It's the budget that's been stuck in limbo. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, has reportedly been working on a Senate Democratic budget for months, seemingly having held off to see what happens first with the Gang of Six and now with the debt ceiling negotiations. While there has been no official release yet, we do have some broad outlines of what the budget looks like from a speech Sen. Conrad gave yesterday on the floor of the Senate.
Clutch Goals -- The U.S. Women’s Soccer team scored an improbable victory over Brazil on Sunday in the Women’s World Cup, overcoming a scoring and manpower deficit with a last-minute goal and sealing the victory through penalty kicks. A similar storyline is playing out in Washington involving a different deficit -- the federal budget deficit. It looks as if negotiations to raise the statutory debt limit and reduce the deficit will also come down to the wire.
More Fireworks in Store – Washington, DC celebrated Independence Day on Monday night with its annual fireworks display on the National Mall. Though the traditional pyrotechnics may be out of the way, lawmakers returning to work today could produce more fireworks in the nation’s capital.
As our nation’s debt continues along its unsustainable path, it has become increasingly essential for a comprehensive fiscal plan that targets all areas of the federal budget—including defense.
For anyone who is interested in seeing tax subsidies cleaned up, there's a bit of good news for you. The Senate voted yesterday to eliminate a $5.4 billion per year ethanol tax credit by a tally of 73-27. The vote came on an amendment to the economic development bill that is making its way through the Congress.
Update: As it turns out, increasing the Medicare age actually improves benefits for low-income seniors, thus helping to most disadvantaged.
Except in Miami – The Miami Heat weren’t hot enough, but Washington saw record temperatures last week. Capitol Hill may warm things up this week as well as both chambers are in session together for the first time this month and the Biden group looks to pick up the pace of its debt limit/deficit reduction negotiations. CRFB will also add some sizzle with a big conference this week.
Clay Masterpiece – Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer played yet another classic tennis match yesterday, with Nadal once again emerging victorious for his sixth French Open title. The distinctive red clay of Roland Garros produces slow-moving tennis characterized by long rallies and lots of spin on the ball.
Feeling the Heat – As most of us return to work this week nursing sunburns and swapping stories of grilling glory, the heat is on in Washington, at least on one side of Capitol Hill. Senators are out of town this week, but Representatives are working on appropriations. Meanwhile, the debt limit deadline continues to draw closer.
Attempting not to replicate last year's/this year's FY 2011 appropriations debacle, the House is moving the FY 2012 process in a relatively timely manner.