US Senate sends budget deal over crucial hurdle


17 December 2013 Last updated at 17:31 ET

US Senate sends budget deal over crucial hurdle

The US Capitol in Washington, DC, on 14 November 2013
The US Senate is expected to pass a two-year cross-party budget agreement later this week

A budget bill has passed a US Senate procedural vote, all but guaranteeing its approval this week and lowering the threat of a fresh government shutdown.

In a rare show of cross-party spirit, 12 Republicans joined Democrats to pass the measure 67-33, paving the way for a majority vote later this week.

The two-year budget bill was overwhelmingly approved last week by the US House of Representatives.

President Barack Obama has also backed the budget proposal. Continue reading “US Senate sends budget deal over crucial hurdle”

Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points

Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points

Summary of Elements Impacting Feds:

1. Post-12/31/13 hires will pay an additional 1.3% toward their pensions, for total of 4.4%

2. FEHB will add a ‘self plus one’ option, which inevitably increases family plan premiums

3. Contractor salary reimbursement cap dropped to $487,000

4. The total deal is $85 billion. About $45 billion of that replaces sequestration cuts in 2014. About $20 billion replaces sequestration cuts in 2015. (Washington Post) Continue reading “Budget Conference Deal Summary/Talking Points”

Military retirees: You betrayed us, Congress

Military retirees: You betrayed us, Congress

By Jennifer Liberto  @CNNMoney December 12, 2013: 3:12 PM ET

 military vets
Retired military veterans are outraged that their pensions are being cut by the budget deal.

Military retirees are outraged that Congress will start voting Thursday on a budget deal that trims military pensions, calling the move “an egregious breach of faith.”

The Military Coalition, some 27 military groups, wrote to leaders in Congress and President Obama late Wednesday about their “strong objection” and “grave concern” over the budget deal.

The deal cuts pension cost of living raises by 1% for military retirees who aren’t disabled and not yet 62 years old. Cost of living hikes are automatic raises intended to keep up with inflation. Continue reading “Military retirees: You betrayed us, Congress”

US House passes two-year cross-party budget deal


US House passes two-year cross-party budget deal

US Speaker of the House John Boehner (second from left) walked to the House Chamber on 12 December 2013
US House Speaker John Boehner (second from left) had publicly supported the budget bill before the chamber’s vote on Thursday

The US House of Representatives has approved a two-year federal budget bill in a strong showing of cross-party support, further avoiding the spectre of another government shutdown.

The measure, written by the Republican and Democratic heads of the House and Senate budget committees respectively, was approved by a 332-94 vote.

The budget proposal next goes to the Democrat-led Senate for approval.

US President Barack Obama has already publicly endorsed the bill. Continue reading “US House passes two-year cross-party budget deal”

How Congress’s odd couple reached a remarkable budget deal

How Congress’s odd couple reached a remarkable budget deal

Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray are, in many ways, opposites. But their budget deal shows the parameters of bipartisanship today: Think narrow, be pragmatic, and talk … a lot.

By , Staff writer / December 11, 2013

This file photo shows House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin and Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D) of Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington. The two struck a bipartisan budget deal Tuesday.

Scott Applewhite/AP/File


Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin and Sen. Patty Murray (D) of Washington could hardly be more unlike.

Representative Ryan is the conservative wunderkind who could have been the vice president of the United States by now. Senator Murray is the former preschool teacher who works quietly behind the scenes and once basically ran the Senate Appropriations Committee for Robert Byrd, the powerful Democrat from West Virginia, when he was ill.

Ryan is Captain Cutback – the man whose vision for reforming Medicare and Social Security make Murray shudder right down to the soles of her sensible shoes. In fact, Murray reportedly advised her close ally, Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada, not to accept a compromise with Republicans during the October government shutdown, worried that the deal would involve too much of a hit to safety-net programs. Continue reading “How Congress’s odd couple reached a remarkable budget deal”

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