Federal Relations

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

Odds and Ends for the Week

Student Loan Interest Rates:  Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are getting close to a deal to prevent student loan rates from doubling on July 1st, from 3.4 percent up to 6.8 percent.  A deal could be announced as soon as today, although early next week seems more likely. The talks have

This Week in Congress

Congress is back in session today after a two-week break for the Easter holiday.  Appropriators in both chambers will begin moving FY 2013 annual appropriations bills this week.  The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday will start marking up its spending bills for FY 2013 with a goal of cutting federal spending by a little more

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