Obama and GOP Prepare to Tackle Budgets
President Barack Obama and Republican Representative Susan Brooks of Indiana talked spending and saving during their weekly addresses Saturday. This is the mark of the return of the fiscal battle that nearly brought Capitol Hill to a standstill in December.
There are several issues buzzing in Washington in recent weeks, such as President Obama’s nominees for Cabinet positions and the plans to reduce gun violence. Legislators also laid out their proposals for immigration reform, which is a topic that would see some progress according to analysts.
Lawmakers also made some steps regarding fiscal issues. The Senate approved Thursday a short term suspension of the federal debt ceiling that will allow the government to spend until May 19. The House approved the measure a week ago.
The legislation gave lawmakers of both houses incentive to pass a budget. If they failed to do so, their pay will be withheld but will be paid, including back pay, once the house passes a budget. IT doesn’t require the two houses to convene and reconcile their budget differences, and agree on a proposal that will be signed by President Obama. It only requires the House and Senate to act separately.
In her address, Representative Brooks said that the budget stalemate resides in the upper chamber, where the Democrats have control. She said that it is time to be serious. She added that it has been four years since Senate Democrats last passed a budget.
The most recent budgets proposed by both parties have been seen as political documents. 2012 was an election year and didn’t help prosper the budget debate last spring. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan laid out a plan with tax breaks and entitlement reforms that was far from Democrats’ liking. President Obama gave a plan that had tax increases and infrastructure spending that were not what Republicans want.