Spending Deal Set, Two-Month Payroll Tax and UI Extension Floated

By: Friday December 16, 2011 6:50 am

Lawmakers agreed last night to a $1 trillion omnibus spending package, which will fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, until September 30, 2012. The agreement eliminates some but not all of the policy riders that Republicans coveted in the deal.


Reid Heads Off Republicans, Ties Payroll Tax/UI Bill to Omnibus Spending Package

By: Tuesday December 13, 2011 2:10 pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is attempting a high-stakes gamble, tying the payroll tax/unemployment insurance legislation that the House will vote on today with the omnibus spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. Without compromise on the former, according to Reid, the latter cannot pass, increasing the risk of a government shutdown.

Spending Measure Slashes Funding for Derivatives Regulator, CFTC

By: Tuesday November 15, 2011 9:16 am

Negotiators for the House and Senate reached agreement on a temporary spending bill that will fund the government through December 16 and also finish off a series of appropriations bills. We now see the true impact of budget freezes and austerity measures. One of the first victims is the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates derivatives.

Jobs Measures Doomed, Shutdown Looms: Your Congress in 2011

By: Tuesday November 1, 2011 2:50 pm

Regardless of the strategy pursued by the White House and Democratic Congressional leadership, here’s what’s going to happen: there will be no jobs bills because of GOP obstruction, and Republicans will bring the country to the verge of a government shutdown. Again.

2011 Budget Deal: Real Cuts, Real Pain

By: Wednesday April 13, 2011 6:11 am

The smoke and mirrors discussion is a lot of smoke and mirrors. While it’s true that a lot of the cuts reflect accounting changes and one-time reductions from increases meant to only last a year, and in general terms the budget could use a spring cleaning every now and again, the truth is that this mainly speaks to the hazards of putting together continuing resolutions year over year, which inevitably lead to these problems. There’s a huge opportunity cost in scoring these as cuts. Money reduced from an already completed Census can be put to use elsewhere; money from unspent transportation earmarks can be excised and shifted into program budgets. This would be a matter of routine in any normal budget year. Turning them into cuts is not “smoke and mirrors”; it’s real-dollar losses that will magnify over time as these numbers become the new baseline.

Some Republicans Know When to Say When on the Budget

By: Friday April 8, 2011 4:12 pm

Republicans look terrified to actually go through with the shutdown given the focus on women’s health and choice. The question then becomes: who’s forcing the issue?

Shutdown Countdown: Lawmakers Say EPA Riders out of Budget Deal

By: Friday April 8, 2011 2:45 pm

We’re hours away from a government shutdown because Republicans want to use their hatred of lady parts to extract maximum budget cuts. Apparently John Boehner agreed to drop that rider last night, if we’re to believe Harry Reid, but then Boehner sent a 4am email saying he couldn’t sell it to his caucus. He’s not really in control.

Hours till Shutdown, Truth Becoming Clear: It’s About Planned Parenthood

By: Friday April 8, 2011 7:30 am

As Dick Durbin said yesterday, this isn’t about the deficit, it’s about bumper stickers.

Democrats: Boehner Not in Control, Conservative Hardliners Want to Impose Social Agenda

By: Thursday April 7, 2011 5:02 pm

House Democrats lit into John Boehner and the Republicans in a conference call with progressive media just now. “Boehner has about 80 members who think that compromise is a dirty word. They keep wanting to move the goalposts and stick in radical social changes that they can’t get any other way,” said Jim McDermott (D-WA), referring to the unrelated policy riders around abortion and women’s health funding that Republicans are demanding. “This isn’t about debt reduction, it’s about the social agenda they’re trying to jam through. It’s really a cultural war that’s going on here. They’ve been offered the money, the President gave them the money.”

Reid: Government to Shut Down “Over Social Issues: Women’s Health, Clean Air”

By: Thursday April 7, 2011 9:42 am

Reid specifically mentioned two ideological points that were holding up the debate, saying that Republicans on the House side “have drawn a line in the sand.”

The two policy pieces? Abortion, and the environment.

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