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May 17, 2013
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has released a comparison of the budgets offered by President Obama, House Republicans, and Senate Democrats. They’re a lot similar than you’d expect given how much the two parties are at each others’ throats about things like Social Security and taxes, huh? Anyway, for those who enjoy charts and graphs, the CBO’s blog post on its budget projections will not disappoint. (h/t Ezra Klein) source

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has released a comparison of the budgets offered by President Obama, House Republicans, and Senate Democrats. They’re a lot similar than you’d expect given how much the two parties are at each others’ throats about things like Social Security and taxes, huh? Anyway, for those who enjoy charts and graphs, the CBO’s blog post on its budget projections will not disappoint. (h/t Ezra Klein) source

17:35 // 11 months ago
February 27, 2013
23:03 // 1 year ago
February 20, 2013
Because the sequester is (and is likely to continue to be) very ill-defined in the minds of most Americans, the politics of it will devolve into a popularity contest between the major players. Which gets us to the fact that Obama is at (or close to) his high-water mark in terms of job approval, while Congress sits in political reporter/used car salesman territory.
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, theorizing that there’s no way possible way Congress can win the sequester battle against President Obama. The thinking here is is based on three premises: One, that Obama believes the sequester ultimately will not be avoided, because Congress is dysfunctional and if they could have struck a deal on these cuts, there wouldn’t have been a sequester to begin with; two, that effects of the sequestered cuts will be felt by many Americans once they come into effect; and three, that Obama is significantly more popular than Congress. Given these three assumptions, it seems reasonable enough to conclude that if the sequester happens, Congress—and the GOP-led House of Representatives—will be blamed by the American public. It’s not a bad theory, though it’s still quite speculative given the assumptions. More information on the sequester here. source
19:32 // 1 year 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
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
September 19, 2012
16:58 // 1 year ago
March 29, 2012

Ryan budget passes, heads to certain death in the Senate

  • yesThe House GOP passed this year’s Paul Ryan budget, the party’s annual flagship legislation, with 10 Republicans voting against it and no Democrats voting for it.
  • noThe bill won’t go anywhere from here, as it’s now in Senate Democrats’ hands, and Democrats, as in past years, are none too fond of Ryan’s budget. source
20:40 // 2 years ago
March 22, 2012

Boehner: Nevermind our agreement, I changed my mind

  • thenWhen Congress raised the debt limit last summer, part of the deal included cuts to defense spending that would automatically kick in if the deficit Super Committee failed. It did fail, and John Boehner confirmed last November that he felt bound to honor the cuts (which should have been assumed, but nevermind).
  • now"Just kidding!" Boehner is now saying that "we should have never had the sequester" (the formal term for the triggered cuts), and has announced his intent to reneg on the deal he signed. Sorry, John, but that’s not how this works; you may get the House to pass this, but something tells us Senate Democrats won’t be on board. source

» Question: If Boehner goes ahead with this, will anybody, Democrat or Republican, have any reason to believe he’s negotiating in good faith next time a deal needs to be reached? Obstructionism is one thing, but to make an agreement, pass that agreement in the form of legislation, and then attempt to get out of that agreement when things don’t go your way is another. Make no mistake; the debt ceiling will have to be raised again; we’re not sure how negotiations can even commence, let alone conclude, if this is how Boehner plans to go about things.

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20:13 // 2 years ago
February 14, 2012
22:10 // 2 years ago
February 1, 2012

CBO: What if Congress did nothing this year? Well, we’d cut the deficit

  • positive According to a hypothetical posed by the Congressional Budget Office, if Congress’ deadlock worsened and nothing got done this year, the deficit would shrink heavily as the Bush tax cuts would expire and other spending initiatives would end. Huh.
  • negative However … this comes with a lot of pain. As federal workers lose their jobs, the unemployment rate would rise above 9 percent again, and the economy’s recent gains would get pushed back, according to CBO estimates. Would the cost be worth the benefit, guys? source

» The trade-off: "On the one hand, if policymakers leave current laws unchanged, the federal debt will probably recede slowly," said CBO director Douglas W. Elmendorf. "On the other hand, changing current laws to let current policies continue … would boost the economy and allow people to pay less in taxes and benefit more from government programs in the next few years — but put the nation on an unsustainable fiscal course." That’s a tough one, kids.

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10:07 // 2 years ago