Newsletter: February 6, 2013

Volume 2 | Issue 42
Filibuster Rules Changes Epitomize the Senate
By Susan Sullivan Lagon, Senior Fellow

The more things change…
The Senate has spoken—at length—and the result is…not much.  This sentence could characterize the 112th Congress as well as the changes agreed to in Senate Resolution 16, the first roll call of the 113th (86 yeas, 9 nays).  After months of the majority’s frustration with constant filibuster threats, impassioned pleas for change, righteous indignation from the minority, and warnings of “be careful what you wish for” from senior Democrats who remember what it’s like to be in the minority, the Senate ultimately did what it’s designed to do: compromise.


Upcoming GAI Course(s):

The New Congress

February 21, 2013

The New Congress is a one-day course offered on Capitol Hill following the biennial congressional elections. This course is intended to offer an examination of the implications of election outcomes with regard to congressional organization and leadership, the legislative agenda, and prospects for key legislative-executive branch issues.


Director’s Desk

Having barely avoided falling off the fiscal cliff on January 1, we soon found ourselves sliding down a slippery slope toward a dark and gloomy abyss.  The sequester was postponed for only two months, the debt ceiling was raised, but only until May, and we continue to hurtle toward the March 27 expiration of the FY13 continuing resolution (CR) with nary an appropriations bill in sight of passage.  Some departments have already put hiring freezes in place and are planning furloughs if sequestration isn’t canceled, or at least delayed again.

Yesterday, however, brought a bit of good budget news, sort of.  The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that the FY13 deficit will fall below $1 trillion for the first time in five years, and is now estimated to come in at only $845 billion.  CBO also projects that deficits will continue to fall through 2018, and will comprise less than three percent of GDP, a level that many economists believe to be manageable.  The bad news? – the falling deficit projection is due in part to the January 1 tax increases, but also to the spending cuts that will occur as a result of the sequester. In addition, CBO projects that the tax increases and sequestration will result in a 1.25% fall in GDP, and the loss of 1.5 million jobs.

Please consider joining us on Capitol Hill for the final offering of The New Congress on February 21, where we will explore these and other issues critical to the federal departments and agencies.

-Ken Gold



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