BenBlessed » April 6th, 2017
National Debt? ... funded by a continuing resolution (CR), passed in December 2016, through April 28, 2017
Shalom Family! I know we all heard Frank share this awesome tidbit of information but to me this is important to fuel the reason we may actually get this done on or before May 1!
The debt limit deadline runs out April 28, 2017!
Maybe- just maybe there would be no reason to continue to EXTEND so great!
U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
After a 15-month hiatus, Congress is once again warming up for another round of self-inflicted budget "crises" that have become all but standard operating procedure when the Treasury needs to raise the limit of its borrowing authority.
That's right: The "debt ceiling" is back.
The budgetary bottleneck arrives again next month, when the latest suspension of the limit expires on March 15. Back in October 2015, Congress decided to punt on the issue by suspending the debt ceiling — with a hard end date.
Some budget watchers are already warning that another bitter budget battle could be looming.
Despite a Republican majority in Congress, the slow budgetary process, delays in repealing/replacing Obamacare, and a lack of internal consensus could spell trouble," said Oxford Economics senior economist Nancy Vanden Houten in a note to clients.
Members of both parties have used the mandatory borrowing cap as a negotiating tactic over a variety of legislative battles. The modern practice dates to the Clinton administration, when a standoff with House Republicans led to a pair of short government shutdowns.
Ryan: We'll figure out infrastructure in spring budget
In the summer of 2011, budget negotiations between then-President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress went down the wire, with some members of Congress threatening to force the Treasury to default on its debt for the first time in history. Despite an 11th-hour deal, Standard & Poor's was unimpressed. The credit rating agency, citing the bitter budget battle, docked Uncle Sam's Triple-A credit rating a notch.
In late 2012, Congress once again played another round of budgetary chicken when the Dec. 31 expiration of Bush era tax cuts threatened to collide with mandatory spending cuts that took effect the same day. A deal was reached and the compromise approved in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2013.
Since then, the last two debt ceiling deadlines have come and gone relatively peacefully, with agreements, first in October 2013 and again two years later, to simply suspend the limits. The latest suspension is due to expire next month.
Vanden Houten notes that, while GOP control of both Congress and the White House should make for smoother budgetary sailing, "the usual uncertainty surrounding the debt limit could be heightened this year."
She notes that President Donald Trump's budget advisors have voiced different opinions about how to deal with the debt ceiling.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a former hedge fund manager, has said that making Treasury debt payments is a "critical commitment."
Trump's choice to head the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, "has questioned the urgency of raising the debt limit and has supported prioritizing debt payments over other federal obligations," said Vanden Houten.
If the March 31 deadline comes and goes without Congress raising the debt ceiling, the Treasury will once again begin deploying "extraordinary measures" to allow the government to keep paying its bills.
Those include things like postponing contributions to a retirement funds for federal employees. Vanden Houten figures that could free up enough cash to keep the lights on until sometime in September.
Walkingstick » April 6th, 2017
By Jim GaramoneDoD News, Defense Media Activity
April 5, 2017 — Jared Kushner, the senior advisor to President Donald J. Trump, said his trip with Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford to Iraq was an “invaluable, informative experience.”
Kushner met with Iraqi and coalition officials in Baghdad and Irbil and with U.S. troops in Hamam al-Alil, a tactical assembly area just over 10 miles from the Iraqi forces’ front line against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Mosul.
Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, invited Kushner and Tom Bossert, the president’s homeland security advisor, to accompany him on one of his periodic trips to Iraq to take the pulse of the counter-ISIS campaign.
“I was honored to accompany Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford on this trip to Iraq,” Kushner said. “Overall, the trip was an invaluable, informative experience and I come away with a deeper understanding of the situation on the ground and an even greater appreciation for those serving our country oversees.”
At Hamam al-Alil, Kushner met with the gun crew from the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment. They live next to their guns, ready to supply fire support from their M-109A6 Paladins to Iraqi forces battling ISIS in Mosul. He also met with troopers from the 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment who are at the base. Both units are based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Meets With, Praises U.S. Troops
“Of the many highlights of my couple of days in Iraq, the biggest was meeting U.S. personnel serving on the front line in our fight against ISIS near Mosul,” Kushner said. “I had the distinct pleasure of meeting many and expressing, on behalf of the president, our appreciation for the incredible work each was making for the security of our nation.”
In Baghdad, Dunford and Kushner met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Defense Minister Arfan al-Hayali.
At the U.S. Embassy, Kushner was briefed by Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman.
On the military side, Kushner was briefed extensively by Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, the commander of Operation Inherent Resolve. He also met with Army Maj. Gen. Joseph M. Martin, the commander of the 1st Infantry Division and of Combined Joint Forces Land Component Operation Inherent Resolve.
In Irbil, Kushner and Dunford met with Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan.
In a written statement, Kushner spoke directly to American service members.
“To the men and women of the Combined Joint Task Force and U.S. Embassy Baghdad, you have left an indelible impression on me and I am awestruck by your patriotism, esprit-de-corps and fighting spirit,” he said. “Each of you has my upmost respect and admiration.”
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