The deadline for the budget conference committee to produce a compromise is a week from today, and there have been numerous reports that the negotiators are closing in on a deal. For good or for ill, it might actually displease a number of lawmakers and other interested parties. For example, reports are that some are concerned that more conservative Republicans will reject items such as increases in user fees. On the other side of the aisle, Democrats are concerned about provisions requiring federal workers to contribute more to their retirement funds and that they will not be able to unemployment benefits. Both the Obama Administration and the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, however, that the issue with jobless benefits would not be a deal-breaker.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela died on Thursday evening. He was 95. He was noted for his civil rights activism and worked to counteract racism in his country. Mandela was the first black person to become president of South Africa, and following his term of office, he continued to work for the country, especially on behalf of the poor and those touched by HIV/AIDS. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. Congressional leaders joined figures around the world mourning his death.
And for our latest blog post: Flattening the Rules: The Implications of the Senate Nuclear Option