Congressional negotiators selling a budget accord won Republican endorsements for the plan to ease automatic U.S. spending cuts for two years, remove the risk of a government shutdown and cut the deficit by $23 billion.
Most Republican U.S. Senators seeking re-election next year face primary challenges, underscoring differences in tone and ideology within the party as it seeks to wrest control of the chamber from the Democrats.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew will brief U.S. senators today on the nuclear accord reached with Iran last month, in an effort to derail a congressional push for new sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
U.S. budget negotiators unveiled an agreement to ease automatic spending cuts by about $63 billion over two years and reduce the deficit by $23 billion, breaking a three-year cycle of fiscal standoffs.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pouring money into a television advertising campaign defending Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, whose primary fight against a Tea Party-backed rival is shaping up as a test of establishment efforts to reclaim the Republican Party.
Heritage Action, the angry conservative id that has swallowed the Heritage Foundation (and much of the House Republican Conference) whole, just announced that it will treat Janet Yellen’s nomination for chairman of the Federal Reserve as a “key” vote. The designation is intended to pressure Republican senators, who presumably risk being labeled soft on monetarism if they vote to elevate Yellen.
With less than three weeks until their deadline, U.S. budget negotiators have yet to break an impasse over revenue, prompting lawmakers to draft plans to blunt $19 billion in defense cuts set to start in January.
The most significant change in three decades in how the Senate approves presidential nominees could make one of the least productive Congresses even more gridlocked, endangering efforts to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and fund the government, Republicans say.