Fasten your seat belts. House Republicans and Senate Democrats this week l unveil their dueling budget proposals, which will detail the political split on tax and spending policy that will make it tough for the White House and Congress to reach a deal on a major deficit reduction package. .
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget – set to be formally announced Tuesday – will include repealing President Obama’s signature health care reform law and replacing it with sweeping changes to Medicare and Medicaid. Ryan’s budget blueprint would wipe out the deficit in 10 years, or less than half the time it would have taken under his previous budget proposals.
Meanwhile, Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash, will put forward a budget on Thursday that includes tax increases on upper-income households and corporations, with modest spending cuts to domestic programs. Murray’s framework wouldn’t come close to achieving a balanced budget in Ryan’s 10-year timeframe. - Read more at The Wall Street Journal
SENATE DEMS IGNORE WHITE HOUSE DEMANDS Democrats in the Senate will vote this week on the House-passed continuing resolution to keep the government funded through the remainder of the fiscal year, but first they’ll amend it. That will bypass the White House’s request for an additional $949 million to offset sequester cuts likely to hinder the president’s health care and Dodd Frank initiatives. - Read more at Politico
A FAMILIAR TUNE In his Saturday radio address, the president announced he’s ready to work toward a compromise with House Republicans on deficit reduction. Of course, we’ve heard this song before. But this time could be different, as the president has (uncharacteristically) been reaching out to Republicans lately. Last week he treated 12 GOP senators to dinner and he is expected to head to the Capitol this week to meet with House Republicans… Stay tuned. - Read more at The Fiscal Times
MANY STILL PESSIMISTIC ABOUT ECONOMY Despite a positive jobs report and a good week on Wall Street last week, the majority of voters say the economy is getting worse, according to a new survey from The Hill. Some 48 percent of respondents said the economy is getting worse, while 33 percent said they think the economy is improving. The poll also found that 56 percent of voters believe the sequester will hurt the economy, though 46 percent said they don’t expect the sequester to have a negative impact on their personal circumstances. Maybe the dire warnings by the White House, lawmakers and the media about the effects of sequestration got a lot of traction. - Read more at The Hill
FURLOUGH FRENZY In the wake of sequestration, some government agencies are already issuing furlough notices to employees. See an agency-by-agency list of how sequestration is affecting the federal government here
U.S. COMPANIES STASH $166B OFFSHORE A new Wall Street Journal analysis of 60 major U.S. corporations found that those companies collectively stored $166 billion in profits in offshore tax havens last year, shielding more than 40 percent of their total profits from U.S. taxes. Each company held a minimum of $5 billion offshore in 2011. - Read more at The Wall Street Journal