The December 13th deadline for a bipartisan federal budget deal to avoid another partial government shutdown in January is a week away. Negotiators, headed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan—a Republican and Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray—a Democrat, appear to be making progress. WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Jo Comerford, Executive Director of the National Priorities Project—a Northampton-based research center.
WAMC political observer Dr. Alan Chartock talks about the state of of the GOP party and its relation to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz post government shutdown. Cruz has vowed to keep fighting President Obama's Affordable Health Care Act.
Chartock also gives his thoughts on New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's chief of staff Judy Rapfogel hiring a lawyer in connection with her husband’s criminal case.
The Massachusetts Senate has approved a $94 million dollar spending bill that includes additional funds to help low-income families pay their winter heating bills and provide shelter for homeless families in hotels and motels.
The measure passed by the Senate on Thursday is similar to one approved a day earlier by the House. Negotiators from the two chambers will now meet to resolve differences.
Lawmakers said the $20 million for heating assistance will address delays in funding for the program resulting from the federal government shutdown that ended on Thursday.
Although the government shutdown’s over, North Country New York Democratic Congressman Bill Owens says having a deal that addresses getting the federal deficit under control is essential to avoiding another congressional deadlock in Washington come January.
“The primary focus from my perspective is making sure we do not have this kind of an issue on either January 15 or February 7 again. The only way we can get there is by having a deal that addresses a lot of legitimate concerns about how we get the deficit under control and then ultimately the debt,” Owens said.
Sean Eldridge, a Democratic candidate for Congress who is challenging Republican Chris Gibson in the 2014 race for the 19th District seat, tells WAMC that the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis are proof that America needs new leadership.
Frustration is growing over the federal government shutdown and approaching deadline for raising the government’s debt ceiling. Members of a progressive group in Massachusetts that advocates raising taxes on the rich, cutting military spending, and increasing funds for social programs are planning protests. Members of Budget for All are going to demonstrate today in Boston and on Friday in Northampton. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Marty Nathan, one of the leaders of Budget For All Western Massachusetts.
WEST POINT – Civilian employees at West Point who have been furloughed because of the federal government shutdown, gathered outside Thayer Gate on Tuesday to call for an end to the “irresponsibility displayed by Republicans in Congress.”
Donald Hale, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 2367, called for an end to the gridlock in Washington.