Spending stumbling block to budget deal

Senate Republicans and Democrats hit an impasse Sunday over spending in their last-ditch struggle to avoid an economy-jarring default in just four days and end a partial government shutdown that enters its third week.
Associated Press
Oct 14, 2013

After inconclusive talks between President Barack Obama and House Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., took charge in trying to end the crises although no resolution seemed imminent.

"Americans want Congress to compromise," Reid said at the start of a rare Sunday session in the Senate in which he pressed for a long-term budget deal.

The two cagy negotiators are at loggerheads over Democratic demands to undo or change the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts to domestic and defense programs that the GOP see as crucial to reducing the nation's deficit.

McConnell insisted that a solution was readily available in the proposal from a bipartisan group of 12 senators, led by Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., that would re-open the government and fund it at current levels for six month while raising the debt limit through Jan. 31.

"It's time for Democrat leaders to take 'yes' for an answer," McConnell said in a statement.

The latest snag comes as 350,000 federal workers remain idle, hundreds of thousands more work without pay and an array of government services, from home loan applications to environmental inspections, were on hold on the 13th day of the shutdown.

Unnerving to world economies is the prospect of the United States defaulting on its financial obligations on Thursday if Congress fails to raise the borrowing authority above the $16.7 trillion debt limit.

Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund's managing director, spoke fearfully about the disruption and uncertainty, warning of a "risk of tipping, yet again, into recession" after the fitful recovery from 2008.

The reaction of world financial markets and the Dow Jones on Monday will influence any congressional talks while politically Republicans are reeling from an initial, now abandoned, strategy to link defunding of the health care law with keeping the government operating.

"We're in a free-fall as Republicans, but Democrats are not far behind," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in warning Democrats about seizing on the GOP's bruised brand as leverage to extract more concessions.

McConnell and Republicans want to continue current spending at $986.7 billion and leave untouched the new round of cuts in January, commonly known as sequester, that would reduce the amount to $967 billion. Democrats want to figure out a way to undo the reductions, plus a long-term extension of the debt limit increase and a short-term spending bill to reopen the government.

"Republicans want to do it with entitlement cuts," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "Democrats want to do it with a mix of mandatory cuts, some entitlements and revenues. And so how do you overcome that dilemma? We're not going to overcome it in the next day or two. But if we were to open up the government for a period of time that concluded before the sequester took place, which is Jan. 15, we could have a whole bunch of discussions."

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, told reporters that the two sides are roughly $70 billion apart, the difference between the $1.058 trillion Senate budget amount and the $988 billion envisioned by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

"We haven't picked a number, but clearly we need to negotiate between those two," Durbin said.

Republicans dismiss the latest request as Reid moving the goalposts in negotiations as they were getting closer to resolving the stalemate that has paralyzed Washington. They also argue that it is disingenuous for Democrats to resist any changes in the 3-year-old health care law while trying to undo the 2011 budget law that put the cuts on track.

"I think the Democrats are on the verge of being one tick too cute as they see the House possibly in disarray — they now are overreaching, and I think that what we've got to do is get this back in the middle of the road, act like adults," said Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

Graham and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said they would not support any deal that upends the spending limits imposed by the 2011 law, and predicted that their Senate GOP colleagues would oppose it as well.

Plus the House and its fractious Republicans remained a possible headache in the coming week.

"I think at this point we've got to figure out a way to get something out of the Senate that we think is close enough for the House to accept," Corker said.

Out of play, for now, was the Republican-led House, where Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told GOP lawmakers early Saturday that his talks with the president had ground to a halt.

Also sidelined, at least for now, was the plan forged by Collins and a bipartisan coalition to briefly fund the government and extend the $16.7 trillion debt limit, in exchange for steps like temporarily delaying the medical device tax that helps fund the health care law.

Democrats said Collins' plan curbed spending too tightly, and Reid announced Saturday it was going nowhere.

Collins said Sunday that both Democrats and Republicans continue to offer ideas and say they want to be part of the group working to reopen the government and address the debt ceiling before Thursday's deadline.

