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Aug 1, 2011

Lawmakers reach into the past on budget deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawmakers reached into the past to find a way to enforce future budget cuts called for in the deal to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit, but history shows these enforcement mechanisms do not always work.

The agreement reached by congressional leaders and the White House late Sunday calls up front for roughly $1 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years. Another $1.5 trillion worth of deficit reduction would be based on recommendations of a new bipartisan committee.

Aug 1, 2011

U.S. lawmakers reach into the past on budget deal

WASHINGTON, July 31 (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers reached into
the past to find a way to enforce future budget cuts called for
in the deal to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit,
but history shows these enforcement mechanisms do not always
work.

The agreement reached by congressional leaders and the
White House late Sunday calls up front for roughly $1 trillion
in spending cuts over 10 years. Another $1.5 trillion worth of
deficit reduction would be based on recommendations of a new
bipartisan committee.

Jul 31, 2011

US lawmakers close to deal to avoid default

WASHINGTON, July 31 (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers were close
to a last-gasp $3 trillion deal on Sunday to raise the U.S.
borrowing limit and assure jittery financial markets that the
United States will avoid a potentially catastrophic default.

The tantalizing possibility of an agreement raised hopes
that a bitter, weeks-long partisan battle over cutting the U.S.
deficit might be staggering to a close, with only two days left
to avert Tuesday’s deadline.

Jul 28, 2011

Republican US debt plan heads for vote, markets edgy

WASHINGTON, July 28 (Reuters) – Mounting worries over the
risk of a U.S. debt default rattled global stocks and the
dollar on Thursday as a Republican bill to cut the U.S. deficit
headed for a nail-bitingly close vote in Congress.

European stocks fell for the fourth straight session,
following their Asian counterparts, as an Aug. 2 deadline for
raising the U.S. borrowing limit approached without a
bipartisan deficit reduction agreement in place in the sharply
divided Congress. [ID:nL6E7IS0C3]

Jul 24, 2011

New dispute threatens debt limit negotiations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New disagreement erupted late on Saturday between congressional Democrats and Republicans over the timetable for increasing U.S. borrowing authority, possibly jeopardizing efforts to avert a default.

Democratic and Republican leaders escalated their fight despite instructions from President Barack Obama earlier to produce a budget plan by Monday that would clear the way for Congress to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by August 2.

Jul 17, 2011

U.S. mulls options on debt deal, time runs short

WASHINGTON, July 17 (Reuters) – White House budget director
Jack Lew said on Sunday there was still time to clinch a major
deficit reduction deal and he was confident that congressional
leaders know a U.S. debt default is not an option.

With time running short, President Barack Obama and
lawmakers were struggling for ways to lift the debt ceiling and
reduce the deficit as an Aug. 2 deadline to prevent a default
draws dangerously close.

Jul 14, 2011
via Tales from the Trail

Stark realities of U.S. life without credit

Photo

Amid the political fingerpointing over which party will catch the blame if Congress fails to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit, comes the stark reality of what bills get paid after Aug. 2, if the U.S. government can’t borrow more money.

A group of House Republicans wrote a letter to President Barack Obama on Thursday to say there would be plenty of money from tax receipts to make interest payments to creditors, pay Social Security retirement benefits, cover Medicare health payments and pay U.S. military troops.

Jun 22, 2011

CBO sees government benefits swamping economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will find little relief from its bleak long-term fiscal outlook so long as growing federal healthcare and retirement programs gobble up more and more of the country’s resources, said a new economic report issued on Wednesday.

The findings by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office came as the Obama administration and Congress were struggling to find ways to make ends meet amid $1.5 trillion annual budget deficits and a national debt that, at $14.3 trillion, is seen as posing a danger to the nation.

Jun 21, 2011

Law seen aiding employer healthcare market

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fewer Americans are getting medical coverage through their jobs than a decade ago but the 2010 U.S. healthcare law should help stabilize employer-sponsored insurance, two studies released on Tuesday showed.

The studies, sponsored by the non-partisan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will fuel the political debate over the impact on employer-sponsored health insurance under President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul after a recent study said 30 percent of employers might drop coverage with the new law.

Jun 20, 2011

Analysis: Deficit forces AARP compromise on Social Security

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For much of its 53-year history AARP, the powerful lobbying group for older Americans, has had such clout in Washington that its opposition or support has often helped decide the fate of legislation in Congress.

But with a report on Friday that AARP is dropping its long-standing opposition to cutting Social Security benefits, it appears that the organization is giving ground to an even more powerful force: the enormous federal deficit.

    • About Donna

      "Washington congressional correspondent specializing in economics, taxes and budget issues. Covered the healthcare reform legislation and President George W. Bush's push to overhaul Social Security. Also covered the savings and loan crisis and spent time covering the White House during President Bill Clinton's administration. Covered trade and Federal Reserve policy as well."
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