UNCERTAINTY COMING: The budget conference committee appears to be on the verge of a deal as Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan are expected to announce a framework soon. The deal would set a top-line number for appropriators higher than the current sequester levels, but lower than what Democrats have previously demanded and the increased spending would be offset by less controversial pay-fors, including spectrum sales and some mandatory healthcare cuts, according to Meredith Shiner. There is some concern, though, whether members of Congress will buy into the deal and pass it, particularly in the House: Meredith Shiner for Roll Call: Budget Deal Looks Likely, But Passage Uncertain
FRIDAY THE 13TH: With the deadline for the budget conference committee quickly approaching, former U.S. Comptroller General and No Labels Co-Founder David Walker wants to see more action from lawmakers. “The American people are tired of the hyper-partisanship and ideological gridlock in Washington. They want their elected officials to start solving problems and generating some results. Hopefully this Friday the 13th won't involve another fiscal failure and lost opportunity. America and Americans deserve more from their elected officials,” he writes, adding that the committee could look at the Problem Solvers' Make Government Work! legislative package to make the government more efficient: David Walker for The Hill: Friday the 13th approaches
FARM BILL PROGRESS: Lead farm bill negotiators are inching closer to a final deal on the bill. “Both sides made important concessions in the course of an hourlong closed-door meeting Wednesday of the four top principals from the House and Senate Agriculture committees. The House moved off its position that all commodity subsidies be a function of a farmer’s planted acres. The Senate agreed to greater food stamp savings — albeit still far short of the $40 billion in 10 years cuts approved by the House in September,” writes David Rogers. Lawmakers need to keep working together and govern responsibly to pass a final bill: David Rogers for POLITICO: Big trades advance farm bill talks
DEFENDING YOURSELF, BLAMING OTHERS: As more people are talking about the lack of bills passed in this Congress, House Speaker John Boehner recently defended his chamber against the “do-nothing” label. While there have been few bills that pass both the House and Senate, both chambers are separately passing hot-topic bills that have little chance of even reaching the floor of their counterpart. Lawmakers in the House and Senate need put the country ahead of party by working across the aisle: Pete Kasperowicz for The Hill: Boehner defends ‘do nothing' House
NO LABELS RADIO: On No Labels Radio this past Saturday, David Kendall, senior fellow for Health and Fiscal Policy at Third Way, discussed healthcare with Co-Chair Gov. Jon Huntsman. Listen to their conversation now.
PROBLEM SOLVER LEGISLATION: The bills in our Make Government Work! legislative package are not the only ones the Problem Solvers are working on together. Check out some of the across-the-aisle legislation happening because of the relationships forged in Problem Solvers' meetings.
THE DAILY BREAK: Do you have this much holiday spirit?
ACTION OF THE DAY: Watch what President Bill Clinton said about No Labels.
STAT OF THE DAY: In a United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, 57 percent of Americans say the White House and Congress are cooperating even less than usual: Shane Goldmacher for National Journal: Americans See Little Chance of Better Obama-Congress Relationship in 2014