Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Thursday that Congress has struck a deal to fund the Federal Aviation Administration, ending a weeks-long partisan impasse that kept 4,000 FAA workers off the job, and tens of thousands out of work in airport construction. The Senate will ensure that a deal can be made before lawmakers leave for August vacation, and the bill will fund the agency through September 16.
The fight over the debt ceiling is over in Washington, but another showdown over government funding is still dividing Congress. Since July 22, the Federal Aviation Administration has been partially shutdown, waiting for Congress to make a decision on its funding. As a result, thousands of F.A.A. workers are being furloughed — and won’t get back to work until after the recess in September.
With the debt deal in place, our Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich looks to what the political costs may be — and what groups have been pitted against each other for 2012. (Troops vs. Medicare? Wealthy Americans vs. Troops?) How will this debate play out for the Republican presidential candidates? Plus, what will we see before 2012, when the next deficit reduction package has to pass in the fall of this year?
The August 2 deadline for Congress to agree on a budget deal and avoid defaulting is looming uncomfortably close. Last night, President Obama and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said tonight that congressional leaders of both parties have agreed on a plan to lift the debt ceiling. They will present the plan to their caucuses this morning, and hope for the measure to pass through votes by both the House and Senate, in order to avoid a U.S. default by August 2.
Last night, House Speaker John Boehner was forced call off a vote on his proposal to raise the debt ceiling after failing to gain enough support among House Republicans. It is unclear if the House Republican leadership will attempt another vote today. Boehner's plan, which would allow for two modest debt increases — the second of which would come during the 2012 election season — to be coupled with spending cuts. Democrats, who control the Senate, and the White House have said all along that the plan is a non-starter. If Boehner cannot gain support from restive conservatives in his party, it could be a political gain to Democrats going into next year's elections.
The recent debt ceiling debate between Democrats and Republicans has invited dissident voices within the GOP, fracturing the party's image of solidarity. House Republican leaders delayed a vote on their plan to raise the debt ceiling Monday night after opposition from dissenting conservatives in the party. Last night House Speaker John Boehner was reportedly able to convince a growing number of House members to get behind the plan — but only reluctantly.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that a plan being offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will reduce the deficit by $2.2 trillion. Democrats had said the Reid bill would save $2.7 trillion. The $2.2 trillion in savings is more than the plan offered by Republican House Speaker John Boehner, whose plan will only save $850 billion according to the CBO. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich explains where CBO scores come from and whether either party's plan can pass.
Despite plenty of drama and public rhetoric in the battle over the U.S. debt ceiling, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have not yet reached a compromise. The deadline is looming as is the possibility the country will have to default on its $14.3 trillion of debt. As time marches on, analysts are starting to think seriously about what would happen if no deal can be reached. A vote was expected today in the House on Boehner’s last bid to increase the debt limit and cut spending — but that all fell apart last night when Tea Party Republicans refused to vote for it.
President Obama stood before the nation and pleaded with Congress to come to an agreement as soon as possible, in a prime-time speech to the American public last night. "We can't allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington's political warfare," he said. House Speaker John Boehner immediately followed Obama's speech with his response, agreeing that the debate needs to be resolved, but urging Obama to sign on to the Republican proposal to raise the debt limit.
House Speaker John Boehner is betting that Americans want to cut spending only and not raise taxes. President Obama is betting that Americans see the White House as offering options to Congress — whether or not legislators take any of them. So whose bet will result in a win, whose will be a loss, and how will the gambling impact Americans and the world economy? Todd Zwillich, The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, talks about the latest news and how it's playing out.
There are two major stories in the news both revolving around deals that have been held up by long, entrenched standoffs.
First, the debt debate wages on in Washington. After hours of closed-door meetings with high-level members of Congress, rumors floated around Capitol Hill yesterday that President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner were close to reaching a debt deal that would call for as much as $3 trillion in savings.
The Takeaway's Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, called it correctly on yesterday's show, saying that the Gang of Six — a bipartisan group of senators who have been trying to formulate a deficit-reduction plan for months — would make a comeback. President Obama praised praised the group's proposal yesterday, calling it a "very significant step" toward a budget negotiation.
Later today, the House of Representatives will vote on the "cut, cap and balance" plan being pushed by House Republicans as a prerequisite for raising the country's debt ceiling. The plan is expected to pass in the House, where Republicans hold a majority, but will likely die in the Democrat-controlled Senate. President Obama has already said he will veto the bill.
Another weekend has passed with little progress made on reaching a compromise to raise the nation's debt ceiling. This week, Republicans say they'll vote on their new "cap, cut and balance" plan. The plan may get enough support to get past the House, but it's looking less likely in the Senate. Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington correspondent, previews what we can expect in the budget battle this week.
Responding to concerns that lawmakers in Washington will fail to reach an agreement on raising the country's debt threshold, credit ratings agency Moody's placed the U.S.'s credit rating under review for the first time since the federal government shutdown in 1995. The U.S. still risks losing the Aaa rating it has had since 1917, even if lawmakers come to a last minute agreement before the August 2 deadline.
As the August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling draws closer, there's more talk about the dire economic consequences that will ensue if policy makers in Washington fail to reach an agreement on a budget plan. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says that a bipartisan agreement is not likely to happen, and has proposed a plan in which the president could increase the federal debt limit without Congressional approval.
Another shot has been fired in the ongoing negotiations between President Obama and Republican Congressional leaders to raise the nation's debt limit before the August 2 deadline. Obama challenged Republicans in a press conference on Monday, saying that it was time for the GOP to back up rhetoric about tackling the country's long-term debt problems. Republicans leaders have said they will seek a smaller deal with more cuts to social program and no tax increases on the wealthy. Lawmakers will return to the White House for more negotiations this afternoon.
President Obama will meet with Congressional leaders today to try and revive a $4 trillion deal to reduce the deficit and avoid a default on the national debt, a day after Speaker John Boehner rejected any agreement on that scale. Boehner says the parties should aim for a $2 to $3 trillion deal, because a larger deal would require tax increases. But President Obama says a larger deal would be easier to implement. Negotiations continued last night at the White House.
The latest news out of the ongoing negotiations to raise the country's debt limit is that President Obama is putting entitlement reform on the table. But Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats say they were caught completely off-guard by the president's latest proposal, and said that the Party is opposed to including Social Security cuts in any kind of deal. The president says the two sides remain divided and far from finding reaching an agreement, but House Speaker John Boehner says there's a 50-50 chance that they'll be able to arrive at a decision this week. Will the president's dramatic proposal be the catalyst that moves the debt deal forward?
Yesterday, President Obama held the first ever White House Twitter Town Hall meeting. The president fielded questions from Twitter users (asked in the site's standard 140 characters or less). But the president's answers were anything but concise. In fact, he responded to participants' questions with the same long-winded, professorial rhetoric he's been criticized for throughout his presidency. Obama's ability to address his base and stimulate audiences was perhaps his greatest strength as a candidate in 2008. This begs the question: Why has President Obama failed to properly get his messages across to the American people since then?