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”