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Shows & Panels
The House will be back in session Sunday evening as the "fiscal cliff" looms, threatening across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts with the new year.
When it comes to resolving their "fiscal cliff" impasse, the dollar gap between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner is tiny in federal terms. That masks a monumental political ravine the two men must try to bridge, with most of the burden on the now-beleaguered Boehner.
The House approved a bill Thursday requiring federal employees to contribute more toward their retirement as part of a broader deal to avert the the so-called fiscal cliff. The 2012 Spending Reduction Act is nearly identical to a measure passed by the House last spring.
If Congress and the White House change the yardstick used to measure inflation, will retirees barely notice or will they have to go on a diet of Hamburger Helper and Ramen Noodles? Check out Senior Correspondent Mike Causey's column for more.
Federal Times senior writers Sean Reilly and Stephen Losey will update us on sequestration, buyouts, and the big issues affecting federal workers in 2013.
December 19, 2012
President Barack Obama's offer to limit the growth of Social Security benefits would cost the average retiree less than $50 in the first year. But the cuts would grow over time, and that has advocates for seniors worried that Democrats in Congress will break their promise to shield the massive retirement and disability program from cuts in deficit reduction talks.
In the fiscal-cliff talks, it now appears that both sides have blinked. Republicans appear willing to accept some higher taxes and Democrats seem to have agreed that Social Security's growing costs must be curtailed. Slightly and slowly. So how will the proposals affect you? Check out Senior Correspondent Mike Causey's column.
In the latest proposals traded back and forth between the White House and Boehner, the President proposed changing the formula the Labor Department uses to measure inflation — which would reduce annual COLAs for Social Security beneficiaries, including federal and military retirees. Federal-employee unions and groups remain worried the COLA proposals are still very much on the table.
Many in government are worried about the threat of sequestration, the across-the-board budget cuts set to take effect in January unless Congress and the White come up with an alternative deficit-cutting plan. But federal employee groups and sympathetic lawmakers are also concerned about such alternatives -- if they contain changes to federal employee pay or compensation. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and a slate of federal-employee unions and groups are warning of such proposals in the deficit talks to replace sequestration.
Sens. Mark Warner and Bob Corker and Rep. Chris Van Hollen all believe there is at better than a 50 percent chance Congress and the White House will agree on a budget reduction plan before Jan. 1. But federal pay and benefits, and contract spending remain on the table to be part of the cuts.
The dealmakers who warn that a year-end plunge off the "fiscal cliff" would be disastrous don't seem to be rushing to stop it. Why aren't they panicking?
A freshman GOP senator is jumping into the debate on how to avoid a "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and automatic spending cuts, advocating a mix of tax increases with curbs on Social Security and Medicare benefits.
President Barack Obama and leaders of the lame-duck Congress may be just weeks away from shaking hands on a deal to avert the dreaded "fiscal cliff." So it's natural to wonder: If they announce a bipartisan package promising to curb mushrooming federal deficits, will it be real?
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) told The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp that a large number of lawmakers from both parties support a plan that raises more revenues and recognizes that entitlement programs have got to be made viable over the long term.
The White House and leaders on the Hill will have to resolve deep political and fiscal disagreements that have stymied them time after time despite repeated promises to overcome them.
In his first news conference since Election Day, President Barack Obama took questions from reporters on a range of issues, including impending across-the-board budget cuts and the widening sex scandal that ensnared CIA Director David Petraeus.
Averting sequestration sits atop the to-do as Congress returns Tuesday from a seven-week election break to a long list of unfinished business.
President Barack Obama's victory over Republican Challenger Mitt Romney didn't come as a surprise to anyone who was following the pre-election polls. Few surprises occurred in the congressional races as well, which suggested a return of the status quo in Washington and continued gridlock ahead.
Pentagon makes one more plea for a resolution to sequestration. A regular budget, an annual authorization bill and a resolution to the fight over cybersecurity laws would be helpful as well.
During Monday night's debate, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney discussed their different approaches to cutting the budget, particularly in the area of military spending. Romney criticized the Obama administration for proposing cuts to military spending, particularly through sequestration. Obama countered sequestration would not happen, and he said he would maintain military spending based on the needs of the Defense Department.