Lawmakers Reach Budget Deal

House and Senate budget negotiators announced a budget deal on Tuesday “that would call for about $1 trillion in federal spending in 2014,” reports The Hill.

“The deal replaces $63 billion in sequester cuts over two years and trims an additional $23 billion in long-term deficits [but] falls far short of the grand budget bargain Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and President Obama once envisioned.”

Highlights of the deal:

  • A compromise on pension cuts: Instead of $20 billion in federal pension cuts, it now contains $6 billion for federal employees and $6 billion for military retirees.
  • Higher aviation fees
  • $28 billion in savings from the extension of sequester cuts to Medicare for two years.
  • Several energy provisions, including one that could facilitate significant oil and gas drilling revenue from the Gulf of Mexico.
  • No outcome on the extension of unemployment insurance.
  • It does not contain an increase in the debt ceiling.

“While the agreement was modest in scope, the image of a conservative Republican standing next to a liberal Democrat to announce a compromise carried more significance, at least symbolically, than the specifics of the deal.”


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