October 20, 2013 |
Obama and the Democrats won; Republicans and the tea party lost. And both sides are gearing up for next time. Now that our recent brush with financial crisis is behind us, it's time to start planning for the next one. That's the problem Congress set up in the stopgap deal that ended the 16-day government shutdown and averted a collision with the debt ceiling. After all the sound and fury, the two parties agreed only on continuing federal spending at its current level until Jan. 15 and raising the debt ceiling until Feb. 7. PHOTOS: Tea party backlash: Protest signs to cheer you up This was the epitome of a temporary cease-fire: An arrangement that freezes in place a situation neither side liked to begin with.
September 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The prevailing wisdom on Capitol Hill on Monday was that the federal government is headed toward at least a brief shutdown at midnight, given the impasse over how, if at all, President Obama's new healthcare law should figure into any stopgap spending plan. But as House GOP leaders met, they were also considering a stopgap measure that would fund the government for another week or so as talks continue. That could push a deadline for action closer to the next budget fight, the need to raise the nation's debt limit in mid-October.
September 12, 2013 |
Try as they might, House Republican leaders are having trouble stopping their colleagues from shooting themselves in the foot - again. Having failed to approve any of the 12 annual appropriations bills that fund federal agencies, Congress has to pass a stopgap spending bill by Sept. 30 to keep much of the federal government from shutting down. But rank-and-file Republicans in the House are resisting their leadership's proposed stopgap because it wouldn't necessarily block funding for the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a.
June 11, 2013 |
Even though the state's budget situation has improved, it will be years before California's community colleges will be able to offer adequate numbers of courses. Hundreds of thousands of students will continue to be shut out of classes they need. Though normally we would deplore creating a two-tiered educational system within the community colleges, now isn't the time to stick to lofty principles about equal pricing for all. The loftiest thing that state legislators could do now is to help students of all financial backgrounds get through college.
December 5, 2012 |
Are we about to go over a fiscal cliff? It's looking more likely, but it may not be as alarming as it sounds. Here are three things you need to know about the impending crisis over the so-called fiscal cliff, the combination of tax increases and automatic spending cuts due to kick in at the turn of the year: First, it's not really a cliff; it's merely a steep, scary slope. If Congress doesn't act, federal taxes will increase by more than $500 billion next year and federal spending will be cut by about $200 billion.
September 18, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Congress will meet for only a few final days this week to enable lawmakers to campaign full time in the battle for control of Capitol Hill, leaving much business undone until after the election. The House convenes for three days to wrap up its work, while the Senate, where Democrats have the majority, is considering a similar truncated schedule. Lawmakers had initially been scheduled to work through the first week of October. The one must-pass piece of legislation - a bill to keep the government funded once the new fiscal year begins Oct.1 - is set for final approval this week in the Senate after having already cleared the House.