The Pileup Behind the Fiscal Slope, and the Consequences of Inaction

By: Friday December 21, 2012 7:03 am

Say what you will about the 2010 deal to extend the Bush tax cuts, which helped to set up what we’re seeing this month. But there was definitely a virtue in getting it done by early December, allowing for a productive lame duck session that repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, passed the New START arms [...]

Lame Duck Congress Has Lots of Work to Do Even Without Fiscal Slope

By: Friday November 9, 2012 7:45 am

Among the many other reasons not to engage in a grand bargain during the lame duck session is that Congress actually needs to get busy with other matters. For a variety of reasons, mainly that they’re not good at their job, Congress left a multitude of items on the table for the lame duck, many [...]

Steny Hoyer’s Push to Ruin Everything

By: Monday February 27, 2012 11:04 am

In the aftermath of a horribly bruising debt limit deal and the Occupy movement, the focus in Washington shifted away from deficits and back to the economy, jobs and income inequality. But as a reminder that social movements must be constant and vigilant, one powerful Democrat, in association with a DC lobbying group, wants to [...]

Payroll Tax/UI Bill Passes the House; Senate Vote Will Not Face a Filibuster

By: Friday February 17, 2012 9:35 am

The House passed the payroll tax/UI/doc fix bill this morning by a count of 293-132. 91 Republicans and 41 Democrats voted against the bill, but the combination of Democrats and Republicans in support were more than enough to carry the bill across the line. Republicans voting against it were mostly hardliners philosophically opposed to things [...]

Payroll Tax Cut Deal Could Get Vote in Both Chambers Today

By: Friday February 17, 2012 7:40 am

The House has released the conference report for the payroll tax cut agreement. It’s pretty much what we heard last night. The plan is for both the House and Senate to pass the conference report today, so that both chambers can go out on recess next week. This violates the House rule of having 72 [...]

Payroll Tax Cut/UI Details Released

By: Thursday February 16, 2012 2:21 pm

Talking Points Memo snagged the details, written up by the House Ways and Means Committee, of the payroll tax cut/unemployment insurance/”doc fix” bill. So let’s go over it. We know the topline stuff: it’s a $150 billion piece of legislation, and $52 billion will be paid for. The payroll tax cut, extended to the end [...]

Deal on Payroll Tax/UI Bill To Get Vote Within Days

By: Thursday February 16, 2012 6:28 am

Negotiators say they have a deal on a $150 billion bill to extend the payroll tax cut, some unemployment insurance benefits and the “doc fix” to the end of the year, a bill that will sacrifice some health care prevention money, several weeks of unemployment eligibility, and at the very end, pension contributions for new [...]

Latest Details on Payroll Tax/UI Bill Includes Cuts to Health Care Prevention Fund, Jobless Benefits

By: Wednesday February 15, 2012 1:35 pm

The details on this emerging deal on various expiring measures are getting worse by the minute. Here’s what we know: The $150 billion bill, extending the payroll tax cut, some extended unemployment insurance benefits and the “doc fix” on Medicare reimbursement rates, will only require $50 billion in offsets. The payroll tax cut won’t get [...]

Payroll Tax/UI Bill Still Mired in Negotiations Over Pay-Fors

By: Wednesday February 15, 2012 10:59 am

There is less optimism now over the prospects of a deal wrapping up on the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance and a doctor’s fix on Medicare reimbursement rates than there was this morning. Leading House Democrats exhibited caution over declaring a deal done. “We’re still a long ways from getting there,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra [...]

Tentative Payroll Tax/UI Deal Would Cut Indeterminate Number of Weeks of Extended Unemployment Benefits

By: Wednesday February 15, 2012 6:20 am

Late yesterday afternoon, news broke of a tentative deal to extend the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance and the “doc fix” on Medicare reimbursement rates. Only we shouldn’t say that the deal would extend unemployment benefits, because it wouldn’t extend all of them. There will be cuts to the maximum number of weeks of benefits [...]

Payroll Tax Cut Negotiations: Unemployment Benefits Set to Drop from 99 to 79 or Less Weeks

By: Tuesday February 14, 2012 12:59 pm

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi released a statement that probably secures passage for a standalone, unfunded payroll tax cut: “The House Republican leadership plans to bring to the floor a stand-alone payroll tax cut extension bill tomorrow. We have long proposed bringing this tax cut to the floor without payfors and House Democrats will support [...]

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