Lawmakers Cite Progress On Budget Near Deadline

The New York Times

Lawmakers Cite Progress On Budget Near Deadline

By

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”

Analysis: U.S. budget deal could bring truce, minimize shutdown threats

Analysis: U.S. budget deal could bring truce, minimize shutdown threats

By David Lawder and Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON Sun Dec 8, 2013 11:28am EST

A view of the Capitol Building in Washington October 15, 2013. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

A view of the Capitol Building in Washington October 15, 2013.  Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

(Reuters) – A minimalist U.S. budget deal that congressional negotiators hope to reach in coming days will do almost nothing to tame rising federal debt, but it could usher in a nearly two-year fiscal truce, minimizing the risk of future funding crises and government shutdowns.

If the accord comes together, it would blunt some of the automatic “sequester” spending cuts and set funding levels at around $1 trillion for fiscal 2014 and 2015 for government agencies and programs from the military to national parks.

Such a deal would not address an increase in the federal borrowing limit, which is expected to come up again by the spring, leaving conservatives a pressure point to try to exploit. Continue reading “Analysis: U.S. budget deal could bring truce, minimize shutdown threats”

Congress Faces a Stark Choice: Sequester or Shutdown

Congress Faces a Stark Choice: Sequester or Shutdown

 House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray Jacquelyn Martin/AP File Photo

Lawmakers in both parties could face a dangerous political dilemma after they return to Washington: Either endorse a second round of damaging sequester cuts or prepare for another government shutdown.

The situation is that stark, and it’s coming on fast.

Budget negotiators led by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray are racing to beat a Dec. 13 deadline to draft a deal that would keep the government open beyond Jan. 15.

They could get it done. Even House Speaker John Boehner says he’s hopeful. But other lawmakers and aides say the odds are not good, and that’s why House Republicans are now prepared to pass a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government at the $966 billion level that’s dictated by the Budget Control Act, ushering in round two of the hated sequester cuts. Continue reading “Congress Faces a Stark Choice: Sequester or Shutdown”

Budget Deal Optimism Emanates From Top House Appropriator

Budget Deal Optimism Emanates From Top House Appropriator

By Emma Dumain Posted at 5:05 p.m. on Dec. 3

rogers 018 070913 445x296 Budget Deal Optimism Emanates From Top House Appropriator

Rogers is not preparing a fallback plan in case budget conferees fail to reach a deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers said Tuesday that he is “somewhat optimistic” that the members of a bipartisan, bicameral budget conference committee will deliver on a broad spending agreement by their Dec. 13 deadline.

Fearing a broad budget deal might ultimately elude conferees, House GOP leaders are reportedly mulling a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government through Jan. 15, when the current CR expires — but the Kentucky Republican doesn’t think that will be necessary. Continue reading “Budget Deal Optimism Emanates From Top House Appropriator”

House GOP Prepares Fallback Plan to Avoid January Shutdown

House GOP Prepares Fallback Plan to Avoid January Shutdown

As the budget conference committee continues to work toward an agreement that would set spending levels for the remainder of this fiscal year and fiscal 2015, House Republicans are contemplating a fallback plan: a short-term continuing resolution that would fund the government through April 15 and buy budget negotiators more time to strike a long-term deal.

According to multiple lawmakers familiar with the situation, budget negotiators in both parties are hopeful that the foundation for a long-term deal could be laid in December. But the details almost certainly won’t be solidified before Dec. 13, the deadline for the conference committee to report an agreement—and the day lawmakers leave town for the holiday recess.

At the same time, the current government-funding bill expires Jan. 15, and House members don’t return to Washington until Jan. 7.

Continue reading “House GOP Prepares Fallback Plan to Avoid January Shutdown”