L/SFR Sneak Peek: Lawmakers Return to Work, Dig Into Next Round of Fiscal Negotiations

May 10, 2011 | By Liza Casabona | Post a Comment

(This article was excerpted from the May 16 issue of Local/State Funding Report.) With Congress back in session this month, the budget and deficit talks have started again in earnest.

Public pressure on both the administration and Congress over outstanding fiscal challenges will ratchet up in the next few weeks as the negotiations over the fiscal year 2012 budget get under way and the U.S. nears its statutory debt limit.

Neither side of the aisle shows any signs of working to make the next rounds of talks any less contentious than the ones in April that hashed out the remainder of the FY 2011 budget.  Republicans and Democrats have struggled to find common ground on almost every fiscal or spending issue that has been raised in the current Congress, from discretionary spending cuts to tax policies and Medicare management.

The Republicans have put forward a budget proposal for FY 2012 — The Path to Prosperity, which is attributed to Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee — which proposes overhauling Medicare and instituting additional discretionary spending cuts for FY 2012 on top of those that were enacted in the FY 2011 budget.

Ryan’s proposal to overhaul Medicare has been very controversial. Democrats have painted the Republicans as the party that is willing to hold the debt limit hostage to their push to limit Medicare benefits, a characterization that Republicans have vehemently disputed.

Stay tuned for other “Sneak Peeks” into upcoming stories from the Local/State Funding Report. Subscribers: check your next issue for more analysis of the upcoming debt ceiling and FY 2012 budget negotiations.

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