Student Loans

White House to put Medicare cuts on hold during shutdown
Pay-as-you-go law would force cuts if shutdown lingers until Jan. 24

If the shutdown lingers until Jan. 24, under current law, the OMB would be forced to slice around $839 million from nonexempt programs across the government. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration won’t order up a round of cuts in federal benefit programs, primarily Medicare, if the partial government shutdown remains in effect later this month, a senior Office of Management and Budget official said.

If the shutdown lingers until Jan. 24, under current law, the OMB would be forced to slice around $839 million from nonexempt programs across the government. That number represents the figure left on the pay-as-you-go “scorecard” for 2018, specifying the net amount added to the fiscal 2019 deficit by laws enacted last year, excluding emergency spending that is exempt from the calculation.

The Gospel of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
La congresista goes to Washington

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., brings a fresh perspective to Washington, Manriquez writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“I never had a problem showing ya tha real me” — Cardi B in “Best Life”

OPINION | A decade ago, my first job in Washington politics was waiting tables at “an establishment bar” on Capitol Hill a short walk from the House side of the Capitol. The bar’s management offered night-shift employees a side hustle killing rats for eight dollars per carcass.

Arizona’s Next Senator Won’t Be Wealthy, Whomever Voters Choose
Both Sinema and McSally rank among the bottom of Roll Call’s Wealth of Congress

The next senator from Arizona doesn’t have much in the bank. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call).

Arizona’s first woman Senator won’t have much in the bank, regardless of whom voters choose Tuesday. Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema both rank toward the bottom of Roll Call’s Wealth of Congress index, both lacking the big bucks common among many of their Capitol Hill colleagues.

Both Arizonans had already served the public in some way before running for public office. McSally served decades in the Air Force and Sinema was a social worker and lawyer for a public school district. Neither got rich.

Are Minnesota’s Trump Voters Looking for a Check on Him?
Dan Feehan and Jim Hagedorn have different ideas of what Trump voters want

Jim Hagedorn, the Republican candidate for Minnesota’s 1st District, campaigns in the Applefest parade in La Crescent on Sept. 16. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

MANKATO, Minn. — With his portrait framed on the wall, President Donald Trump watches over Jim Hagedorn’s subterranean campaign office here.

Trump’s strong showing in this southern Minnesota district is the reason the open seat is one of Republicans’ few pickup opportunities this year.

CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman Resigns, Blasts Mulvaney
“Consumers no longer have a strong, independent Consumer Bureau on their side”

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., nominee to be director of the Office of Management and Budget, is sworn in during his Senate Budget Committee confirmation hearing in Dirksen Building, January 24, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Student Loan Ombudsman Seth Frotman resigned Monday, citing political differences at the agency under Acting Director Mick Mulvaney.

“After 10 months under your leadership, it has become clear that consumers no longer have a strong, independent Consumer Bureau on their side,” Frotman said in a resignation letter addressed to Mulvaney, who is also the Office of Management and Budget director. Frotman said his resignation is effective Sept. 1.

Opinion: Note to Millennials — What I Wish I Had Known Then About Saving for the Future
Focusing only on the crisis of today worsens the crises of tomorrow

For millennials confronting daunting financial challenges, saving for retirement is not a priority. But focusing only on the problems of today worsens the crises of tomorrow, Edelman and Grumet write. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A retirement crisis is on the way, and the generation most likely to be affected by it is the group that’s paying the least attention. For now.

It should come as no surprise that the youngest and largest generation in the workforce has trouble focusing on retirement. Millennials face unique challenges that we did not encounter at their stage. The vast majority of their generation entered the workforce during the Great Recession and its aftermath. Rising college costs and a tuition funding system increasingly reliant on loans have resulted in the largest student loan debt on record. Financial concerns have pushed out millennials’ timing for buying a home, getting married and having children. That’s why saving for retirement does not make the top of life’s list for this generation.

House Budget Would Direct $302 Billion in 10-Year Spending Cuts
‘Three-step process to give to the rich and make everyone else pay for it,’ Democrats say

Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., walks down the House steps after final votes of the week in the Capitol on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Budget Chairman Steve Womack’s fiscal 2019 budget resolution charts a path to balancing the budget in nine years through a combination of steep cuts in mandatory spending programs, freezing nondefense discretionary spending and banking on robust economic growth, according to a summary.

Under the draft fiscal blueprint, which will be marked up in committee Wednesday and Thursday, the deficit would be reduced by $8.1 trillion over 10 years compared to current law or policy. The budget would produce a surplus of $26 billion in 2027 if all of the assumed policies were enacted, growing to $142 billion in 2028.

Bipartisan Breakout Gives Vulnerable Senators Wins Ahead of Recess
VA and banking bills headline measures heading to President Donald Trump

Sen. Jon Tester is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents will be scoring big legislative victories just in time for the Memorial Day parades.

The most timely outbreak of bipartisanship will come with passage, expected Wednesday afternoon, of a bill designed to improve health care access and options for veterans, known as the VA MISSION Act.

Opinion: Historic Tax Reform is Working
Unemployment is down and wages are up

Workers at a plant in Louisville, Kentucky, install visors on a Ford Expedition SUV in 2017. More Americans are going to work because of the Texas Cut and Jobs Act, writes Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images file photo)

Unemployed, jobless, out-of-work — words that far too many of our friends and neighbors know all too well. Whether you’re a mother or father with a family to feed, or an individual working to pay off student-loans, the face of unemployment is ruthless and does not discriminate.

However, thanks to the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, those who are unemployed are becoming few and far between.

Opinion: Americans Are Telling Both Parties — “Show Me the Money”
GOP has an opening this fall with millennials moving away from Democrats, new poll shows

Speaker Paul D. Ryan speaks with students during an event with millennials at Georgetown University in April 2016. Republicans have an opportunity to make gains among young voters this fall, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“It sounds strange to me to say this about the Republicans, but they’re helping with even the small things. They’re taking less out of my paycheck. I notice that.” So said Terry Hood, a young, African-American, Clinton voter in a recent Reuters interview about why millennials are moving away from Democrats.

Music to Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan’s ears. And luckily for the GOP, Hood is apparently not the only millennial who’s noticed. A new Reuters/Ipsos poll of 16,000 young voters, ages 18 to 34, repeating a similar 2016 survey, found that support for congressional Democrats among this key group (as measured by the generic ballot test) went from 55 percent two years ago to 46 percent today — a drop of 9 points.