President Obama told Congress Tuesday the nation could inch closer to a balanced budget in a decade, thanks (in part) to billions of dollars in savings made possible through provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The president may see the proof he seeks before leaving office in 2017, but experts say it is still too soon to calculate how the embattled 2010 law will impact the overall budget in 2024. Obama, who sent Congress his budget blueprint for the year that will begin Oct. 1, touted the downward trend in federal health care spending achieved as the health reform law has been implemented.
When President Obama releases his proposed annual budget on Tuesday, he will grab his best opportunity of the year to show, in one comprehensive package of hard numbers and precise detail, how he would have the government address what he has called “the defining challenge of our time” — economic inequality.
The budget gurus in Congress have failed for years to find a grand bargain to reduce the government's long-term debt, so this year they decided to go small. Just 1 percentage point would be shaved from the annual cost-of-living increase in military pensions for veterans under age 62.
When Rep. Dave Camp (R., Mich.) laid plans to unveil a big tax reform bill this week, it was as if he was operating in some kind of time warp. No one seemed to have told the Ways and Means Committee chairman that Congress isn’t doing much legislating any more. And it hasn’t been for some time.
Having enacted just 72 laws in all of 2013 – one of its least productive sessions ever – Congress is not just gridlocked. It is getting rusty at the art of legislating.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., don’t agree on much, but they found common ground Tuesday when they dampened expectations for an overhaul of the federal tax code this year.
The House of Representatives passed a bill to fund the government short-term while they finish work on a long-term bipartisan plan to fund the government through September. Kwame Holman reports on the details and concessions of the $1.1 trillion budget package and Gwen Ifill gets analysis from Ed O'Keefe of The Washington Post.
by Ed O'Keefe, Sean Sullivan | The Washington Post
Today, negotiators are expected to unveil a more than $1 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund government operations for the remainder of the fiscal year that should be easily passed by the end of the week. Later this month, a conference committee is expected to put the finishing touches on a long-delayed Farm Bill. And completion of those two big bills will come just a few weeks after Congress passed a bipartisan budget agreement with very little resistance.
Gwen Ifill is moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" and co-anchor and managing editor of the "PBS NewsHour." The best-selling author of "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama," Gwen has covered seven presidential campaigns and moderated two vice presidential debates.