Debt and Budget

Government Shutdown Threats Continue

Nov 16, 2015

  If you thought the threat of a government shutdown was taken off the table, think again. Virginia may once again get caught in the crosshairs of a partisan battle in Washington. 

Before Speaker Boehner retired he worked with President Obama to reach a two year budget agreement. That agreement is the blueprint, but it didn’t come with any dollar bills attached to it. Now that lawmakers have less than a month to actually fund the government, conservatives are trying to use the bill to undo the president’s initiatives, like the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan. 

Virginia’s congressional delegation is divided over a bipartisan budget deal that greatly reduces any chance of a government shutdown for two years. 

Congressional leaders have been secretly negotiating the deal with the White House for weeks, yet most people on Capitol Hill were kept completely in the dark. That’s why when the details were unveiled on Tuesday morning lawmakers had to scramble to understand the deal.

 “It’s the right direction and I got a lot of detail questions that I’m grappling with.”

Federal Budget Storm Still Brewing

Sep 8, 2015
AP Photo/J. David Ake

Lawmakers were away from Washington all of August, but there was little reason for them to take that extended vacation. They only have until the end of September to fund the government or else the government will shut down.

Remember sequestration? That's those indiscriminate budget cuts that ripped across the military and most every federal agency a few years ago. Two years ago lawmakers were able to get sequestration off the books by reaching a bipartisan budget deal, and Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner bemoans that those talks aren’t taking place now. 

 “All is not well—Rosy Surplus Numbers Don't Erase Damage from Budget Cuts.” That's the title of the latest report by the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis.

And the organization's president says as candidates campaign for election to the entire General Assembly this November, it's imperative that voters have a conversation with them about the state's long-term budget problems.

Feed & Read

Jul 9, 2015

For many children, summer is a time to enjoy a break from rigorous class work. But for some kids, summer vacation means that they’re no longer guaranteed a lunch- and in some cases, even breakfast. Virginia’s First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe visited Roanoke’s Main Library Wednesday to celebrate the Feed and Read program, which works in conjunction with the Summer Food Service Program. The S-F-S-P provides free meals to children 18 and under in eligible areas throughout Virginia.