House Passes Measure to Replace Defense Trigger With Safety Net Cuts

By: Thursday May 10, 2012 1:34 pm

Setting up a showdown over federal spending, the House of Representatives today narrowly passed a bill that would replace the cuts from the defense side of the trigger, part of the debt limit deal of last year, mostly with cuts to federal workers and the social safety net. The 218-199 vote capped a day of [...]

A Look at the Ryan Budget

By: Tuesday March 20, 2012 9:35 am

The Ryan budget has appeared as a chairman’s mark. It’s a long document written in Congress-ese, but I’ve already gone over some of the main points. Here are a couple other tidbits: • The coverage of the trigger cuts for 2013, incorporated into this document, are unformed and will be the work of six committees. [...]

House GOP Plans to Use Budget Reconciliation All By Itself

By: Monday March 12, 2012 8:55 am

We’ve already seen that House Republicans may set the FY2013 budget well below the spending cap laid out in the debt limit deal, risking acrimony and a possible government shutdown right before the 2012 election. The budget resolution should get unveiled next week. But David Rogers adds a new wrinkle to the debate. The House, [...]

Senate Democrats Stand Ground, Refuse to Support Block Granting of Medicaid

By: Friday June 10, 2011 12:28 pm

This is very good news. Many have feared that, with the Paul Ryan plan to end Medicare getting so much attention, Congress would downshift to a safety valve, the Paul Ryan plan to cripple Medicaid, as part of a deficit reduction deal. Under the Ryan plan, Medicaid would be turned into a block grant, which [...]

Happy Tenth Anniversary, Bush Tax Cuts!

By: Tuesday June 7, 2011 6:57 am

Ten years ago today, the The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 passed Congress. Yes, it was a bill considered under reconciliation! While the Bush Administration was frustrated in enacting some of its domestic policy, they used whatever means necessary – including using reconciliation, a process designed expressly to make it easier [...]

Reconciliation: How to Implement a Grand Bargain Without Liberal Support

By: Wednesday May 25, 2011 6:45 am

In theory, the win for Kathy Hochul in NY-26 should give Democrats tremendous leverage in the budget fight. Republicans have to be searching for an exit strategy, with their Medicare phase-out plan this unpopular and this resonant in elections. They alienated the biggest demographic portion of their base for no real reason, and politically this [...]

Biden Debt Limit Talks Today to Cover Medicare, Medicaid

By: Tuesday May 24, 2011 6:15 am

Bipartisan talks on increasing the nation’s debt limit, which have morphed into a wider discussion about deficit reduction, resume today. Republicans in recent weeks have said that they will only raise the debt limit by a dollar amount equal to the amount of long-term savings. Therefore, a $2 trillion increase in the debt limit – [...]

Congress Could Use Reconciliation Process for Deficit “Grand Bargain”

By: Friday May 20, 2011 6:29 am

Kent Conrad has decided to shelve his budget while high-level talks continue on a long-term deficit reduction solution tied to the debt limit. Conrad’s plan got mixed reviews initially from within the caucus, but he altered it to capture the votes of Democrats on the Budget Committee, including Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The latest reports claimed [...]

Under House Republicans, Reconciliation Can Increase the Deficit

By: Tuesday December 28, 2010 8:40 am

In 2001 and 2003, George W. Bush and the Republicans had to use budget reconciliation to increase the deficit, to implement the Bush tax cuts. The 2003 version passed in the Senate by 50-50, with Dick Cheney casting the tie-breaking vote. Democrats were so horrified by this that they passed a rule that budget reconciliation [...]

On Tax Issue, Support Accountability, Just Don’t Expect Victory

By: Tuesday November 16, 2010 3:36 pm

I’m trying to decompress from the Senate Banking Committee hearing on foreclosure fraud, so before I go, let’s look at the latest on the Bush tax cuts. Today, Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO floated that Democrats could hold a vote just on extending the tax cuts for the middle class. AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka told [...]

Reconciliation Available for Lame Duck Session

By: Monday November 15, 2010 1:00 pm

If you want to know how Democrats could force a vote on the Bush tax cuts on their terms, David Waldman has figured it out. Yes, it’s complicated; yes, it involves budget reconciliation; yes, it involves extending all the tax cuts and then coming back to repeal those on the high-end earners; yes, it has [...]

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