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Jun 18, 2010

U.S. Senate restores Medicare pay for doctors

WASHINGTON, June 18 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate agreed on
Friday to rescind a 21 percent pay cut that went into effect
earlier this month for doctors treating patients under the
Medicare health program for the elderly.

The Senate agreed unanimously to restore Medicare payments
with a 2.2 percent increase and to delay any further pay cuts
for six months. The Senate acted on Medicare payments after a
broader tax bill that would have temporarily stopped the pay
cut failed on a procedural vote late on Thursday.

Jun 18, 2010

Tax, jobs bill blocked in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Democratic bill to extend jobless benefits and raise taxes on investment fund managers failed a key vote in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama’s push to boost the economy.

The bill would have extended popular business tax breaks, stopped a 21 percent Medicare pay cut for doctors treating elderly patients and extended extra Medicaid money to cash-strapped states. Democratic leaders failed to muster the 60 votes needed to overcome solid Republican opposition to the bill, which would have added about $55 billion to the deficit over 10 years. The Senate voted 56-40 against the measure.

Jun 18, 2010

Tax bill fails second test vote in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON, June 17 (Reuters) – An economic package that
would extend jobless benefits and raise taxes on investment
fund managers failed a key vote in the U.S. Senate on Thursday,
dealing a blow to President Barack Obama’s plan to boost
economic growth and create jobs.

The bill, which would extend popular business tax breaks
and stop a 21 percent pay cut for doctors treating Medicare
patients, was a smaller version of legislation the Senate
rejected earlier this week on concerns it would add to already
bloated budget deficits.

Jun 17, 2010

U.S. House approves small business lending bill

WASHINGTON, June 17 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of
Representatives on Thursday approved a small business lending
program sought by President Barack Obama to boost economic
growth and encourage job creation.

The House voted 241-182, mostly along party lines, for a
bill which would authorize a $30 billion fund the Treasury
Department would use to provide capital to small community
banks, allowing increased lending to small businesses.

Jun 16, 2010

U.S. Senate tax bill falls short in test vote

WASHINGTON, June 16 (Reuters) – Senate Democrats on
Wednesday worked to reduce the cost of a bill to extend jobless
benefits and popular business tax breaks after it failed a test
vote by wide margin over budget deficit concerns.

The bill, which would have increased the deficit by about
$80 billion over 10 years, also calls for raising taxes on
investment fund managers to help offset some of its costs.

Jun 16, 2010

Effort to repeal oil tax breaks fails in US Senate

WASHINGTON, June 15 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Tuesday
rejected a measure that would have repealed some $35 billion in
oil and gas industry tax breaks as it continued work on a bill
that would raise taxes on investment fund managers.

The oil and gas industry measure by Senator Bernie Sanders,
a Vermont independent, failed to muster even a simple 51-vote
majority, although 60 votes were needed to pass it.

Jun 9, 2010
via Tales from the Trail

Lockbox may be making a political comeback

Photo

Republicans may be coming around to former Vice President Al Gore’s way of thinking. Not on climate change, but on the “lockbox.”

During his failed 2000 presidential bid, Gore talked about setting aside Social Security tax surpluses and putting them in a kind of  ”lockbox”  to keep them off limits for other government spending and tax cuts. NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” comedy show made great fun of the Democrat’s comment.

Jun 8, 2010

US Senate takes up jobs bill amid deficit concerns

WASHINGTON, June 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate took up
legislation to help the unemployed, businesses and
cash-strapped states on Tuesday as the White House defended
continued job creation efforts despite concerns for long-term
budget deficits.

Senate Democratic leaders said they were optimistic they
could pass the far-reaching plan they hope will help cut into
the 9.7 percent unemployment rate. The bill extends jobless
payments for hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers whose
benefits lapsed at the end of May.

Jun 4, 2010

Deficit panel eyes another bite at healthcare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Concern over rising U.S. debt could force lawmakers to take another crack at reining in healthcare costs long before any promised savings from President Barack Obama’s sweeping overhaul are realized.

The new healthcare law, signed by Obama in March, seeks to save about $500 billion from the Medicare government healthcare program for the elderly over the next decade without reducing basic benefits.

Jun 4, 2010

U.S. deficit panel eyes another bite at healthcare

WASHINGTON, June 4 (Reuters) – Concern over rising U.S.
debt could force lawmakers to take another crack at reining in
healthcare costs long before any promised savings from
President Barack Obama’s sweeping overhaul are realized.

The new healthcare law, signed by Obama in March, seeks to
save about $500 billion from the Medicare government healthcare
program for the elderly over the next decade without reducing
basic benefits.

    • 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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