The possibility of a government shutdown looks much less likely. On Wednesday the Senate approved a stopgap spending bill to avert a shutdown next week by “keeping agencies and discretionary programs funded through the fiscal year ending on September 30,” according to Reuters. Approved by a 73-26 vote, the measure now returns to the House. - Read more at The Fiscal Times
ECONOMIC WIN FROM NEW LEGAL STATUS? As Congress inches closer to comprehensive immigration reform legislation, a new study from the Center for American Progress, the left-leaning think tank, shows that granting undocumented immigrants legal status and citizenship could provide an almost immediate and substantial boost to the economy. The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) would grow by an extra $1.4 trillion over the next 10 years, while an additional 203,000 jobs would be created each year.
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HOUSE SHUTS DOWN SENATE BUDGET The GOP-dominated House on Wednesday rejected the Senate Democrats’ progressive budget proposal in a154-261 vote. Some 35 House Democrats voted against their colleagues’ blueprint, which called for $975 billion in new revenue and very few spending cuts. The House also rejected budgets proposed by the Congressional Black Caucus, the Progressive Caucus and the Republican Study Committee. - Read more at The Hill
FED WILL CONTINUE STIMULUS The Federal Reserve will continue buying $85 billion in mortgage and Treasury bonds per month and keep interest rates near zero, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday. "These costs remain manageable but will continue to be monitored, and we will take them into appropriate account as we determine the size, pace and composition of our asset purchases," Bernanke told reporters after the FOMC meeting. "When we see that the (labor market) situation has changed in a meaningful way, we may well adjust the pace of purchases." - Read more at The Fiscal Times
PENTAGON FURLOUGH NOTICES ON FRIDAY Department of Defense civilian employees will be furloughed for 22 days beginning April 25, according to Government Executive – though all employees will have the opportunity to appeal their furloughs and final decisions will be sent out by April 24, the day before the furloughs begin. Civilian personnel working on fire safety or health will not be furloughed. Read more at Government Executive
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