Fiscal Slope: Time to Go to Conference on Taxes?

By: Saturday December 1, 2012 10:24 am

Mitch McConnell laid out his wish list for the endgame in the fiscal slope negotiations, and it’s basically the kinds of social insurance benefit cuts that the White House offered up in 2011 (which is again a reminder why you don’t offer those up as a bluff, because they will come back to haunt you), [...]

Drought Relief Bill Passes House, But Won’t Help Livestock Producers Through August

By: Friday August 3, 2012 8:15 am

The House of Representatives passed their one-year drought relief bill by a relatively thin margin yesterday, 223-197. They needed 35 votes from Democrats to get it across the line, as 46 Republicans begged off the bill. Here’s the roll call. The House passed this on the last possible day of the session before the August [...]

Liberals Protest Food Stamp Cuts in House Farm Bill

By: Tuesday July 10, 2012 6:22 am

The Senate already passed a farm bill that cut food stamps by around $4.5 billion. The House’s version is even more punitive, and House Democrats are upset that their leader on the Agriculture Committee let it go through without putting up much of a fight. Liberal Democrats are fuming over $16 billion in cuts to [...]

Highway Bill Unlikely to Emerge from Conference Committee

By: Monday June 18, 2012 10:17 am

With two weeks until two key measures expire, Congress appears poised to do what it does best – absolutely nothing. At issue are the doubling of the student loan interest rate, and the surface transportation bill. Democrats and the White House seized on the student loan issue, getting Republicans to agree on the basic principle [...]

Key Democrat: Keystone Pipeline Rider to Be Axed from Transportation Bill

By: Friday May 18, 2012 10:56 am

Right now, talks are continuing on a House-Senate conference committee on the surface transportation bill, which provides federal funding, paid for mostly by the gas tax, to highway and mass transit projects across the country. Congress has kicked this bill down the road many times, and the House and Senate versions of the bill vary [...]

Senate Will Pass House Version of STOCK Act, Drop Political Intelligence Measures

By: Wednesday March 21, 2012 6:56 am

The Senate leadership has given up on trying to pass their version of the STOCK Act, instead planning a vote on the House bill that cancels out restrictions on so-called “political intelligence,” among other tougher measures. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), in a Tuesday afternoon floor speech, announced that he would not compel [...]

Republicans Cave on Payroll Tax Cut, Propose Full-Year Extension Without Offsets

By: Monday February 13, 2012 11:33 am

In an impressive bit of caving, the House Republican leadership has given up on finding offsets for the payroll tax cut, proposing a bill that would extend the current cut to the end of the year without any funding. However, the other two pieces that were tied to the overall legislation at the end of [...]

Payroll Tax Cut Conference Committee on Brink of Failure, Needs Lifeline

By: Tuesday February 7, 2012 8:55 am

The conference committee for the payroll tax cut is on a road to nowhere, and it’s clear that the House and Senate leadership will have to step in if the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance and the doctor’s fix will get extended beyond the end of the month. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave [...]

FAA Authorization Conference Report Would Weaken Labor Law, Expected to Pass Senate Today

By: Monday February 6, 2012 9:35 am

The Senate will vote as early as today on whether to punish transportation unions in a bid to get Federal Aviation Administration authorization through 2015. The House already passed its version of what negotiators called a bipartisan compromise. But unions object to the deal and have gotten more vocal about it in recent days. The [...]

Four Weeks to Payroll Tax Cut/UI Expiration, and Little Movement on Extension

By: Thursday February 2, 2012 8:55 am

The payroll tax cut and extended unemployment benefits expire on February 29. And though the House-Senate conference committee charged with figuring out a year-long extension met yesterday, there really isn’t a lot of movement toward a solution. Pay-fors seem to be the biggest stumbling block. On Wednesday, the House approved one of the GOP’s favored [...]

House, Senate Still At Odds on Payroll Tax/UI Extension

By: Thursday January 26, 2012 10:23 am

The House/Senate conference committee looking to reconcile legislation on a payroll tax cut extension, along with unemployment benefits and potentially a doc fix, met yesterday to go over the deal. And it didn’t turn out that well. Meeting for the first time, members of a new bipartisan, House-Senate committee negotiating a final version of a [...]

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