The new politics of budget compromise in Washington

The new politics of budget compromise in Washington

The muted market reaction to this week’s budget deal in Washington may initially seem like a disappointment. After all, uncertainty over government spending, debt and taxes has consistently emerged in business sentiment surveys as the biggest single factor holding back corporate investment and damaging financial confidence. Why then did Wall Street celebrate this breakthrough with […]

Budget deal gives Pentagon rare spending stability

Budget deal gives Pentagon rare spending stability

Working-age military retirees would see fewer dollars in their federal pensions and the Pentagon would get some long-sought stability in spending under Congress’ budget deal. The agreement eases some of the pain of the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that past and current defense secretaries, senior military leaders and Congress’ defense experts have railed against for […]

Congress, Obama face low public approval ratings

Congress, Obama face low public approval ratings

Heading into a congressional election year, Americans hold Congress in strikingly low regard, and nearly two-thirds say they would like to see their House member replaced, a new poll finds. Even though Americans are feeling somewhat better about the economy — and their personal finances — elected officials in Washington aren’t benefiting from the improved […]

Congress renews undectable gun law last at last minute

Congress renews undectable gun law last at last minute

Congress’ easy renewal of an expiring ban on undetectable plastic guns belies the larger reality that one year after the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Conn., major new firearms restrictions have little chance of enactment anytime soon. Lawmakers took an easy step Monday when the Democratic-run Senate unanimously gave final congressional approval to a bill […]

The Pentagon can’t, and won’t, meet audit deadlines

"We cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions." - Donald Rumsfeld

The Pentagon can’t, and won’t, meet audit deadlines

The Pentagon has spent billions of dollars on efforts to make itself audit-ready in time for not one, but two deadlines – one in 2014, the other in 2017. It won’t meet the first and probably won’t meet the second. The deadlines represent efforts inside and outside of the Pentagon toward meeting a goal that […]

Confused by Obamacare? So is Congress

Confused by Obamacare?  So is Congress

Think you’re confused by “Obamacare.” It’s roiling Capitol Hill behind the scenes, too. Members of Congress are governing themselves under President Barack Obama’s signature law, which means they have great leeway in how to apply it to their own staffs. For House members and senators, it’s about a section of the law that may — […]

Even a last minute deal won’t end the turmoil that lies ahead

Even a last minute deal won’t end the turmoil that lies ahead

Hold the champagne. Even if Congress reaches a last-minute or deadline-busting deal to avert a federal default and fully reopen the government, elected officials are likely to return to their grinding brand of brinkmanship — perhaps repeatedly. House-Senate talks are barely touching the underlying causes of debt-and-spending stalemates that pushed the country close to economic […]

Republicans see no problem with government defaulting on debt

Republicans see no problem with government defaulting on debt

The Obama administration says a U.S. default would be “catastrophic.” Economists say it could plunge the country into recession and prompt a global financial meltdown. To many Republicans, however, the prospect of the world’s lone superpower juggling its bills doesn’t seem so bad. The government could muddle through without a debt-ceiling increase as long as […]

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