WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. Senate Democrat sketched out a broad-brush idea on Thursday that would give Congress six months beyond year’s end to come up with a comprehensive deficit-reduction plan, potentially softening the impact of a looming “fiscal cliff.”
The idea by assistant Democratic Senate leader Dick Durbin has not been developed into a formal plan, a spokesman said. Financial markets and government economists are worried that failure to compromise on tax and spending issues could bring on a recession.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A pair of deals struck this week by influential lawmakers, combined with a new pragmatism among Tea Party conservatives, provides clues how the “fiscal cliff” could be avoided by extending all current budget and tax policies until the new president and Congress take office in January.
In sharp contrast to the budget wars they waged last year, Tea Party activists in Congress are so far going along with the script that is now developing.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Washington took some tentative steps toward confronting its looming fiscal threats on Tuesday with a deal in Congress to neutralize the risk of a government shutdown that could upset voters ahead of the November 6 elections.
The White House said it would shield U.S. military pay from automatic budget cuts due to take effect in January — a move that could shift more of the reductions onto defense contractors. It also instructed agencies to begin preparing for some across-the-board cuts.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Tuesday it was starting to get ready for potentially painful year-end spending cuts, and was committed to shielding U.S. military pay from any government budget crunch.
Jeffrey Zients, acting director of President Barack Obama’s Office of Management and Budget, said discussions would start soon on how to weather the looming automatic spending cuts, known as “sequestration,” that would take place starting January 2 if Congress cannot achieve a deficit reduction deal.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats and Republicans in Congress reached a deal on Tuesday to fund federal government activities through next March and eliminate any threat of agency shutdowns that could upset voters ahead of the November 6 presidential and congressional elections.
The deal, announced by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, would fund discretionary federal programs – from defense and foreign aid to education and medical research – at an annual rate of $1.047 trillion, the level specified in last year’s debt limit deal.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Congress is limping toward what some see as a not-so-deserved five-week vacation starting on Friday, dimming hopes it will complete work on many or any of the major issues confronting it, from taxes, agriculture, and trade with Russia to cyber security and postal service reform.
Campaigning, not legislating, appears to weigh most heavily on the minds of congressional Republicans and Democrats in the run-up to the November 6 elections to pick the next president, 435 members of the House of Representatives and one-third of the 100-member Senate.
WASHINGTON, July 26 (Reuters) – Republican leaders in the
U.S. House of Representatives are moving towards seeking a
six-month extension of government funding that would avoid the
threat of shutdowns until the spring of 2013, Republican
lawmakers and aides said on Thursday.
Lawmakers have little stomach for an election-year repeat of
last year’s bruising budget battles, which brought the federal
government to the brink of shutdown several times and further
damaged Congress’ approval ratings.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats in the Senate on Wednesday won passage of a bill to renew tax cuts for tens of millions of Americans while letting some rates rise for the wealthiest, in a symbolic vote.
The legislation, certain to be rejected by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, lets Democrats claim in advance of the November 6 elections that they passed tax cuts for most Americans only to be stymied by Republicans.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic-majority U.S. Senate on Wednesday is expected to cast a purely symbolic vote to let some tax cuts for upper income earners expire on December 31.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives will advance its own symbolic bill next week continuing the cuts for all levels of income.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The dreaded “fiscal cliff” is rapidly becoming Washington’s preoccupation – similar to the budget and debt-limit fight that consumed the U.S. capital last summer.
Not a day goes by without a series of volleys from leading partisans on the subject of the steep end-of-year tax hikes and spending cuts that would go into effect if lawmakers fail to act.