Short-Term Budget Deal Reached That Includes Back Pay Plus 1% 2014 Pay Raise for Government Workers and Pay Freeze For Congress

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A short term budget deal has been reached and the government shutdown is over. The debt ceiling has also been raised which will allow the nation to pay its bills and service new debt/payment obligations. But the deal legislation includes a few interesting provisions which are summarized below

  • The Senate brokered budget deal would finance the federal government until Jan. 15 2014, keeping existing “sequester” spending levels. The borrowing limit, or debt ceiling, would be raised until Feb. 7 2014
  • A bipartisan congressional committee would be setup and required by Dec. 13 2013 to hammer out a long-term budget plan. This committee would be led by Sen. Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat, and Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican. The two chair their chambers’ respective budget committees
  • Pay for members of Congress ($174,000 per year) will be frozen through October 2014, the current government fiscal year. This is the sixth year in a row lawmakers have opted not to get the annual cost-of-living pay increase they are legally allowed to receive
  • Provides up to 3 weeks of back pay and benefits for furloughed federal workers. It also provides fora 1 percent raise for federal employees on the GS Pay Scale in the new year. Contractors to the federal government are not covered by this provision
  • In a minor concession to Republicans the bill also formally includes language requiring a study of income verification for people seeking health-insurance subsidies under Obamacare. This provision was in the original Affordable care act, but has not been implemented in the the recent rollout
  • The Treasury Department can continue using extraordinary measures to pay the nation’s bills if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling in a timely fashion. Which is more than likely to happen in the New year when this issue is revisited

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