July 29, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Budget Archive

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As 'Retirement Gap' Concerns Reach Across Partisan Divide, Senators Propose Savings Solutions

When President Barack Obama introduced a new retirement savings plan during his State of the Union speech last month, the Republican response was uncharacteristically muted. Although Republicans were upset about the president’s new reliance on executive authority to push his agenda, they had few harsh words about the details of the retirement idea.

Solutions to the Retirement Problem, Compared

It can be hard to keep track of all the various retirement security proposals proposed by lawmakers and think tanks over the past few years. Here is a list of a few of the major aspects of some of the proposals.

Budget Cuts to Congress Are Real, Not 'Gimmicks' | Commentary

With little fanfare and much sacrifice, a small entity within the federal government has made significant cuts to its own budget. The cuts have required an already underpaid and overtaxed workforce to develop creative solutions to continue to deliver high-quality services to key stakeholders with even fewer resources. The mainstream media has largely ignored this unprecedented budgetary reduction, and the federal entity’s leaders have foregone even a modicum of self-congratulation for the effort, while the employees have been nearly universally silent on the impact. This workforce is the U.S. Congress.

Pentagon Struggles to Find Solution to Soaring Health Costs

Even as the Defense Department’s budget grew at historic rates during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pentagon officials began to voice concerns that the military’s rising health care costs would threaten other spending priorities.

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Chambers Consider Reversing Defense Pension Cuts

Both Congress and the Pentagon oppose a cut to military pensions contained in last year’s bipartisan budget deal, but the rush to legislative action underscores a potentially big problem for the military: There is deep reluctance on Capitol Hill to make cost-saving changes to the military’s increasingly expensive benefits and compensation system.

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Cruz Does Boehner No Favors

After championing the Affordable Care Act defunding strategy that led to the government shutdown in October, Sen. Ted Cruz continues to do Speaker John A. Boehner no favors — and some of Boehner’s allies think the tea party Texan should mind his own business.

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Lawmakers Seek Investments to Make Bicycle Commuting Safer

As cycling to work becomes more popular, it also is getting more dangerous — and a lawmaker is proposing to address the problem by dedicating new funding for construction of infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians.

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Former Appropriator Decries 'Arrogant,' 'Offensive' Treatment

Although some young appropriators say they are seeing their conservative views respected on the House spending panel, one former member said that was not her experience on the committee.

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Conservatives' Goal Is a 'Disappropriations' Panel

A Capitol Hill adage states that there are three political parties in Congress: Democrats, Republicans and appropriators. Members of the Appropriations committees have been the ultimate deal-makers, traders working with the flow of federal funds and the last word for agencies and lawmakers looking to advance programs — and spending — across the country.

Liberal Democrats Seek to Extend Benefits Mandates

Liberal Democrats are looking to beef up benefits for part-time workers who face hurdles in finding full-time gigs in a sluggish economy.

Ships Could Be Essential to Meet Navy Fleet Quota

While the Littoral Combat Ship would fill three distinctive Navy needs — countering submarines, mines and fast small boats — it plays a far larger role for lawmakers and some Navy officials and experts that isn’t laid out in its military specifications.

Littoral Combat Ships Shore Up Support, Despite Their Costs and Questions

The woes and ultimate truncation of a major Pentagon weapon acquisition program has become a Washington cliche.

Stating What Our Union Needs | Commentary

On Tuesday, President Obama will take the podium for the State of the Union address and lay out his legislative vision for 2014. An hour or so later, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington will respond on behalf of the Republican Party. In our previous lives as the Democratic governor of Virginia and the Republican governor of New Jersey, we have had the honor of delivering that response in 1986 and 1995, respectively.

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After Cutting to the Bone, a Little Relief for House Members and Committees

Three years of continuously shaving committee spending and cutting congressional office budgets have taken a toll on House operations, but leaders indicate they want to provide mild relief.

Spend Smarter, Not More | Commentary

This week, the government will run out of expenditure authority, but Congress is working to advance actual spending bills before the Wednesday deadline.

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AOC a Winner Among Legislative Branch Agencies in Omnibus

Preparations for the two-year Capitol Dome restoration brought renewed attention to deteriorating conditions of one of the world’s most iconic structures in late 2013, perhaps inspiring a funding package that would allow those projects to continue.

Employment Numbers Will Set Jobs Debate

The latest employment report out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics provided a case study in the difficulty of using the headline numbers to assess the jobs market and peg fiscal and monetary policy to the numbers.

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Lawmakers Will Tackle Packed Agenda Before Recess

In what has become a familiar scenario, the House and Senate have a full legislative plate and only until Jan. 18 to clean it, with a potential government shutdown on the line.

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For Poverty, Tax Code Debate Offers Little Consensus

With the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration of a “war on poverty” triggering new congressional debates on fiscal issues, prominent members of both parties are trumpeting plans to limit poverty. For Democrats, the Wednesday anniversary is entwined with questions about income inequality, a theme the White House says it will emphasize this year.

Defense Budget Process for Fiscal 2015 Likely to Be More Stable

At least some of the uncertainty that plagued the fiscal 2014 defense budget process likely will be removed from the fiscal 2015 debate.

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