House and Senate Near Budget Deal

The New York Times reports that the House and Senate is close to sealing a budget deal despite “last-minute resistance from House Democratic leaders who said any deal should be accompanied by an extension of expiring unemployment benefits for 1.3 million workers.”

“The deal would increase revenue by raising some fees and would shift some cuts away from domestic and defense programs, partly alleviating the squeeze of across-the-board spending cuts imposed last year, which are set to worsen in 2014. Spending on defense and domestic programs would rise to about $1 trillion … Absent a deal, further cuts would go into effect in January, and discretionary spending would be cut to $967 billion for fiscal 2014.”

“But the agreement would leave to future negotiations the big issues of curbing future spending increases in the fast-growing entitlement programs and the proper level of tax revenues. It also would not extend unemployment benefits set to expire Dec. 28, or deal with impending cuts to Medicare health care providers.”

But Roll Call notes Speaker John Boehner tempered expectations for a deal on the budget, “saying neither issue appears to be poised for conclusion.”

National Journal: “The details of a potential budget deal are trickling out, and nobody seems thrilled with what they’re hearing.”

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