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October 16, 2013
22:26 // 6 months ago
breakingnews:

Senate passes debt deal; House votes next
NBC News: The Senate voted 81-18 to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. 
President Barack Obama spoke from the White House after the Senate’s vote, saying he will sign the bill as soon as it arrives on his desk. The House is expected to vote on the measure tonight.

“There’s a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that’s been lost over the last few weeks,” he said. “And we can begin to do that by addressing the real issues that they care about.”
After a long and tedious process, the Senate compromise is only a short-term deal allowing the federal government to operate through January 15, and conservatives who fought to de-fund or delay Obamacare have had to concede defeat. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

The House is expected to approve the bill and send it to the president’s desk for signature within hours.

Follow updates on Breaking News. 
Photo: President Barack Obama speaks after the Senate vote. (NBC News)

With the President confirming he’d sign the deal as soon as he received it, the House will bear the full weight of this weeks-long political crisis when they vote on the Senate bill later tonight. We’ll update with any news on that vote as it occurs.

breakingnews:

Senate passes debt deal; House votes next

NBC NewsThe Senate voted 81-18 to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. 

President Barack Obama spoke from the White House after the Senate’s vote, saying he will sign the bill as soon as it arrives on his desk. The House is expected to vote on the measure tonight.

“There’s a lot of work ahead of us, including our need to earn back the trust of the American people that’s been lost over the last few weeks,” he said. “And we can begin to do that by addressing the real issues that they care about.”

After a long and tedious process, the Senate compromise is only a short-term deal allowing the federal government to operate through January 15, and conservatives who fought to de-fund or delay Obamacare have had to concede defeat. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

The House is expected to approve the bill and send it to the president’s desk for signature within hours.

Follow updates on Breaking News

Photo: President Barack Obama speaks after the Senate vote. (NBC News)

With the President confirming he’d sign the deal as soon as he received it, the House will bear the full weight of this weeks-long political crisis when they vote on the Senate bill later tonight. We’ll update with any news on that vote as it occurs.

21:05 // 6 months ago
October 15, 2013

Treasury Department’s “extraordinary measures” are running out

  • $35Bcash on hand remaining for the U.S. Treasury Department, an amount they’ve been directing through so-called “extraordinary measures” (accounting tricks with government funds, essentially) to try to keep paying the bills. That maneuvering and wrangling is expected to run out of steam soon, however — the Treasury estimates they’ll run out of ways to pay on Thursday. source

18:56 // 6 months ago
October 11, 2013
I told the president exactly the same thing I have told you here today: That we need to work together and fund the government and at the same time provide substantial relief to the millions of people who are hurting because of Obamacare, who are losing their jobs, being forced into part-time work and losing their health insurance. If the outcome doesn’t impact people who are struggling, who are hurting because of Obamacare, then I don’t think it would be a good outcome.
Senator Ted Cruz • Giving his (we suspect not verbatim) account of his meeting today at the White House with President Obama. Cruz was there with several Republican senators, and reportedly confronted Obama over the Affordable Care Act, which as you can see above (to say nothing of his 20+ hour non-filibuster effort last month), he nearly defines vehemency in his opposition. The White House’s negotiating posture on this seems to be holding firm, however, having rejected a Republican offer earlier today to pass a stop-gap six-week debt limit extension in return for negotiations on the budget. source
19:33 // 6 months ago
October 8, 2013
There is no magic wand that allows us to wish away the chaos that could result if — for the first time in our history — we don’t pay our bills on time.
President Obama • Issuing a dire prophecy on the state of affairs if — as becomes an increasingly worrisome possibility, with the deadline looming on October 17th — Congress fails to reopen the federal government and raise the debt limit. He also took a dig at proponents of the ballyhooed platinum coin, but indicated that he’d implement some kind of strategy if the feared default took place : “We plan for every contingency. So obviously, you know, worst-case scenario, there are things that we will try to do — but I will repeat, I don’t think any option is good.” source
18:35 // 6 months ago
October 4, 2013
Obama’s view, which I share, is that the debt ceiling fight is far more important not only than the specific policies on the table, or even the catastrophic economic consequences of a debt breach. It’s a fight to preserve the Constitutional order. And conservatives have resolutely refused to grapple with that fact…If the conservative goal is to create the illusion of winning something for the debt ceiling, then they’ll come back next time to win more, and Democrats can’t allow that.
Jon Chait’s take on why the Democrats are, in the words of the GOP, “refusing to negotiate.” Republicans would reply that Democrats have used the debt limit as a bargaining chip in the past, and it’s thus unfair to excoriate the GOP for “suddenly” attempting to upend the constitutional order. This is a disingenuous argument, though, as Dave Weigel has pointed out; the House GOP’s conduct now truly is unprecedented. source
14:34 // 6 months ago
January 23, 2013
Congress punts on debt ceiling: The House of Representatives passed a bill today that extends the nation’s debt limit until May 18th, effectively tabling the issue for another couple of months. This time, the GOP majority didn’t ask for spending cuts in exchange for the increase; rather, it simply demanded that both houses of congress pass a budget before April 15th. Otherwise, per the bill, all members of both bodies will have their salaries withheld (there’s some debate over whether or not this provision is constitutional). Also, while the majority of Republicans did vote for the bill, enough defected that John Boehner had to rally up a couple of Democrats to get it passed. Harry Reid says it’ll fly through the Senate without issue. (Photo credit: AP) source

