Bipartisan Budget Deal Clears Congress

By David Espo, Special Correspondent, The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – Congress has sent President Barack Obama legislation scaling back across-the-board cuts on programs ranging from the Pentagon to the national park system, adding a late dusting of bipartisanship to a year more likely to be remembered for a partial government shutdown and near-perpetual gridlock. Obama’s signature was assured on the measure, which lawmakers in both parties and at opposite ends of the Capitol said they hoped would curb budget …

Can Congress Get a Budget Deal Done?

Congress doesn’t get much done on the budget without a deadline hanging over it, and this time it’s staring at a deadline – or at least a first deadline – of Dec. 13. That’s the date by which lawmakers on a bipartisan conference committee – led by Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), her House counterpart – are supposed to come up with a budget deal. Without a deal, the government runs out …

Medicare: Once Again a Political Hot Potato

It’s budget time on Capitol Hill, and remaking Medicare is a hot topic. On Sunday, Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the chairman of the House Budget Committee, revealed some of his budget blueprint for  Medicare. He still wants to convert the program into a premium support system under which beneficiaries would get a set amount of money to buy insurance. But only people under the age 55 would be affected. Ryan told Chris Wallace of Fox News that his new Medicare plan …