REDUCING GOVERNMENT WASTE: Yesterday, lawmakers were joined by a group of think tanks and thought leaders to discuss ways to reduce government waste. Sen. Tom Coburn said a key factor to reducing government waste is finding areas that lawmakers agree on. One of the suggestions from the discussion was to improve government operations — similar to our Make Government Work! legislative package. Our package of bills, all of which have support from both sides of the aisle, finds ways to make the government more efficient and effective by improving government operations: Josh Hicks for The Washington Post: Congress sheds light on government waste
NOT ENOUGH TIME: House Appropriations Chair Harold Rogers said he expects members to vote on the omnibus spending package he has been working on with Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski next week, leaving little doubt the package will not be passed by the January 15 deadline. Rogers, though, did suggest a stopgap solution would only be needed for a day or two. “We’re having very productive, quiet meetings, very sensible and responsible, and I think we’ll get there, but we still have some things yet to overcome,” he said. Lawmakers have also made progress on the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill, which is viewed as the most problematic of the 12 annual appropriations bills given its wide range of topics: Emma Dumain for Roll Call: Spending Bill Won’t Be Passed by Next Week’s Deadline, Appropriations Chairman Says
NEW PROBLEM SOLVER: Rep. Leonard Lance joined the Problem Solvers, bringing today's membership to 86.Meet him here.
DIVISION ON FARM BILL: New problems with the farm bill may push the conference report into late January, according to House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas. “At issue is a new margin insurance initiative for dairy farmers which would include supply management tools to guard against over production. [House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin] Peterson has argued that the supply controls are vital to keep down the cost of the insurance program. But [Speaker John] Boehner believes the increased government role amounts to a bridge-too-far in a world of dairy policy which the speaker is already fond of comparing to the former Soviet Union,” writes David Rogers. Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow urged all sides to work together to find a solution so the bill can be passed: David Rogers for POLITICO: Farm bill in trouble
AGREEMENT LOOKING LESS LIKELY: “Negotiations over the extension of unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless suffered a major setback in the Senate on Thursday, as competing plans to pay the costs of the extension began to emerge. Democrats offered a roughly $18 billion proposal that would extend the benefits through most of 2014, and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) scheduled a showdown vote on the new proposal for next Monday,” writes Paul Kane. Six Republicans voted to advance the bill earlier this week, however there is little support for final passage from several in that group: Paul Kane for The Washington Post: Showdown vote ahead on Senate Democrats’ bill to extend jobless benefits
NO LABELS RADIO TOMORROW: On No Labels Radio, Gov. Jon Huntsman will be joined by Susan Page, Washington Bureau Editor of USA TODAY, budget expert Stan Collender and Rep. Jane Harman, who currently serves as Director, President and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson Center. Be sure to tune in tomorrow at 10 a.m., Eastern time, to SiriusXM's P.O.T.U.S. station (channel 124) and join the conversation by tweeting with #NoLabelsRadio.
PROBLEM SOLVER BIRTHDAY: Happy birthday to Problem Solver Sen. Mark Pryor! Meet him and the rest of the Problem Solvers here.
THE DAILY BREAK: Take a look at these bizarre press requests.
ACTION OF THE DAY: POLITICO‘s James Hohmann was on No Labels Radio with Jon Huntsman to talk about the 14 most important political dates in 2014. Check it out now.
STAT OF THE DAY: The U.S. economy added 74,000 jobs, the fewest in three years. The unemployment rate, though, dropped to 6.7 percent, the lowest since October 2008: Associated Press in The Washington Post: US economy adds 74K jobs, rate falls to 6.7 pct.