SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

December 10, 2013

Bipartisan negotiators reach modest budget pact

WASHINGTON — Shedding gridlock, key members of Congress reached a modest budget agreement yesterday to restore about $63 billion in automatic spending cuts from programs ranging from parks to the Pentagon and eliminate the threat of another partial government shutdown early next year.

The increases would be offset by a variety of spending reductions and higher fees elsewhere in the budget totaling about $85 billion over a decade, enough for a largely symbolic cut of more than $20 billion in the nation's debt, now $17 trillion and growing.

Federal civilian and military workers, airline travelers and health care providers who treat Medicare patients would bear much of the cost.

Significantly for Democrats, they failed in their bid to include an extension of benefits for workers unemployed longer than 26 weeks. The program expires on Dec. 28, when payments will be cut off for an estimated 1.3 million individuals.

Bipartisan approval is expected in both houses in the next several days, despite grumbling from liberals over the omission of the unemployment extension and even though tea party-aligned groups have already begun pushing Republican conservatives to oppose it.

The budget deal is one of a handful of measures left on Congress' to-do list near the end of a year that produced a partial government shutdown, a flirtation with a first-ever federal default and gridlock on President Barack Obama's call for gun control, an overhaul of immigration laws and more.

The White House quickly issued a statement from Obama praising the deal as a "good first step."

He urged lawmakers to both parties to follow up and "actually pass a budget based on this agreement so I can sign it into law and our economy can continue growing and creating jobs without more Washington headwinds."

Congress' two budget negotiators hailed their own work.

The deal "reduces the deficit by $23 billion and it does not raise taxes. It cuts spending in a smarter way" than the ones in effect, said Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who chairs the House Budget Committee and was his party's negotiator in several weeks of secretive talks.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • 140422_SN_KYU_MOVE Probate Court set to move out this week SALEM -- History will be made at the end of this week when the staff at Essex Probate & Family Court exits its building for a new home. This will be the first time since the Federal Street courthouse opened in 1909 that the staff has had to relocate.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pipeline company details likely project impacts Algonquin outlines remediation plans for noise, dust Pipeline:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Soli

    April 23, 2014

  • sinkhole Culvert work to close stretch of Route 62 Culvert: Drivers face temporary closure of road Culvert work to close stretch of Route 62

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • One-time 'Warrior Brother' facing new charges

    BEVERLY -- A Salem man who spent time in prison for a pair of violent muggings, one of which nearly killed a man in 2006, could be headed back there, after prosecutors say he attacked another man on Sunday. Timothy Share, 27, of 176 Lafayette St., w

    April 23, 2014 8 Stories

  • Wife refuses to testify against husband Two judges and Essex County prosecutors think Jefferson Purcell, who allegedly tried to strangle his wife with an electrical cord, poses a danger not only to his wife, but to the public. But yesterday, Purcell's wife told a third judge that she will

    April 23, 2014