One of the most recent and most controversial pieces of legislation is a short-term budget deal meant to stop future government shutdowns over the next two years. Budget negotiators announced Tuesday a bipartisan deal to set spending levels for the federal government for two years and partially replace unpopular spending cuts with other savings. President Obama praised the deal as "a good first step" and said he would sign it if it reaches his desk.
If approved, the agreement would put the congressional budget process back on track, allowing for passage of the 12 annual bills that cover federal spending other than mandatory programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Ryan noted that it is the first bipartisan budget agreement to come out of a divided Congress since 1986. "This isn't easy," he said.
The proposal would restore about $63 billion in funding that had been cut by the so-called sequester. Officials said the increases would be offset by a variety of spending reductions and increased fees elsewhere in the budget totaling about $85 billion over a decade, leaving enough for a largely symbolic deficit cut of $23 billion over the next decade.
Conservatives will be equally displeased that the plan will require businesses to pay higher premiums to the federal government to guarantee their pension benefits. Those under age 62 who retired from the military will see a slightly smaller annual cost-of-living increase. Tickets prices will rise for airline passengers. And Medicare…