Congress Tiredly Agrees on Budget For Next Year

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Paul Ryan has made old school horsetrading cool again:

Congressional leaders on Tuesday night reached agreement on a year-end spending and tax deal that would prevent a government shutdown and extend a series of tax breaks that benefit businesses and individuals, according to lawmakers.

….The tax break package would cost about $650 billion and extend around 50 credits for businesses and individuals while also delaying until 2017 a tax on medical device manufacturers.

The approximately $1.1 trillion appropriations package would fund the government for the remainder of fiscal 2016 and contains a two-year delay of the Affordable Care Act’s so-called Cadillac Tax on expensive employer-sponsored health care plans as well as a delay of a tax on health insurance plan purchases.

The spending bill also would lift the 40-year ban on crude oil exports. In exchange for allowing this provision, Democrats secured the extension of tax breaks for wind and solar energy producers for five years.

So Republicans get a bunch of tax breaks and an end to the ban on oil exports. I don’t know why either Republicans or Democrats care one way or the other about the oil export ban, but apparently they do. In return, Democrats get a delay of the Cadillac Tax and some tax breaks for solar and wind.

Fabulous. I think the general idea is to wrap this baby up so that everyone has the energy for a full-on gang war over the White House next year. Once that’s settled, then….I dunno, nothing, probably. Whoever wins, the other side will probably continue acting the same way they are now. But at least we’ve cleared the decks and everyone will be able to go home for Christmas. These days, that counts as a win.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest