Related Content: Supercommittee

Expiration of jobless benefits sparks debate

On The Radar

The looming expiration of federal unemployment insurance is reigniting a debate that could result in substantial changes to a program that serves as a lifeline to millions of jobless Americans. The failure of the congressional supercommittee to reach a debt-reduction agreement that would have included an extension of benefits has left people who have been out of work for more than six months in danger of losing their payments. If lawmakers allow the unemployment program to expire on Dec. 31, an estimated 1.8 million people would lose benefits by the end of January.

Congress’s Year-End Alphabet Soup

On The Radar

It’s time for jargon and acronyms, that classic end-of-the-year game on Capitol Hill where serious policy is treated as farce. Here’s an example: The fate of the SGR “fix” might or might not be tied to the timing of the AMT “patch,” and both could influence the fate of UI. Get all that? Of course you didn’t. And neither will anyone else, not until the final days of this year of daggers-drawn legislative brawling.

The supercommittee that wasn't

On The Radar

In retrospect, it should have been apparent from the start that an ad hoc committee of six Republicans and six Democrats, working in secret against a short deadline, probably wasn't the right place to make massive changes in tax and healthcare law. There was just too much distance between them. Republicans asked the six Democratic members, at various times, if they wouldn't like to abolish President Obama's healthcare law, or turn Medicare into a voucher system, or raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67.

November 25, 2011

Weekly Show

The supercommittee failed to reach a budget deal this week, affecting national politics and the economy. Also, the GOP presidential candidates debated foreign policy, with Newt Gingrich facing new scrutiny on his immigration stance. John Dickerson guest-hosts with: Susan Davis, National Journal; David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal; Dan Balz, The Washington Post; Gloria Borger, CNN.

 

Occupy the Gravy

On The Radar

First, a prayer: May your Thanksgiving gathering be the supercommittee of our dreams, which is to say a happy meeting where everyone gets along despite their ideological differences and divides the pie equitably. We recognize, however, that some families are like the actual supercommittee—and the day may end with one faction pouting to Chris Matthews in the guest room after a political debate.

On payroll tax cut, Obama paints Republicans as hypocritical

On The Radar

With taxes set to rise for nearly every American worker, President Obama sought Tuesday to highlight his tax-cutting bona fides, accusing Republicans of hypocrisy if they do not agree to extend a payroll tax cut that is set to expire in January. Obama’s comments were part of an escalating White House campaign against Republicans that is painting them as defenders of the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

As Deficit Panel Fails, Obama Vows to Keep Mandatory Cuts

On The Radar

President Obama said Monday he will veto any attempt by Congress to undo the across-the-board spending cuts mandated for 2013 that were triggered when lawmakers' failed to agree on a more surgical plan to trim deficits over the next decade. "My message to them is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get of rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off-ramps on this one," Obama said from the White House briefing room.

Supercommittee announces failure in effort to tame debt

On The Radar

A special congressional committee created to try to curb the national debt abandoned its work and conceded failure Monday, the latest setback in a long effort by Washington to overcome ideological differences and stem the rising tide of red ink. In a joint statement issued hours before a midnight deadline, the Democratic and Republican leaders of the panel said that they were “deeply disappointed” by their inability to reach an agreement and that they hope for progress in the months ahead.

November 18, 2011

Weekly Show

As the GOP candidates debated foreign policy, President Obama met with Asia-Pacific leaders. Also, Newt Gingrich's bumpy climb in the polls. And, what happens if the Super Committee fails to deliver? Plus, The Supreme Court h will hear constitutionality of health reform. Joining Gwen: Major Garrett, National Journal; Jeanne Cummings, Bloomberg News; Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post; Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY.
 

War savings and debt reduction, take two

On The Radar

The congressional “supercommittee” is looking to count as budget savings as much as $700 billion that the nation no longer plans to spend on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next decade, an accounting gimmick that has drawn fire from both Democrats and Republicans.