"We're going to keep working, offering our suggestions to the leadership on both sides of the aisle in an attempt to be constructive and bring this impasse to an end. Surely we owe that to the American people," Collins said.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a participant in the Collins' talks, said she sees the plan and the fact that the Senate leaders are talking as a positive going forward.

"We need that right now," she said. While Reid wouldn't accept everything in the Collins proposal, she said Reid "knows there are some positive things in that plan," such as opening the government in a "smart timeframe" not defaulting on debt and doing something in the long term on the budget.

Not far from the Capitol, Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, the two tea party Republicans who led the unsuccessful fight to tie the health care law to government spending, were part of a demonstration at the World War II Memorial where a crowd pushed through barriers to protest its closing due to the shutdown.

They were joined by 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Klobuchar and Collins were on CNN's "State of the Union." Graham appeared on ABC's "This Week," Corker was interviewed on "Fox News Sunday," Schumer spoke on CBS' "Face the Nation" and Lagarde was on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Comments

deertracker

Yet you hate America pooh!

Contango

Re: "hate America,"

“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic.

He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched.

He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.”

- H.L. Mencken

grumpy

"At 62, my spouse and I are taking the money."

I have a few years before I need to decide. BUT if you take it at 62 you only get 70% of what you will get per month from what you would get per month at 65. I would have to look it up and study it again as it has been a couple years but it runs in my mind it is something like that.

Everyone is different in what they should do. A lot of variables I will decide on when the time comes. personal health, the economy's health, the SS health, the nations health. I am not locked into my outlook, it could change tomorrow. Right now, for me, it is just a numbers game. That may change as time goes by.

Wall street keeps surprising me, but the Bernank is keeping the printing presses humming and I actually think his replacement will speed them up... I think she will have to... till there is a broken piece screws up the gears, or it runs out of oil and destroys the gears altogether.

Contango

Re: "you only get 70% of what you will get per month from what you would get per month at 65."

Understood; but IMO, 70% of "something" accumulated over time is better than 100% of nothing if you bet wrong.

It's like an annuity where you're betting the insurance co. that you're going to live a long time and the ins. co. is betting you don't.

shucks

Your family ag business was never subsidized by the government , right?
You worked in a trade union with good benefits , right ?
And you did this and that---

Well good for you.

I'll cut to the chase....

"Did the government help YOU in any way?".....No

I worked for a union , watched my money, and I owe no one anything.

I'm debt free.

Contango

Re: "I worked for a union , watched my money, and I owe no one anything.

I'm debt free."

If you're not invested and have no tax deductions, you're losing ground financially.

shucks

thank you for the tip.

grumpy

"Your family ag business was never subsidized by the government , right?"

Yes that would be correct, there was nothing the gov't did for a business that dealt only in hay and straw.

Yes i decided to go into a trade where I could make a good living, got to the top of my trade, stayed there by keeping up with the state of the art in my trade, learning all that came through. Got paid more than the going rates cause I and some others were worth what we would work for.

Did this and that. Yeah I took chances, invested in old farm houses with outbuildings. updated, remodeled then and sold at a profit, much more than the cost. never went into debt, always looked to do better for my family. I have been debt free since I was 35. No mortgage, no car loans, no credit card beyond 30 days, no loans for 20 years. I get paid interest. I don't pay interest. My kids have no debt outside of mortgages, have good jobs, have either a second job or a side business. Neither work for gov't nor have taken anything from the gov't.

Nothing that others can't do. You just need to look and find what is best for you and your interests and follow through. CD's and bank accounts have never been part of my plan since I got into my apprenticeship. Banks suck. They use your money and pay you nothing for the privilege of screwing you. I have a no cost checking account in a savings and loan. I get no interest, pay no fee or interest, and they get to use my money till I write a check. I generally write 2 checks a month, my wife writes 1 or 2.

grumpy

"I worked for a union "

There is one BIG difference. I worked for a bunch of different companies and the union worked for me. It negotiated contracts, did the insurances, apprenteceships, continuing education, safety, pensions, and I paid for them to do so. They couldn't donate our dues into anything political, but could bundle if you gave them a seperate check for that. The union worked for the members. we didn't work for the union, nor did any of us think that way.

