October 5, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The urgency to end the government shutdown eased Saturday as the Pentagon said it would recall nearly all its furloughed civilian employees and House Republicans focused their attention to a broader budget battle with the White House. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's surprise announcement to call about 350,000 civilian defense workers back to work next week was expected to loosen pressure on Congress and the White House to quickly end the shutdown, which was in its fifth day Saturday.
October 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The partial government shutdown reduces the federal government's expenses but not enough to significantly push back the mid-October date by which the debt limit needs to be raised, according to Treasury Department officials and a think-tank analysis. The Treasury Department has estimated that the government would be at risk of a default if the debt limit is not raised by Oct. 17. The Bipartisan Policy Center, which has done extensive debt-limit analysis, has estimated that the so-called X Date for raising the debt limit is between Oct. 18 and Nov. 5. There's been speculation that the government shutdown could change those estimates, but in a letter to lawmakers this week, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said it would not. "Although the current lapse in appropriations creates some additional uncertainty, we do not believe it will impact our projections materially unless it continues for an extended period of time.
September 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Wasting little time, the Senate rejected a new House spending bill that took aim at President Obama's healthcare law, as Democrats continue to hold firm against Republican demands. It took just 24 minutes from the time the House gaveled out to recess after passing its bill for the Senate to start voting to reject the latest plan. The vote was again strictly along party lines, with 54 Democrats voting to reject the bill and 46 Republicans supporting it. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
September 18, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama will try to enlist help from business leaders in his standoff with congressional Republicans over government spending and a looming vote to raise the debt limit, a White House official said. At a meeting with the Business Roundtable on Wednesday, Obama will ask corporate leaders to urge Republicans to give up plans to negotiate cuts in government spending, or a repeal of Obama's healthcare law, in return for an increase in the debt limit, said the official, who asked not to be named discussing the president's remarks before the meeting.
September 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - As the nation fast approaches its debt limit, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew issued his strongest warning yet to Congress about the economic consequences of waiting until just before the deadline to pass an increase. "Trying to time a debt-limit increase to the last minute could be very dangerous," Lew told the Economic Club of Washington on Tuesday. "We cannot afford for Congress to gamble with the full faith and credit of the United States of America. " Republicans are balking at raising the $16.7-trillion debt limit, which Congress must do by as early as mid-October, unless the Obama administration agrees to major concessions including deep spending cuts and a delay in implementing the healthcare reform law. During a meeting last week, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio)
September 17, 2013 |
As every legislative craftsman knows, the trick in giving your bill a name is, first, come up with a title that yields a catchy acronym. Second, make sure the title doesn't explain what the bill does. Hence, the Inform Act. The name certainly is alluring. It sounds like a measure to make government more transparent to its citizens, which is exactly what its promoters say it is. But it may be more accurate to think of it as the Misinform or even Disinform Act. You may be hearing a lot about the Inform Act in a few weeks.