Short-Term Budget Deal Details Take Shape
As the dust settles from last-minute budget negotiations to avert a government shutdown, specific outlines of the final agreement are taking shape -- including how proposals fared for spending cuts to health law programs as well as to Planned Parenthood, and other controversial measures.
The New York Times: With A Spending Deal In Hand, Lawmakers Now Turn To The Details
The agreement would cut $13 billion from programs at the Departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services and would extract $1 billion more in an across-the-board cut from domestic agencies. There will also be reductions to housing assistance programs and some health care programs, along with $8 billion in cuts to the State Department and foreign aid, said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director (Pear, 4/10).
The Wall Street Journal: Budget Deal Targets Pieces Of Health Care Law
The agreement would eliminate a provision of the health care law enabling low-income workers to opt out of employer-offered health insurance and shop for more affordable coverage on insurance exchanges to be created in 2014, according to congressional aides and business groups (Boles, 4/10).
The Wall Street Journal: Talks Focus On Program Cuts
Republicans and Democrats continued to haggle over how to spread nearly $39 billion in cuts across a multitude of government programs behind the deal that averted a government shutdown last week. White House officials and Democrats said that they had mitigated proposed cuts to key education and health programs, including the Head Start preschool program, Pell Grants for low-income college students and federal scientific research (Hook, 4/11).
National Journal: Deal Done, Victory Declared
House Republicans didn't get everything they wanted, but in the end they will be able to say their efforts achieved an unprecedented level of spending cuts. Democrats succeeded in removing two controversial riders to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal President Obama's health care law, but they agreed to hold separate votes on the two matters in order to move the funding bill. The bills are unlikely to pass the Senate - and even if they did, President Obama would veto them - but it would put lawmakers on record on both issues. Further, Republicans earned concessions from the White House to allow for certain studies on the impact of the health care law (Davis, Sanchez, 4/9).
Roll Call: Shutdown Averted With Last Minute Trade-Offs
The deal was sealed in a dramatic 10:30 p.m. handshake between three top staffers who had negotiated around the clock in a fourth-floor Capitol office. David Krone, chief of staff for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), White House liaison Rob Nabors and Barry Jackson, Boehner's chief of staff, reached agreement just as Obama and Reid were anxiously calling for an update, according to a senior Democratic leadership aide. The framework for the deal had largely been reached a few hours before the handshake, after a daylong flurry of offers, counter-offers and phone calls between Boehner and Obama, and nearly nonstop press conferences by Senate Democrats accusing Boehner of threatening to shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood (Dennis, 4/11).
The New York Times: Abortion Limit Is Renewed, As Is Washington Anger
In a national budget that is measured in trillions of dollars, that might not seem like much. But for this city, which raises $5 billion in tax revenue each year but does not have the final say over how to spend it, the compromise - which restores a ban on the use of local taxpayer money for abortions - served as a bitter reminder of its powerlessness (Tavernise, 4/10).
Politico: Abortion Opponents Vow To Continue The Fight
Social conservatives lost Round One against Planned Parenthood, but they got a taste of what's possible and vowed Saturday to return for more. "We're not finished with this," Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America, said in an interview. "The fiscal year 2012 budget is just around the corner. We are going to continue to work to defund Planned Parenthood." That fight could make this one look quaint by comparison. Republicans have staked out the battle over Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's dramatic budget proposal - with $6.2 trillion in cuts and a remaking of Medicaid and Medicare - as a defining ideological moment for the party (Budoff Brown, 4/9).