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Friday, November 29, 2013

Budget Negotiations Update: Playing "Small Ball"

by Calculated Risk on 11/29/2013 10:41:00 AM

From the WSJ: Narrow Budget Agreement Comes Into View

Negotiators in Congress are moving toward a narrow agreement on this year's federal budget that ... modestly reduce the roughly $100 billion in across-the-board spending cuts, known as sequestration, that will hit in January.
To replace the sequester cuts, officials close to the talks said, lawmakers are looking at increasing airport-security fees, cutting costs in federal-employee retirement programs and drawing on revenue from the auction of broadband spectrum. Democrats also want to count savings from program changes in a farm bill, which is being negotiated in a separate process, to offset sequester cuts, but Republicans say those savings should go to general deficit reduction.
The budget conference committee is scheduled to present any agreement on December 13th, and then vote on the spending bill by January 15th.  It appears a "small ball" agreement is likely.