“Since Republicans took the House majority in 2010, the debt ceiling has been lifted eight times. It’s a bit easier in the Senate than the House, so let’s focus on the House. Most of the time, the majority of House Republicans don’t vote to lift the cap.” MORE
News from The Hill
Federal deficit falls to $483B, a six-year low
By Rebecca Shabad
The federal budget deficit in fiscal 2014 fell to the lowest level since 2008, the Treasury Department announced Wednesday.
For fiscal 2014, which ended September 30, the shortfall was $483 billion, which is 2.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Last year, the deficit was 4.1 percent of GDP.
Read the article here.
By Sam Stein
WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats emerged emboldened Monday night from the breakdown in efforts to avert a government shutdown, confident that President Barack Obama had the political upper hand and would stand firm in future negotiations.
Just outside the House floor, many of those members lingered leisurely, even as the chamber took several largely party-line votes to fund the government while delaying aspects of Obamacare.
This was pure theater, they argued. And regardless of how Republicans arranged the stage, the ending wouldn’t change.
“I don’t blame the president for one second,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) told The Huffington Post. “I wouldn’t negotiate this stuff either.”
THE GOP DOESN’T PLAY FAIR!
WASHINGTON — The White House and senior Republican lawmakers acknowledge they remain far apart on a “grand bargain” fiscal deal to address the defense sequester cuts. But a recurring Washington issue could further complicate striking such a deal: a pending partisan fight over the nation’s borrowing limit.
Some on Capitol Hill expect both chambers will enter contentious talks about whether to raise — or perhaps again temporarily suspend — the nation’s borrowing limit in late summer.
Some analysts say the nation will hit its borrowing limit in August or September.
That would force lawmakers to battle over the debt limit before its annual August recess, set to run from Aug. 3 until after the Labor Day holiday in early September.
That timing could coincide with talks between President Barack Obama and Senate Republicans about the kind of grand bargain needed to lessen or replace the last nine years of the national defense and domestic sequestration cuts.
Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, one of more than a dozen Senate Republicans Obama has been courting in pursuit of a grand bargain, told Defense News in late March that whatever solution the two sides come up with needs to be in place by the time Congress leaves for its August recess.