Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Fiscal talks now turn to U.S. borrowing limit

WASHINGTON — The government is within days of hitting its legal borrowing limit, complicating the negotiations between the White House and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

According to the Treasury Department, the government is about $66 billion below its $16.4 trillion debt ceiling, a legal borrowing limit that is set and periodically raised by Congress. When the country hits the ceiling — sometime toward the end of December, analysts estimate — it would start a countdown clock that would end with Washington's running out of money to pay its bills.

That would be an unprecedented event that might hobble the government, ruin the country's credit and send markets into an outright panic, analysts predict. But despite — or because of — the debt ceiling's potential to disrupt the economy, members of Congress are using it as a potent political football to extract concessions from the other side.

"I will not raise the debt ceiling ever again until we get significant entitlement reforms because if we don't reform entitlements, we're going to become Greece," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on CNN this week.

The White House has pushed back by warning Republicans away from the ceiling in strong terms. "We cannot play this game because while it might be satisfying to those with highly partisan and ideological agendas, it's not satisfying to the American people and is punishing to the American economy," said Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, this week.

Some Democrats have in recent weeks urged the White House to mount a legal challenge to the ceiling itself. The White House has ruled out such measures. But in its initial proposal to avert the worst of the year-end tax increases and spending cuts, the so-called "fiscal cliff," the Obama administration asked Congress to grant it more authority over the ceiling.

The White House's plan would allow it to request an increase to the debt limit. Congress could pass a resolution blocking the increase, though such a resolution could be killed with a presidential veto. Republicans immediately rejected the proposal.

Comments
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

UPDATE, 5:55: Trade talks apparently picked up this afternoon, perhaps related to previous activity by other teams, and for first time Rays officials sound like something could happen tonight."At this point today, some of those conversations are movi...
Updated: 4 hours ago
New York Yankees spread cheer during Children’s Holiday Concerts (w/video)

New York Yankees spread cheer during Children’s Holiday Concerts (w/video)

The event spread free holiday cheer to more than 5,4000 children from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. _informq.push(['embed']);...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rick Scott issues executive order on sexual harassment reporting for state employees

Rick Scott issues executive order on sexual harassment reporting for state employees

State agencies must adopt uniform policies on sexual harassment and provide worker training for supervisors and new employees, Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday.Scott said he issued an executive order to better protect state employees under his con...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Florida superintendents come out against proposal to do away with electing superintendents

Florida superintendents come out against proposal to do away with electing superintendents

The Florida Association of District School Superintendents, or FADSS, released a statement Wednesday that it does not support a statewide proposal that would do away with the election of school superintendents.The statement comes the day before ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Mason Ruffner’s career reached ‘Crossroads’ with this memorable tune

Mason Ruffner’s career reached ‘Crossroads’ with this memorable tune

Our '80s historian Kevin Wuench goes to the Deep South today with his music lesson: Like your AOR with a touch of Texas/Louisiana blues swamp? Then you should try some Mason Ruffner with his sweltering Gypsy Blood.Mason Ruffner grew up in Texas ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Alex Corddry won’t be back on Tampa Bay Rays telecasts

Alex Corddry won’t be back on Tampa Bay Rays telecasts

Alex Corddry won't be back on Fox Sports Sun's Tampa Bay Rays telecasts.Corddry completed a one-year contract with Fox, serving as the pre-, post- and in-game reporter.  She also covers college football for ESPN and does freelance work in the Wa...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Cabinet improves link in cross-Florida bike trail

Cabinet improves link in cross-Florida bike trail

Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet agreed to spend $1.08 million Wednesday for land that will help link to an ambitious bicycle and pedestrian trail planned to stretch across Central Florida, connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.The...
Updated: 8 minutes ago

AP Top News at 7:05 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 7:05 p.m. EST
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Former 'Apprentice' contestant Omarosa leaving White House

Former 'Apprentice' contestant Omarosa leaving White House

The White House says Omarosa Manigault Newman _ a former "Apprentice' contestant and one of President Donald Trump's most prominent African-American supporters _ plans to leave the administration next month.
Updated: 7 minutes ago