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February 7, 2016

Posts in "Sequester"

October 29, 2015

Senate Sends Budget Deal to Obama’s Desk (Video)

budget deal

Reid and Pelosi held an impromptu news conference after the House budget vote Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:22 a.m., Oct. 30 | The Senate sent to President Barack Obama a massive fiscal package early Friday morning that averts a U.S. debt default and raises spending caps.

The chamber worked into the wee hours of the morning as senators cleared a key procedural hurdle, 63-35, and then passed the sweeping budget deal in a 64-35 vote that also suspends the debt limit into 2017. Full story

October 27, 2015

GOP Senators Concerned by ‘Gimmicks’ in Budget Deal

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Scott says he will vote against the deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Republican leaders have more work to do to sell their members on a two-year budget deal unveiled late Monday night.

GOP senators highlighted parts of the package meant to offset increased defense and domestic spending as their chief concerns. Their comments were followed by a blistering critique of the deal from the conservative groups Heritage Action for America and the Club for Growth. Full story

October 26, 2015

Emerging Budget Deal Keeps Senate Democrats Guessing

Reid gestures at a news conference with Senate Democratic leadership team. (Al Drago, CQ Roll Call file photo)

Reid gestures at a news conference with Senate Democratic leadership team. (Al Drago, CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senior Senate Democrats are optimistic that a sweeping fiscal pact soon could be finalized, but their concerns about the emerging plan show it’s not a done deal just yet.

Congressional leaders are preparing to unveil a fiscal package that would raise the debt ceiling until March 2017, while also raising defense and domestic spending caps known colloquially as sequestration. The package also would address Medicare Part B by shielding millions of seniors from significant increases to their health insurance premiums and deductibles.

Full story

October 5, 2015

Defense Bill Far From a Sure Thing in the Senate

Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and ranking member Jack Reed, D-R.I., are at odds over the NDAA (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McCain and Reed are at odds over the NDAA. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With opposition on the left gaining momentum, the Senate will consider this week the conference report for the annual defense authorization measure.

Democrats haven’t said they’d filibuster, but the White House last week issued a veto threat, only 37 Democrats supported the measure in the House, and the Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member Jack Reed, D-R.I., refused to sign off on the conference report. Full story

March 31, 2015

10 Things We Learned From the Vote-a-Rama


Toomey got attention for changing his vote during last week’s vote-a-rama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the vote-a-rama in the rearview mirror, it’s worth taking stock of what the 15-plus hours of nonbinding votes on dozens of amendments said about the 2016 presidential election, how vulnerable senators voted and what issues might now come to the fore. Full story

November 20, 2013

Paul Ryan Updates Senate GOP on Budget Talks

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., paid a visit to Senate Republicans Wednesday afternoon to update them on the status of the budget conference, apparently with nothing earth-shattering to report.

“Just an update on where things were. It was pretty, pretty bland,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said. “No news.”

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., was asked about the House chairman’s level of optimism that a deal will be reached, to which he responded: “He seemed like they were talking and he thought they might get something done, but I don’t think anyone is … placing big bets.”

Full story

October 13, 2013

‘Saving Speaker Boehner’ Talking Point Boxes in Senate GOP

Senate Republicans are trying to coalesce around a series of talking points as their leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, negotiates with Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in the days before a potential government default.

But perhaps the most confounding of all lines GOP senators pushed on the morning political talk shows Sunday is that they both wanted to end the shutdown and wouldn’t vote for any plan that can’t garner a majority of House Republican votes — which, at this point, seems more like the unicorn of budget frameworks than it does a likely political possibility.

If there were a viable plan to reopen the government that could have been supported by the majority of House Republicans, they already would have sent it to the Senate and it would be on President Barack Obama’s desk. But the impasse between the House GOP and the White House has left it to Senate leaders to cobble together a deal, 13 days into a government shutdown and with less than 100 hours before the nation’s borrowing authority runs out. As the deadline approaches, the tension between GOP senators saying they won’t vote for anything that could jeopardize Speaker John A. Boehner’s leadership and the need to strike a deal will intensify.

Full story

August 1, 2013

GOP Kills THUD Bill, Despite Push by Collins

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., succeeded in mustering the votes to kill a spending bill Thursday, drawing sharp rebukes from Democrats.

Democratic leaders praised the ill-fated efforts of Transportation-HUD ranking member Susan Collins of Maine to oppose the GOP leadership-led filibuster effort.

Collins was the lone Republican to vote for the legislation she helped craft, and with a near-unanimous filibuster, McConnell showed at least temporary strength to keep his conference together and in rare alignment with House Republicans, who are arguing for sequestration-level appropriations caps.

Collins spent much of the vote lobbying colleagues futilely before the roll was called. She sat silently in a chair next to McConnell as he urged their colleagues to vote “no” and watched as Republicans, one-by-one, rejected her work. She walked off the floor before the vote was called.

Full story

Graham Says Senators ‘Screwed Ourselves’ on Sequester

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

“We screwed ourselves here.”

That was Sen. Lindsey Graham’s take on the budget law that led to the sequester Thursday morning at the Appropriations Committee markup of the fiscal 2014 Defense spending bill. The South Carolina Republican said he voted against the 2011 Budget Control Act fearing a worst-case scenario in which the bipartisan supercommittee didn’t produce an outcome, leading to the sequester.

Graham was explaining his vote against the $594.4 billion Defense measure, which exceeds the spending caps established by the budget law. Graham, however, praised the efforts of Subcommittee Chairman Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., and ranking member Thad Cochran, R-Miss., in putting together the bill.

Full story

July 22, 2013

McCain Pushes for Dollar Coins to Relieve Military Sequester

The search continues to find more spare change in the government’s couch cushions.

Sen. John McCain on Monday urged a switch to dollar coins to help mitigate the effects of the defense sequester.

“At a time when our military is being forced to reduce its ability defend against threats to our security because of sequestration, it makes sense to me that Congress would agree to make common sense steps like the COINS Act to reduce our debt,” the Arizona Republican said. “A four year transition from the $1 bill to the $1 coin could result in billions of dollars in real savings that we should all be able to support.”

Full story

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