Budget Talks Proceed, But With The Same Old Sticking Points

Structural changes to federal health programs, the spending cuts put in place by the sequester and new taxes continue to be the buzz words.  

The Washington Post: Beneath Conference Committee’s Sweet Words Lurks Old Sticking Point: Taxes
Chastened by three years of budget showdowns and economic near-calamities, the 22 senators and seven House members on a new budget conference committee expressed fresh eagerness to end the era of government by crisis. Democrats, for instance, said they are ready to swap sharp but temporary cuts to federal agencies, known as the sequester, for permanent “structural changes” to federal health programs long sought by Republicans (Montgomery, 10/30).

Los Angeles Times: Budget Talks To Ward Off Another Shutdown Begin
The panel, created from this month's budget agreement, has until Dec. 13 to negotiate a budget framework. Funding to keep the federal government open runs out by Jan. 15. Republicans resisted new taxes, saying they would rather reduce spending on Medicare and other safety-net programs. Democrats want wealthy individuals and corporations to contribute more tax revenue to help solve the nation's fiscal problems (Mascaro, 10/30).

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