Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, spoke to members of the media on Tuesday.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesStephen Crowley/The New York TimesStephen Crowley/The New York TimesStephen Crowley/The New York TimesStephen Crowley/The New York Times
By JONATHAN WEISMAN
Published: December 17, 2013 194 Comments
WASHINGTON — A bipartisan tax-and-spending plan designed to bring some normalcy to Congress’s budgeting after three years of chaos cleared its final hurdle on Tuesday when 67 senators voted to end debate on the measure and bring it to a final vote before it goes to President Obama for his signature.
The 67-33 vote easily surpassed the 60-vote threshold to break a filibuster and made way for final passage with a simple, 51-vote majority, likely on Wednesday. Republican support was surprisingly strong after days of uncertainty fueled by political posturing and Tea Party opposition.
The budget plan would restore $63 billion to defense and domestic programs in fiscal 2014 and 2015 from the levels they would have received if automatic, across-the-board spending cuts were to resume in January. Over 10 years, the plan would decrease cumulative deficits slightly by trimming military and federal worker pensions, extending a 2 percent cut to Medicare providers into next decade and making other changes, like ending federal research for some fossil-fuel discovery efforts. Continue reading “Senate Ends Budget Debate, Clearing Way for Passage”
By Jennifer Liberto @CNNMoney December 12, 2013: 3:12 PM ET
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”
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 Francine Kiefer, 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.
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”
Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:30am IST
* Democrat Murray, Republican Ryan announce two-year accord
* Approval could quell government shutdown threats
By Richard Cowan and David Lawder
WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) – A bipartisan budget deal announced in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, though modest in its spending cuts, would end three years of impasse and fiscal instability in Washington that culminated in October with a partial government shutdown.
While praised by the Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives, including Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the agreement faces a challenge from some House conservatives and will require support of the minority Democrats to pass.
The backing of President Barack Obama, who also hailed the agreement as “a good first step,” should help round up votes of his fellow Democrats. He urged Congress to quickly pass it.
Obama and most congressional leaders long ago abandoned talk of larger but increasingly elusive “grand bargains” that would significantly slash the nation’s deficit. Continue reading “UPDATE 4-U.S. budget deal could usher in new era of cooperation”