Congressional leaders negotiating 2-year spending deal

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The fix is in: The White House and Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders hope to complete a two year budget deal by tonight that will allow an increase in the debt limit.

White House budget director Shaun Donovan and legislative affairs director Katie Beirne Fallon are hammering out the package with staff representing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.). House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is expected to be elected Speaker on Thursday, but he has not taken part in these budget negotiations, aides said. In recent weeks, Boehner has said he wants to “clean the barn up a little bit” before he leaves Congress at the end of the week.

Legislation to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government is central to the deal, but the talks are also said to include measures that would fund highway and infrastructure construction and renew the Export-Import Bank for one year.  

If you read the article with a clear mind, you will see that all the dealmaking is designed to increase spending. Moreover, it notes how Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) does not want to have the renewal of the Export-Import Bank on a stand-alone bill. Unstated is why, as he knows that on its own the Republican majorities in both Houses would shoot it down in a second.

When Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) refers to these guys as the “Washington cartel” he is exactly right. They have no interest in cutting the size of the federal government, and are doing whatever they can to maintain their steadily weakening grip on power. The good news is that their grip is weakening.

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