Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner is pushing toward a vote on the budget deal even though it is not popular with conservatives.

Outgoing House Speaker John Boehner is pushing toward a vote on the budget deal even though it is not popular with conservatives. Lauren Victoria Burke/AP

Budget Deal Spares Feds’ Pay and Benefits

The two-year agreement raises the debt limit and provides some relief from sequestration without a sacrifice from federal employees.

The two-year budget agreement unveiled Monday night spares federal employees’ pay and benefits, raises the debt limit and provides some relief from sequestration.

Congressional leaders and the White House rolled out a proposed budget deal for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 that does not contain any provisions targeting the pay or benefits of the federal workforce. Previous budget agreements have not been so favorable for feds: For instance, the 2013 deal increased the amount new government hires must contribute to their pensions.

“We hope our leaders in Washington are learning, finally, that they cannot balance the budget on the backs of federal workers and retirees,” said National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association President Richard Thissen. The National Treasury Employees Union said it was “relieved” that the budget deal addressed funding “without requiring the federal workforce to make additional sacrifices.”

The 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act also would prevent many retirees, including those covered under the Civil Service Retirement System, from absorbing a 52 percent increase in Medicare Part B premiums, made worse by the lack of a 2016 cost-of-living adjustment. Under the current law, those retirees not “held harmless” would pay $54 more in Part B premiums per month next year than they do now. The budget agreement would extend the “hold harmless” provision of the Social Security Act in 2016 to those affected by the increase, so that they will pay $123.70 per month (including a surcharge) next year. If there is no COLA for 2017, the same provision would apply again that year, protecting those not “held harmless” from a significant monthly premium jump.

Those retirees who are held harmless will continue to pay $104.90 per month in 2016. Under the hold harmless provision of the Social Security Act, the dollar increase in Medicare Part B premiums is limited to the dollar increase in an individual’s Social Security benefit.

“While I believe this is a good compromise for the 2016 premiums, Congress and the administration must fix this situation once and for all,” Thissen said. “Millions of individuals should not have to live with this type of financial uncertainly just because their Medicare premiums do not come from Social Security.” CSRS retirees who stayed in that retirement system after 1983 did not pay into Social Security under that system. People who started working for the federal government in 1984 are covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System, which includes Social Security.

The budget agreement would provide relief from sequestration for the next two years by increasing defense and non-defense spending by a total of $80 billion. But the bill also extends the 10-year governmentwide automatic budget cuts, which first took effect in 2013, until 2025. “The sequester relief is paid for over 10 years by a mix of spending reforms, stronger tax compliance measures for large partnerships like hedge funds and private equity firms, and other measures,” wrote Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, in a blog post on the Office of Management and Budget website.

The deal raises the debt ceiling through mid-March 2017, which would avert a default. The Treasury Department has said Congress has to lift or suspend the $18.1 trillion debt limit by Nov. 3, or the government will default on some of the obligations it has already incurred.

There’s still the matter of funding agencies to avoid a government shutdown before the end of the year. The current continuing resolution expires on Dec. 11; Congress will have to pass another bill  -- likely an omnibus spending package -- before that date to avoid a government shutdown. The budget agreement, which congressional leaders hope to push through as early as this week, makes that task easier.

“I look forward to getting to work immediately with our counterparts in the Senate to ensure the appropriations process is complete ahead of the Dec. 11 deadlines, so that we can avoid any more delays or ‘shutdown showdowns’ that have caused unnecessary damage to important federal programs – including our national defense,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.