Stories by Alan K. Ota:
July 24, 2013
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah seemed to be trying to spark interest in an issue that was thoroughly on the back burner when he introduced a bill, with no co-sponsors, early this month addressing troubled public pension funds.
July 24, 2013
As a top aide to President George W. Bush, Andrew Biggs argued for allowing workers to funnel payroll taxes into stocks instead of the Social Security trust fund backed by Treasury bonds. But Biggs has now emerged as a leader in prodding public pension funds to use a new gauge — based on Treasury bonds, not stocks — to evaluate unfunded liabilities.
June 19, 2013
Congressional Democrats hope to seize momentum from states as they push to raise the minimum wage for the first time in four years.
June 19, 2013
Jason Furman, the White House’s nominee to become chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, made a compelling case as an analyst in 2007 for a new minimum wage of $7.25 as “a useful step to help working families escape poverty.”
June 13, 2013
Democrats in the Senate and House are pushing proposals to suspend lawmaker pay if Congress does not authorize a higher debt limit when the need arrives this fall.
June 12, 2013
Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, pushing back against White House demands for no-frills legislation on the federal borrowing cap, is calling for another round of spending cuts beyond the sequester as part of any agreement to raise the debt limit.
May 28, 2013
Sen. Rob Portman has been conferring with Richard Cordray, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as part of an effort to clear the way for his Senate confirmation and avert a Democratic threat to use the “nuclear option” to curb filibusters.
May 20, 2013
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada plans to press for a vote the week of May 20 on the nomination of Richard Cordray as permanent director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in a move that is sure to divide the parties.
May 10, 2013
Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, maintaining a Republican drumbeat for payment “prioritization” in case of a debt limit stalemate, plans to push for a broader version of the House-passed plan to protect holders of Treasury bonds and Social Security beneficiaries.
April 22, 2013
Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and his team are preparing to turn up the pressure on Republicans over a budget conference committee aimed at reaching a broad debt deal.
April 19, 2013
Stanford economist Michael J. Boskin has a suggestion for President Barack Obama to pitch his chained consumer price index proposal on Capitol Hill: Keep it simple.
April 19, 2013
When the Obama administration included in its fiscal 2014 budget proposal a plan that would effectively reduce Social Security benefits over the years, officials braced for a strong backlash from Democrats and other defenders of the entitlement program.
March 25, 2013
A defiant stand by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus against his party’s budget blueprint has raised new questions about the Democrats’ agenda for tax overhaul and deficit reduction.
March 20, 2013
The first vote-a-rama on a Senate budget resolution in four years offers each party a chance to force the other to cast politically treacherous votes, and both sides are lining up for the opportunity, which could begin as early as Friday.
March 13, 2013
Republicans and Democrats in the House expect to support the Senate’s version of a fiscal 2013 continuing resolution, provided that the spending package doesn’t arrive weighed down with contentious new provisions.
March 7, 2013
Senate Democrats are looking for sweeteners such as small-business tax incentives they hope will attract support from Republicans and constituent groups for a plan to raise the minimum wage to a level beyond what President Barack Obama has proposed.
Feb. 27, 2013
The Senate is expected to defeat Thursday competing Democratic and Republican alternatives to the $85.3 billion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin Friday.
Feb. 26, 2013
A split among Senate Republicans over what to propose as a substitute for the sequester has complicated plans for Senate votes this week on competing GOP and Democratic deficit reduction proposals.
Feb. 14, 2013
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada laid out a $110 billion plan on Thursday to replace the sequester with higher taxes on the wealthy, tax revenue from oil derived from tar sands and spending reductions in agriculture subsidies and defense.
Feb. 13, 2013
Even as they blame one another for automatic spending cuts set to take effect March 1, key lawmakers on both sides believe the best chance for a bipartisan deal to restructure the sequester will come by the end of March.
Feb. 12, 2013
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid criticized the House on Tuesday for not moving a sequester replacement plan as the onset of the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts nears and lawmakers say the likelihood of congressional action before the March 1 deadline diminishes.
Feb. 11, 2013
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California has urged Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio to cancel the planned district work period next week so both sides can work out a deal to avert the $85 billion automatic spending cuts under sequester.
Feb. 8, 2013
Blue Dog Democrats are hunting for the middle ground in the partisan fight over spending and taxes, and they are looking at centrist Republicans as potential allies. Cooper said Blue Dogs will meet with members of the GOP’s The Tuesday Group. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Jan. 31, 2013
Senate Republicans are seeking to send messages on the debt through amendment votes Thursday on the House-passed bill that would suspend the debt limit through May 18. But their first attempt failed when the amendment was tabled.
Jan. 28, 2013
The “no budget, no pay” provision in the House-passed debt limit bill headed to the Senate floor this week is running into strong criticism from legal experts and government watchdog groups that contend it almost certainly violates constitutional protections aimed at shielding members of Congress from outside influence.