January 4, 2013 Health care has been a major focus in recent budget battles. New legislation provides a temporary fix in payments for doctors, but it will be paid for by a decade of cuts to hospitals. And a program for long-term-care insurance won't ever get off the ground.
January 3, 2013 By letting the House take up the Senate's fiscal cliff-dodging legislation that raises income tax rates on the wealthiest earners, Speaker John Boehner answered affirmatively a question that had been on many minds: Would he allow an up-or-down floor vote on a bill opposed by most fellow House Republicans?
January 2, 2013 With the president in Hawaii and the bill back in Washington, D.C., a machine did the signing. That's been done before, and was declared to be legal by President George W. Bush's lawyers.
January 2, 2013 Wall Street is joining a global rally. Though lawmakers didn't address all the issues, they did head off scheduled tax hikes and spending cuts.
January 2, 2013 First there will be a fight over raising the debt ceiling. Then there's another deadline for deep spending cuts. It's like another Lord of the Rings trilogy — we know at least two more stories are coming and it's clear there's going to be a lot of nastiness before the day is (we hope) saved.
January 1, 2013 The Senate-approved budget compromise that is meant to allow the U.S. government to avoid higher tax rates and austere budget cuts has tax rates as its central issue. We list some of the bill's effects, from tax credits to rising rates.
January 1, 2013 The compromise deal, which was approved by the Senate earlier Tuesday, stops large tax increases for 99 percent of Americans and delays massive spending cuts for two months. The bill now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law.
December 31, 2012 Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop the sharp tax increases and spending cuts. The Senate may vote on the deal Monday night, but there will be no vote in the House until Tuesday at the earliest.
December 31, 2012 Michigan's Lake Superior State University collects nominees for words or phrases that should be outlawed for "misuse, overuse and general uselessness." This year's No. 1 suggestion is all about the cliffhanger.
December 31, 2012 Talks continue on a deal to avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases. But with just hours to go before they kick in, an agreement remained elusive.
December 30, 2012 Even if the Senate were to approve a compromise package and a majority of the House (Republicans and Democrats) were prepared to accept it, the deal likely won't even be brought to the House floor for debate and a vote. How can this be? Because of the de facto "majority of the majority" rule.
December 30, 2012 Talks appeared stalled Sunday as the Senate finished up for the evening without a deal in sight. Democratic Sen. Harry Reid said there was "still significant distance between the two sides."
December 29, 2012 They are the subject of the fiscal cliff drama, and we find that the favored phrase by NPR reporters and hosts covering the negotiations is to call them "the wealthy." Some listeners rightfully object. However, alternatives such as "job creators" are also inaccurate and political.
December 29, 2012 It was hardly the first time the president had been standing at the White House briefing room podium, asking lawmakers to finally, before time runs out, agree to his plan or cut a deal, and spare the world some gratuitous economic pain.