The Big Dog's back

Teatard.

The New World Czar

...and this is the best you can do, go back to your name calling?

grumpy

That is how the members of the union voted, and want for it to be run. You believe in majority rule don't you, piddle puppy? Not to blindly donate money to some dumb and dumber party to fund dumb and dumber politicians unless the individual wants to donate. This is the way the members WANT the union to operate.

Contango

Re: "majority rule"

Also known as the Tyranny of the Majority, which is abhorrent in a ‘supposedly’ free society.

Heck, at the beginning of the American Revolution, the rebels were a minority.

In 1861, the majority in the North did not want war and were willing to let the South go.

The Progressives support black and gay rights - both minorities.

“Majority rule” in the U.S. is a historical and societal fallacy.

grumpy

When it is a relatively small number in the group, there really aren't many other ways. How each district is run is up to the members of that district. The elected local BM then goes to the "international". Each local has only a couple hundred members, only a few thousand in the country. I don't know of any local that is much different from any other in how it is run. If it was larger your examples might apply... but it ain't that big. The members voted out the minority that was more like the traditional union thugs in the late 70's. It went from maybe 20,000 to less than 5,000 members nation wide before the change. Technology improved and those that didn't embrace it were obsolete. Those of us left aren't what any would call rabid union members. If you ain't good, no one in the other trades will work with you. That is why we can be fired so easily, and why senority is meaningless to us, either you can do it... or you can't. The members here want the union to do the stuff we don't want to deal with. We (They, since I no longer work through there) aren't a "normal" union.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Thank you for sharing your story. It is a sad state in which we live when people who have stories like you are seemingly the exception to the rule because of how terrible it is for almost everyone else. I don't know if that is worse than begrudging someone for having saved, asked questions, took risk, etc.

If you ever want to take a young entrepreneur under your wing and give me tips, I'd appreciate the advice!

Fromthe419

The current two party system we have is a joke, all the politicians do is conquer and divide the populace, self-made crises detract from the problems the should be staring all of us in the face. Our system is broke, you can argue among yourselves who is right and who is holier than thou, but until you all wake up and realize the political and economic system is rigged against all of us, we as a nation are doomed.

Stop It

+1

Darwin's choice

^^ This ^^

+1

shucks

Fromthe419

What form of government do you suggest?

( There is a World Dictator coming , in case you didn't know)

Contango

Re: "There is a World Dictator coming , in case you didn't know"

Will he arrive by next Tues. at 3:00 or later?

Gobbledygook.

shucks

Sooner or later.

You keep watching , the stage has been setting up.
And it seems like it's coming together faster.

Contango

Re: "Sooner or later."

Still gobbledygook.

A prediction without a definitive time frame is less than useless.

shucks

It doesn't matter if you're here or not , he is still coming.

shucks

"Rome wasn't built in a day" - but you could see the building progressing.

Contango

Re: "you could see the building progressing."

YOU and I couldn't see squat - we weren't there. LOL.

Contango

Re: "he is still coming."

You're right, "it doesn't matter."

BECAUSE, History teaches us that many have tried to rule the Earth and failed miserably, usually ending in death and destruction.

So, do have a hyperlink to this nonsense?

wowbagger

The new leader has already arrived and it's name is "Currency", With enough of it you can dictate the policy's of any nation on the planet. The IMF is in the running as well as most of the major banking cartels that can at the snap of their fingers change policy world wide.

KURTje

You know shizzle. Al Stewart/Riyadh. Written & documented before America was. No one has started building the temple yet. They doubted the flood too.

shucks

kURTje

The Jews have everything ready to build the temple but the holdup is that the Muzz's own the Temple Mount.
They also have the furniture , clothing ,etc. already made to fill the place.

Contango

@ 4shizzle:

Is this the "dude"?

"The name of that 'dictator' is Jesus Christ."

http://www.keyway.ca/htm2004/200...

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." (MT 10:34)

As I wrote: Death and destruction.

For one, the 1 billion Muslims ain't gonna like it.

Best of luck with your fairy tale.

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