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Jul 14, 2010

Deficit reduction painful, commission chiefs warn

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Restoring U.S. fiscal balance is going to be a painful process that mostly requires spending cuts, but also some tax increases, the leaders of President Barack Obama’s deficit commission said on Wednesday.

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson made clear at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event that the bipartisan panel is eyeing tax breaks, including the popular mortgage interest deduction, as well as slashing government spending in its effort to recommend ways to cut the estimated $1.4 trillion federal deficit.

Jul 13, 2010

US Senate to extend middle-class tax cuts-Baucus

WASHINGTON, July 13 (Reuters) – Senate Finance Committee
Chairman Max Baucus on Tuesday said he expects the Senate to
extend middle-income tax cuts before they expire by the end of
the year.

But Baucus said lawmakers were still weighing the details,
including tax rates for dividends and families earning more
than $250,000 a year. But he added that “clearly we will want
to extend the middle income tax cuts at the very least.”

Jul 1, 2010

House passes jobless benefits extension

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives approved on Thursday an extension of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed amid signs of a continued weak U.S. jobs market, but its fate appears uncertain in the Senate.

The House voted 270-153 to restore benefits for more than 1 million people whose payments ran out in early June. The measure would extend the federal long-term jobless aid program through November and retroactively restore benefits to eligible people.

Jun 30, 2010

Budget outlook said bleak as baby boomers age

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawmakers will need to pare spending on Social Security and healthcare in order to avoid tax hikes or big cuts in other federal programs, a congressional budget analysis said on Wednesday.

Federal healthcare spending and the Social Security retirement program will gobble up a greater portion of the budget and push the national debt up sharply unless lawmakers act, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said.

Jun 30, 2010

U.S. budget outlook said bleak as baby boomers age

WASHINGTON, June 30 (Reuters) – Lawmakers will need to pare
spending on Social Security and healthcare in order to avoid
tax hikes or big cuts in other federal programs, a
congressional budget analysis said on Wednesday.

Federal healthcare spending and the Social Security
retirement program will gobble up a greater portion of the
budget and push the national debt up sharply unless lawmakers
act, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said.

Jun 25, 2010

U.S. jobless aid, tax bill fails in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Democratic plan to provide additional aid to jobless workers, businesses and cash-strapped states and raise taxes on investment fund managers failed in the U.S. Senate on Thursday.

The bill, which also would have provided more aid to cash-strapped states for the Medicaid health program for the poor, fell a few votes short of the 60 needed to advance in the 100-member Senate. One Democrat, Ben Nelson, joined 40 Republicans to block the measure.

Jun 24, 2010

U.S. jobless aid, tax bill in doubt in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON, June 24 (Reuters) – A Democratic plan to
provide additional aid to the jobless, businesses and
cash-strapped states appeared headed for defeat in the U.S.
Senate on Thursday in the face of solid Republican opposition.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate would
turn to a small business loan package if the tax and jobless
aid bill failed a procedural vote, as appeared likely.

Jun 24, 2010

Senate Democrats push jobs tax compromise

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In an effort to break a stalemate over a package of unemployment aid and business tax breaks, Senate Democrats on Wednesday offered a compromise that would pare proposed aid to cash-strapped states .

Democrats had hope the changes to the legislation, which also would increase taxes on investment fund managers, would attract some Republicans support, but Senate aides said that appears doubtful. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pushing for a vote on the legislation by the end of the week.

Jun 23, 2010

Senate tax, jobs compromise would pare Medicaid aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Democrats hoping to revive a stalled package of unemployment aid and business tax breaks on Wednesday circulated a new compromise plan that would pare proposed aid to cash-strapped states.

It is unclear whether the revised proposal, which includes a tax increase on investment fund managers, would garner the 60 votes needed to advance the bill in the 100-member Senate.

Jun 22, 2010

US Senate seeks compromise on states’ Medicaid help

WASHINGTON, June 22 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate may find a
compromise on helping cash-strapped states pay for healthcare,
according to a proposal circulating through Congress on
Tuesday, a week before the fiscal year begins in many states.

According to the proposal, extra money included in last
year’s stimulus plan for Medicaid would be extended past its
December expiration through the first six months of 2011. But
there would be a “phase-down” of the funds sent to states,
shrinking the overall cost of the aid.

    • 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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