Debt and Budget

Local Governments: Budget Basics

May 16, 2016

Across Virginia, local governments are balancing their books any way they can. Some are raising taxes on hotel guests. Others are increasing the cost of street parking. 

Let’s start with the good news. The state of Virginia’s economy is strong. Here’s how Steven Fuller at George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis describes it:

“Virginia has, over the last two years, gone from zero growth — no job growth at all to early 2014 — to the strongest job growth in any twelve month period in more than ten years."

Dancing the Budget Tango

Feb 22, 2016

Even before the fight erupted over whether to replace deceased Justice Antonin Scalia, President Obama and Republicans in Congress were squaring off on the nation’s spending priorities. Republicans from the region are proving a thorn in the president’s side on the final budget he sent to Congress

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. 

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