continue reading “Ryan deal gets positive review at closed-door GOP conference”

Budget Deal Unveiled, but Can They Sell It?

NJ Daily

Budget Deal Unveiled, but Can They Sell It?

 

(Chet Susslin)

By , and December 10, 2013

After weeks of closed-door talks, House and Senate negotiators finally unveiled a two-year budget deal Tuesday that attempts to calm the long-fought feud over spending on Capitol Hill. But the question remains whether they can sell it to rank-and-file lawmakers.

The deal is far from a grand bargain. But if approved by the House and Senate, the compromise would not only keep government funded and open beyond Jan. 15, but also would provide $63 billion in sequester relief over two years—all without new tax revenue.

“This is the first divided-government budget agreement since 1986,” said House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, the chief Republican negotiator. Continue reading “Budget Deal Unveiled, but Can They Sell It?”

A Least Bad Budget Deal

Review & Outlook

A Least Bad Budget Deal

More spending now for some genuine, if modest, reforms.

Dec. 10, 2013 11:20 p.m. ET
The best that can be said about the House-Senate budget deal announced late Tuesday is that it includes no tax increases, no new incentives for not working, and some modest entitlement reforms. Oh, and it will avoid another shutdown fiasco, assuming enough Republicans refuse to attempt suicide a second time.

The worst part of the two-year deal is that it breaks the 2011 Budget Control Act’s discretionary spending caps for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The deal breaks the caps by some $63 billion over the two years and then re-establishes the caps starting in 2016 where they are in current law at $1.016 trillion. Half of the increase will go to defense and half to the domestic accounts prized by Democrats.

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Breaking the caps is a victory for Senate Democrats and House Republican Appropriators like Oklahoma’s Tom Cole, who will get more money to spend and will dodge another continuing resolution that doesn’t allow them to set spending priorities. It would be nice to think they’ll spend the money on such useful purposes as cancer or Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health. But they will also get to dole out pork. The deal means overall federal spending will not decline in 2014 as it has the last two years.

WIsconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Washington Sen. Patty Murray in a press conference on the budget plan. Bloomberg News Continue reading “A Least Bad Budget Deal”