Debt & Taxes
Treasury Tapped Pension Funds to Avert Default
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 11:54am
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The Treasury Department announced Tuesday that it has begun tapping the retirement funds of government workers in order to keep the lights on and buy Congress some extra time to raise the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling.

Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner Tuesday saying the government had stopped “fully investing in the Government Securities Investment Fund” known as the “G Fund.” Geithner estimates the suspension of new investments will provide the government an extra $156 billion in additional spending capacity, adding that the fund would be made whole once Congress raises the debt limit.    -   Read more at Reuters

SANDY RELIEF PASSES HOUSE DESPITE GOP ROADBLOCK    In an ominous sign of shepherding any debt limit increase through the House, most Republicans voted against the $51 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package. It still passed the House Tuesday evening thanks largely to the Democratic minority partnering with a smattering of 49 GOP representatives.  Fiscal conservatives wanted the emergency aid to be offset with spending cuts in other areas, but an amendment to trim spending to offset the relief failed—and 179 Republicans cast a “nay” on the final measure.   -  Read more at The Fiscal Times

THE NEW GOP: ANTI-BUSINESS ? This isn’t your parents’ Republican party, writes Jackie Calmes of The New York Times. The Republican base is shifting to anti-tax, anti-government conservatives, who are “less supportive, and even suspicious of appeals from big business,” as a decades-long alliance with corporate interests start to fray

This is becoming more and more apparent as the fight to raise the debt ceiling rages in Washington. A handful of Wall Street executives have urged lawmakers to come together and raise the debt ceiling, fearing that a default could send the world’s economy into chaos. However, some newer GOP House members  are disregarding their pleas.  -  Read more at The New York Times

MEET THE DIRTY DOZEN REPUBLICAN REBELS   Just who are some of these
staunch conservative newcomers who aren’t afraid to vote out of step with the House Republican majority? The Fiscal Times’ Eric Pianin has rounded up the 12 Republican rebels who are demanding a much harder line against the president on spending cuts and tax reform.
 -  Meet the ‘Dirty Dozen’ here

HOUSE GOP HUDDLES AT WILLIAMSBURG    House Republicans head to their party retreat in Williamsburg, VA today to regroup and organize a strategy to navigate the upcoming debt ceiling debate.

According to The Hill, the plans to be discussed range from proposing a stopgap increase in the borrowing limit for only a few months, to a substantial bill that would raise the nation’s borrowing limit for the duration of President Obama’s second term.  -  Read more at The Hill

Washington Correspondent Brianna Ehley, based in D.C., covers Congress, government agencies and spending issues, health care, and tax and economic policy for The Fiscal Times.