Stories by Alan K. Ota:
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.
Jan. 25, 2013
Finance Chairman Max Baucus says he’s looking for help from Majority Leader Harry Reid to assign a pair of plum subcommittee chairmanships that have remained vacant as other panel assignments have been snapped up.
Jan. 22, 2013
Lawmakers in both chambers have proposals to curtail congressional paychecks unless there is progress toward achieving their priorities.
Jan. 21, 2013
The short-term debt limit suspension detailed Monday by House Republicans appears likely to delay one fiscal confrontation, but opinions are divided on whether it could lay the groundwork for something much bigger.
Jan. 20, 2013
Ron Paul’s retirement from Congress doesn’t mean Federal Reserve officials can rest any easier.
Jan. 17, 2013
Moderate Republicans are looking for ways to play a decisive role in ad hoc coalitions on divisive fiscal issues in the 113th Congress and devising survival strategies with constituent group allies for the coming 2014 elections.
Jan. 4, 2013
Conservative GOP leaders in both chambers are brandishing the threat of a potential partial government shutdown to force deep spending cuts in a new round of negotiations on the debt limit and other major budget questions coming up in Congress.
Dec. 31, 2012
Although fiscal cliff clocks in Washington were counting down on Monday toward midnight, the tax provisions hanging in the balance face a series of deadlines over the next few days.
Dec. 31, 2012
Income tax rates are set to increase across the board with the start of 2013, although lawmakers and President Barack Obama still hope to enact a rollback before the 112th Congress ends Thursday.
Dec. 30, 2012
Efforts in the Senate to cut a last-minute bipartisan deal to avoid the fiscal cliff’s tax increases and spending cuts continued Sunday evening with little sign of an imminent breakthrough.
Dec. 29, 2012
House Republican leaders are laying the legislative groundwork to move quickly on any bipartisan agreement that could be reached over the weekend to extend expiring tax cuts and avert automatic spending cuts.
Dec. 19, 2012
Speaker John A. Boehner likes to say he learned to deal with “every character” that walked into his father’s bar while growing up.