Paul Ryan's Draconian Budget Passes the House

Jim Newell · 04/15/11 02:29PM

The House of Representatives passed Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity budget this afternoon. It will die in the Senate, of course, but now it goes on record as the House Republicans' official fiscal plan for the future.

House Passes Budget Deal

Jim Newell · 04/14/11 02:46PM

Confusing math problems weren't enough to stop the House from passing the Obama-Boehner budget compromise on a bipartisan vote of 260-167 this afternoon. Passage in the Senate will be easy, and President Obama will sign it.

Meet The Government's New Enemy: Tricky Math Problems

Jim Newell · 04/14/11 11:50AM

So the deal for the "largest spending cut in history" that no one knew the components of until ~5 minutes ago is coming up for rubber-stamping today, to avoid a government shutdown. The votes are expected to be there. But maybe we'll get lucky and the government of the greatest nation in the history of the world will shut down anyway, over confusing math.

A Summary of Barack Obama's Deficit Reduction Plan

Jim Newell · 04/13/11 01:18PM

The framework for deficit reduction President Obama will lay out Wednesday is a mixed bag for members of his party. It borrows heavily in some areas from the conservative-leaning Bowles-Simpson recommendation, but commits elsewhere to enhancing the cost-cutting programs in the health care law and rejects Republican proposals to privatize entitlements, or maintain or reduce the tax burden on the upper class.

Is This Government Shutdown Gonna Happen or What?

Jim Newell · 04/05/11 02:30PM

Funding for the federal government will only last three more days, and leaders of both parties say they have no interest in working out a stop-gap measure for another week or two. "Secret negotiations led by Joe Biden" — which in the late '70s, at least, was Capitol Police code for late night swingers' parties in the Congressional Gym — haven't proven to be very successful. Will these dumpheads ever agree on a compromise to their $30-$60 billion in harsh social services cuts that won't have any significant effect on budgets during a time with massive unemployment and suffering and death everywhere?

Crucial Capitol Hill Tea Party Rally Draws Few Attendees

Jim Newell · 03/31/11 04:19PM

National Tea Party groups had planned to make a statement to lawmakers today with a well-publicized rally on Capitol Hill. Hordes of attendees were going to demand that wavering Republican members of Congress not compromise halfway with Democrats on a budget deal. A compromise for $33 billion in cuts instead of the Republicans' maximalist proposal of $61 billion, Tea Party folks believe, would be a betrayal of promises made during the 2010 election. So the Tea Party held its big important rally this afternoon as planned — but it only drew "perhaps a couple hundred" attendees. C'mon, Tea Party! Get your act together, or go extinct.

Weird Congressional Frosh Promise to Stand Outside Everyday

Jim Newell · 03/30/11 11:20AM

Oh, those House Republican freshmen. They're furious at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Democratic caucus for not passing the full $61 billion in budget cuts that they want. Why can't Senate Dems just listen to the American people, they ask, and eliminate funding for every program Democrats like? Because until this happens, 30 House Republican freshmen promise to stand on the Senate steps everyday, just straight-up making a ruckus.

Republicans Prepare to Reject Final White House Budget Offer

Jim Newell · 03/28/11 01:31PM

It's been almost a week since House Republicans, Senate Democrats and the White House last sat down to hammer out a budget agreement, and the schedule's still blank. Accusations of bad faith are now flying from both sides. Republicans are poised to reject a White House offer, TPM has learned, that would cut over $30 billion in current spending because of disagreements over whether the package should include cuts to mandatory spending programs. Democrats are pushing for such cuts, which include the big entitlement programs, though the specific cuts they're proposing remain unclear. In an ironic twist, Republicans oppose those cuts and want to limit the negotiations to non-defense discretionary spending, a smaller subset of the federal budget.

Planned Parenthood May Survive After All

Jim Newell · 03/22/11 12:21PM

One of the House Republicans' budget cuts that got the most attention while they were crafting their spending bill for the next six months was the elimination of all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The organization, which provides women's health and family planning services up to and including scary abortions, was obviously a popular target for the Republicans to satisfy their base with. Go to any conservative protest, over health care reform, taxes, Mexicans, whatever, and the anti-abortion folks are always the last ones there, screaming and hollering deep into the night.

America's Government May Just Survive for Another Few Weeks

Jim Newell · 03/15/11 02:09PM

Maybe you news junkies have been paying so much attention to the actual major news events in Japan, North Africa, the Middle East and various state governments that you forgot about the incompetent dumpheads in Washington, who haven't been able to accomplish anything beyond funding the government every couple of weeks after days of serial posturing about nothing. So let's get this update out of the way and then return to the news: The federal government will probably get funded for another three weeks. Thank your members of Congress!

Congress Considers Murdering Big Bird and Snuffleupagus

Jim Newell · 03/04/11 03:32PM

Republican Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint have introduced a bill to cut that program that they always want to cut: subsidies for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, overlord of PBS and NPR. We already know why Republicans want to cut NPR funding so badly, because the liberal snob station fired a reporter last fall over his patriotic belief that Muslims are terrifying. And PBS! They're downright socialist, and Jim Lehrer is a Muslim spy.

Providence Issues Dismissal Notices To Every Teacher

Jim Newell · 02/24/11 03:29PM

Each one of the 1,926 teachers working for the Providence School Department was sent a dismissal notice this week, in a move officials say was necessary to deal with a projected deficit of almost $40 million next year.

MTA Targets Kids, the Disabled

cityfile · 12/14/09 08:56AM

Hope you don't rely on the W or Z trains to get to work. As part of the MTA's effort to make up for the $400 million gap in its budget, it's proposing eliminating both those lines, as well as reducing subway service at off-peak hours, eliminating discounts for the disabled, and ripping the free bus passes that are given to city schoolchildren out of their tiny hands. [NYT]

Gridlock Spreads From Albany to NYC

cityfile · 07/07/09 09:30AM

If you're currently job hunting and you figured that if all else fails you could always end up working for the city, you may need to come up with a new backup plan. The stalemate in Albany has led Mayor Bloomberg to resort to "drastic measures" and impose a city-wide hiring freeze. The move has already led to the postponement of tomorrow's graduation of 250 NYPD recruits, and a long list of other hires will now be put off, including the recruitment of 150 firefighters and 34 emergency 911 operators. It also means 151 traffic agents won't get hired anytime soon, although we're guessing car owners won't be complaining very much about that. [WCBS]