Federal Relations

January 4, 2013

Today in Congress

Yesterday marked the first day of the 113th Congress. For the 84 freshmen members, including Suzan DelBene (D-1st), Derek Kilmer (D-6th), and Denny Heck (D-10th), the real work starts (even though DelBene is a 6-week veteran as she filled the remaining term in Jay Inslee’s old seat). They join Congress at a time when the

January 1, 2013

Fiscal Cliff Averted

Early this morning, the Senate rang in the New Year by approving legislation to avert the economic impacts of the fiscal cliff. The bipartisan agreement makes changes to tax policy by allowing for the first income tax rate increase in nearly two decades and also delays the sequester by offering $24 billion in other spending

December 27, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Update

The Senate reconvenes today and will make a last attempt to legislate before large automatic tax increases and spending cuts take effect on January 1st. The House is scheduled to meet only in a pro forma session after Republican leaders said the Senate would need to act first to produce a legislative solution after their

December 18, 2012

Possible Deal to Avoid the “Fiscal Cliff”

A deal appears to be in the making to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”  Late yesterday, President Obama made a counteroffer back to House Speaker Boehner (R-OH) that would raise the top tax rates on income above $400,000, $400 billion in health care cuts, and $200 billion in discretionary cuts. The White House proposal also includes

December 17, 2012

FISCAL CLIFF COUNTDOWN: 15 DAYS

As we move into the last two weeks of the calendar year – and come ever closer to the edge of the “fiscal cliff” – House Speaker Boehner (R-OH) has offered to allow a tax increase on millionaires, which is a significant shift toward President Obama’s position on raising tax rates for the wealthy.  But

December 14, 2012

17 Days to “Fiscal Cliff”

President Obama and House Speaker Boehner (R-OH) met for almost an hour yesterday at the White House to discuss issues related to the fiscal cliff, but there were no obvious signs of progress.  Instead, both sides appear to be holding fast to their partisan views on taxes and spending. This is the second face-to-face meeting

December 6, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Countdown: 26 Days

Negotiations continue between the Obama administration and congressional leaders on deficit reduction legislation that would need to be approved by Congress before the end of the year to avoid the sequester and tax increases. Last week the President released his proposal, which took a hard line on both taxes and entitlement spending, with increased tax

October 29, 2012

CR and Sequester Update

Members of Congress are discussing the possibility of approving a continuing resolution (CR) for the entire fiscal year to avoid partisan political battles and a possible government shutdown. Appropriators continue to press for completing this year’s spending bills in a lame-duck omnibus, but it’s more likely that they will be left for the next Congress.

August 29, 2012

Economic Outlook for 2013

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) yesterday released its updated “Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 to 2022.” According to CBO: “For fiscal year 2012 (which ends on September 30), the federal budget deficit will total $1.1 trillion, CBO estimates, marking the fourth year in a row with a deficit of more than $1 trillion.

July 17, 2012

Sequester “Line in the Sand” Bills

Senate Democrats are warning that they will not agree to a deal to stop across-the-board spending cuts early next year (sequester) without new revenue gained by ending tax breaks on the wealthiest Americans.  To that end, they circulated a draft bill yesterday that would spare most Americans from higher tax rates that are due to

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