It's still unclear just how viable the "Gang of Six" deficit and debt package is. On a logistical level, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] said yesterday that the lack of actual legislative language and an official budget score from the CBO means there might not be enough time to get it through Congress before the August 2th deadline. On a political level, it's unlikely the House would bite. It looks to be basically similar to the Biden plan that House Republican leaders rejected several weeks ago because of the level of revenue raisers involved. Still, there are reaons to take it seriously. It is bipartisan to some extent, public pressure to strike a deal is increasing as the deadline approaches, and ratings agencies are now threatening to downgrade U.S. debt if Congress goes with the other potential compromise on the table, Reid-McConnell. Those factors make it absolutely worth taking a close look.Read Full Article
Congress comes back from their week off today, and it appears that the Republicans in the House and the Democrats in the Senate have just about struck a deal to keep the government operating, at least temporarily. On Friday, Republicans proposed a two week continuing resolution with $4 billion in cuts from the current funding level and on Sunday Senate Budget Committee Chaiman Sen. Kent Conrad [D, ND] sounded ready to work with that offer. "It is acceptable to me to have $4 billion in savings in a two-week package, sure. The makeup of that, you know, is up for discussion and negotiation. That negotiation is ongoing. And I'm confident we'll achieve conclusion on that," Konrad said. His comments follow a positive reaction to the Republican proposal from Majority Leader Harry Reid on Friday.
While the final details of this are being worked out, here's how the House and Senate will be keeping themselves busy on the chamber floor. First, the House schedule:Read Full Article
With the release of the new package of fixes to the Senate health care bill, some of the most porky items in the bill, like the "Cornhusker Kickback," the "Louisiana Purchase" and the "Gator Aid," have been eliminated. But some new state-specific provisions have also been added.Read Full Article
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Researchers, political satirists and partisan mudslingers, take note: C-Span has uploaded virtually every minute of its video archives to the Internet.
The archives, at C-SpanVideo.org, cover 23 years of history and five presidential administrations and are sure to provide new fodder for pundits and politicians alike. The network will formally announce the completion of the C-Span Video Library on Wednesday.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Kent Conrad [D, ND] said he thinks the procedural plan Democrats have settled on for their health care bill is unworkable. If they can't find another way, health care reform is "dead," Conrad said.Read Full Article
Washington is still reeling from record snowfall and the House has decided to take the whole week off, but the Senate, at least, managed to get some work done. Weather permitting, Congress hopes to start working on the jobs bill and other legislation soon. Here’s a look at some articles and blog posts of note from the day:Read Full Article
Opponents of wasteful government spending might want to turn their eyes to the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R.3221). This bill promises to end government subsidies to the student loan industry saving billions.Read Full Article
The omnipresent refrain in Washington for the past few months has been “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Possibly terrified of the wrath of the unemployed voter, Senate Democrats are now making progress in crafting a jobs bill.Read Full Article
Still no path forward for health care reform. House Democrats have a light legislative schedule this week, and they will hear Obama's State of the Union address on Wednesday. The Senate's going to be voting on a slate of controversial deficit amendments and on confirming Fed Chief Ben Bernanke to another term.Read Full Article