Government shutdown ahead! On December 11th, the government is scheduled to run out of money. In this episode, hear the story of how we ended up on the brink of a shutdown (again) and what you can expect in the next few weeks (hint: A huge must-sign bill that includes lots of corporate favors).
We also take a look at the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, signed into law in November, which raised the debt ceiling and set the overall budget amount for the giant government funding bill to come.
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Bipartisan Budget Act Outline
H.R. 1314: The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015
- Cancelled the sequester for 2016 and 2017
- Spending levels
- 2016: $548 billion for security, $518 billion for non-security
- 2017: $551 billion for security, $518 billion for non-security
- War spending levels ("Overseas Contingency Operations")
- Caps the rate of return for private insurance providers at 8.9% of the premium through 2026.
For context, please listen to CD062: The Farm Bill
- Allows robo-calls to cell phones for collecting US government debts
Strategic Petroleum Reserve
- Orders the sale of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
- 5 million barrels a year through 2022
- 8 million barrels in 2022
- 10 million barrels a year from 2023 through 2025
- Increases pension fund premiums that employers must pay starting in 2017.
- Reduces 2016 premiums for Medicare Part B by adding a $3 surcharge for future years.
- Charges drug manufacturers a rebate if they increase their prices for generic drugs more than the rate of inflation.
- Starting on January 1, 2017, Medicare will pay the same rate for services provided in a hospital and services provided outside the hospital.
- Facilities that were billing as hosptitals before the enactment of this law are exempt.
- Repeals the automatic enrollment of employees in employer provided health insurance plans.
- Increases penalties for health care providers accused of fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid system.
- Permanently cancels $1.5 billion in the Crime Victims Fund
- Eliminated $746 million in civil forfeiture money from the Justice Department piggy bank.
- Expands "disability investigation units" with partner with local law enforcement to ensure they exist in all 50 states and all territories.
- Increases penalties for social security fraud
- Eliminates the "file and
suspend" option for social security benefits
Temporary extension of public debt limit
- Suspends the debt ceiling until March 16, 2017.
- Creates a plan for auctioning federal wireless spectrum to telecommunications corporations by January 2022.
Revenue provisions related to tax compliance
- Changes the IRS audit rules for large corporations, hedge funds, and private equity funds.
- Hearing: Rules Committee Hearing Senate amendment to H.R. 1314, House Rules Committee, October 27, 2015.
Article: Congress avoids government shutdown by Ted Barrett and Deirdre Walsh, CNN, September 30, 2015.
Article: Budget Pact Raids Victims Fund by Devlin Barrett, The Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2016.
Article: Federal budget clears crop insurance hurdle by Wes Wolfe, The Free Press, November 3, 2015.
Article: Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 changes audit rules for private equity and hedge funds by Karl Fryzel and Michael Conroy, Lock Lord LLP, November 3, 2015.
Article: Budget Deal Gives Debt Collectors Authority to 'Robocall' Cellphones by John Schoen, CNBC, November 5, 2015.
Article: Budget deal raises stakes for false claims, civil monetary penalties by Lisa Schencker, Modern Healthcare, November 9, 2015.
Article: Social Security, Medicare changes are coming with new budget law by Robert Powell, USA Today, November 28, 2015.
Article: Pelosi spurns Ryan's opening bid, mulls counteroffer by Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan, Politico, December 2, 2015.
Report: Estimate of the Budgetary Effects of H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, Congressional Budget Office, October 28, 2015.
Report: How the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 Changes Social Security Claiming Strategies Social Security Solutions, November 5, 2015.
Report: What's in Store for Medicare's Part B Premiums and Deductible in 2016, and Why? by Juliette Cubanski and Tricia Neuman, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, November 11, 2015.
Newsletter: Congress Takes Step Toward Site-Neutral Medicare Payments in Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, McDermott, Will & Emery, October 29, 2105.
Webpage: Budget Functions
Webpage: American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS by Zachary Paiker, FactCheck,org, February 7, 2014.
Webpage: Priorties USA/Priorties USA Action by Rachel Finkel, FactCheck.org, March 3, 2014.
Webpage: Telecom Services & Equipment: Long-Term Contribution Trends, Opensecrets.org
Jen's Podcast Appearance
- Lions of Liberty Podcast: December 7, 2015 episode
Music Presented in This Episode
Design by Only Child Imaginations