Congress punts on debt ceiling: The House of Representatives passed a bill today that extends the nation’s debt limit until May 18th, effectively tabling the issue for another couple of months. This time, the GOP majority didn’t ask for spending cuts in exchange for the increase; rather, it simply demanded that both houses of congress pass a budget before April 15th. Otherwise, per the bill, all members of both bodies will have their salaries withheld (there’s some debate over whether or not this provision is constitutional). Also, while the majority of Republicans did vote for the bill, enough defected that John Boehner had to rally up a couple of Democrats to get it passed. Harry Reid says it’ll fly through the Senate without issue. (Photo credit: AP) source

19:31 // 1 year ago
January 11, 2013
"[W]e believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis — without Congressional approval, if necessary." So reads a letter sent to the president today by top Senate Democrats. It’s not every day that members of congress explicitly voice their willingness to be circumvented by the president, but Harry Reid and company clearly believe that the threat of default is a real possibility. Later on in the letter, the Democrats call for “a broad, bipartisan agreement” to reduce the long-term deficit - but only one that puts “the entire budget on the table,” as opposed to policy that only cuts “earned benefits for seniors and middle-class families.” (Photo credit: AP)  source

"[W]e believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis — without Congressional approval, if necessary." So reads a letter sent to the president today by top Senate Democrats. It’s not every day that members of congress explicitly voice their willingness to be circumvented by the president, but Harry Reid and company clearly believe that the threat of default is a real possibility. Later on in the letter, the Democrats call for “a broad, bipartisan agreement” to reduce the long-term deficit - but only one that puts “the entire budget on the table,” as opposed to policy that only cuts “earned benefits for seniors and middle-class families.” (Photo credit: AP)  source

20:25 // 1 year ago
January 5, 2013
If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic. Our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again.
President Obama • Warning of possible conflict on the horizon, so soon after the “fiscal cliff” fracas was resolved — you’re not surprised, are you? The debt ceiling fight between the White House and congressional Republicans in 2011 was so acrimonious, and brought the country so close to the brink of default, that Obama is clearly eying this as the next major battle ahead of him. The showdown will likely come in February or March, as the Federal Reserve can employ a bevy of accounting tricks and maneuvers intended hold off hitting the limit until then, but after the political capital expended during last week’s negotiations, we can do little but wait and see how this all ends out. source
15:46 // 1 year ago
December 6, 2012
This may be a moment in Senate history, when a senator made a proposal that, when given an opportunity for a vote on that proposal, filibustered his own proposal…I don’t think this has ever happened before.
Sen. Dick Durbin, after Mitch McConnell’s latest scheme blew up in his face. McConnell introduced legislation today that would allow the president to unilaterally raise the debt limit, suspecting that Democrats wouldn’t have the guts to vote for it. When it became clear that Democrats did indeed have the votes to pass the bill with a simple majority, McConnell filibustered it, preventing its passage. The United States Senate, ladies and gentlemen. source
15:23 // 1 year ago