Finally, it's Saturday! We won't keep you long, but here's our recap of this week's events:
1) A victory for sensible spending. Both the House and Senate managed to pass continuing resolutions to fund the government through the remainder of fiscal year 2013. The CR doesn’t have wasteful big-spending amendments and keeps the 3 cents on the dollar in sequester cuts in place as we urged earlier this month with our “3 Pennies” ad campaign.
2) Vote-A-Rama! The Senate began the process of passing - for the first time in almost four years - a real, honest-to-goodness budget. The Senate Democrats’ budget calls for over $1 billion in tax hikes and reverses the sequester spending cuts.
3) What does “balanced” mean? The White House says a “balanced approach” must include entitlement reform. The Senate wants a “balanced approach” that leaves entitlements alone. Neither one actually balances the budget, but Republican and Democratic plans from the House promise just that. Just another example of confusing rhetoric intended to obscure business as usual.
4) No Budget, No Pay? While the Senate will do what we haven’t seen in the last four years and pass a budget -- that budget won’t pass in the House, and neither will the House budget pass in the Senate. However, the threshold of the recently passed “No Budget, No Pay” Act will have been meet, as it required both the House and Senate to adopt a budget, but it didn’t require the President to actually sign it into law. So despite accomplishing the bare minimum to earn their paycheck – nothing really changes until Congress reaches a deal.
5) March Madness is here. Did you know there are 9,223,372,036,475,775,808 (that’s 9.2 quintillion) different ways you could fill out your bracket? A number that compares to our current national debt. Check out a post on sister site, Washington Could Learn A Lot, explaining what DC politicians can learn from college hoops.