October 14, 2013 |
There are so many to choose from, but these four take the cake. In no particular order: 1. The Vitter amendment. Concocted by David Vitter (R-La.), this majestically cynical measure is based on the common misconception that members of Congress and their staffs are "exempted" from the Affordable Care Act. It would prohibit the government from paying for any part of the health insurance for federal legislators or their staff. The facts of the "exemption" are these: During the 2010 debate over the ACA, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
October 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Talks in the Senate aimed at resolving the crisis over the federal budget hit a setback Sunday as Democrats, emboldened by GOP disarray, pushed their advantage, leading Republicans to warn against efforts to “humiliate” their party. Although Senate leaders continued to talk, they appeared to make little progress over the weekend, dashing hopes that a deal could be announced before markets opened Monday. Some senators urged House Republican leaders to try again to push a measure through their chamber.
October 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Less than a week into the federal government shutdown, the economic effects are starting to be felt beyond the nation's capital. Layoffs are beginning in the private sector. More investors are unloading Treasury notes. And beneath the surface of the apparent calm in financial markets, banks and corporate chief financial officers are quietly taking steps to prepare for what many see as a potentially disastrous scenario if lawmakers fail to raise the debt limit by the Oct. 17 deadline.
October 3, 2013 |
Much is in flux in Washington this week. But two important realities have remained constant, whether certain elements in the GOP accept them or not: We must not default on the federal debt, and we shouldn't wait until we're on the brink of default to raise the debt ceiling. Here's why. As measured by economists Scott R. Baker, Nicholas Bloom and Steven J. Davis, policy uncertainty was more severe during the previous debt ceiling fight in the summer of 2011 than at any time since the terrorist attacks of Sept.
September 17, 2013 |
Two reports came out Tuesday that, just by happenstance, help illustrate why nothing gets done in Washington. One was the Congressional Budget Office's updated federal budget projections , which predicted that if Congress leaves current law in place -- including the much-maligned sequester -- the deficit will soon be no larger than 2% of GDP. Because that's less than the CBO projects U.S. GDP will grow (fingers crossed!), the federal debt should start to shrink in relation to the economy.
September 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The federal deficit has shrunk to its lowest level since 2008, when President Obama won election at the start of the Great Recession, and is on track to decline even more thanks to an improving economy, higher taxes on the wealthy and reduced federal spending, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday. But even with declining deficits, the nation's debt keeps piling up, leaving lawmakers with no easy choices to fix the poor long-term fiscal outlook.