Congress will face more than just the fiscal cliff as it enters a particularly busy lame-duck session on Tuesday. Legislators will tackle roughly 30 issues left-over from pre-election days, including the farm bill, cyber security, and doctors' payments for Medicare, according to the Washington Times.
One of the biggest hurdles: the multiyear farm bill, which is usually the most bipartisan of affairs in Congress. But this year, conservative Republicans refused to pass the farm bill before the previous bill expired on Sept 30, out of an unusually strong feeling against extending farm subsidies and food stamp spending.
The "doc fix" is another major item for Congress to address. The "fix" is a normally-routine piece of spending legislation that tops up doctors' payments for Medicare patients. Failing to pass a "doc fix" would mean a 30% reduction in doctors payments, which would lead doctors to turn Medicare patients away, the Washington Times reports.
Finally, Congress will need to vote on extending emergency unemployment benefits (the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program), which provides benefits to individuals who've exhausted regular state programs. Congress hasn't allowed an emergency unemployment program to end while unemployment rates are above 7.2% since 1958, the Washington Times reports.
The farm bill which is nothing more than middle class welfare ( same people want a market driven recon not gov. welfare) must be slashed to the bone; paying for not planting, absurd, sugar price controls left over from WWII, Ethanol price control just enriches corn producers on back of consumer, subsidized crop insurance is BS, if you're in the wine biz and have a bad year the government doesn't bail you out. Job re training ok due to cutbacks in mil spending( we're in only war with terrorists not a standing army with battle tanks, Air Force, etc. Unemployment should be treated regionally. Corp incentives to move jobs off shore must go, Write off that allow companies like GE to pay no tax have to be revised...many of the oil tax breaks depletion allowances have to be changed and so on and on and on
@martydotcom if it wasn't for the farm bill your grocery bill would be much higher,i know this first hand due to i used to raise cattle and goats to sell for meat the only help the government gave us was buying and selling our products and supplies tax free but there is a kink in that.you have to show every penny you used during the year from selling your cattle and goats every feed bill and every receipt you spend on fuel during the year and it is a huge head ache but if you want to farm any at all and do it as cheap as possible thats the way it has to be done,people dont realize the trouble the american farmers put up with on a daily basis now.now on the ethanol production,the government is funding this to pad their own pockets because unless you go to a specific store that sells conventional gas which is around 10 to 12 cents higher on the gallon you go to a store and 10% of the gas you buy is ethanol,so the government gets paid more money either way thats why they want to cut the farm bill it would put even more cash in their pockets ,maybe a little toward the deficit but more to the politicians.and yes i agree unemployment should be controlled regionally due to the fact that some places have more jobs than others.i also agree with the incentives to move jobs off shore.now on the point about companies paying no taxes like ge and amazon i agree they should pay taxes but the way the government here got them to build in my little small town was giving them so many years tax free and that presents a catch 22.the government is getting sales tax off of the products after they are sold in stores or on line,but when the state of Tennessee told amazon they would have to start paying taxes on in state as well as out of state sales they started to close the plant and move to a different state but luckily they done hade too much money invested here they just had to go with it and to my understanding ge will soon have to start paying taxes as well.theres also a multi billion dollar company that is building within a quarter of a mile from ge and amazon and they also dont have to pay taxes either and wont until way after the plant is up and running the company is from germany and is called wacker and the incentive to build here was the no taxes for so many years after opening,and i know the man that sold them his farm land to build it on and he had to pay taxes on the money he received from this company which i think if the company didnt pay taxes neither should he but that's what you get when you have a lame duck congress.i am on medicare myself and if they cut medicare spending it will make it hard on millions of people that already have to decide to go to the doctor or eat.we need to quit sending money over seas and keep it here`.fuel prices are the single most reason everything keeps going up and i have said it before and i will say it again we have enough oil in reserves to last th US for fifty years without importing any in George w took the cap off oil prices during Katrina and that's when fuel prices started running wild,i say take some of our reserve oil and flood the market so the whole supply and demand thing settles and a price for a barrel of oil would have no choice but to drop and when the price per barrel gets to around 70.00 a barrel or less put the cap back on at between 65.00 and 75.00 a barrel then we might see a drop in the prices we pay for everyday goods
@Faceman what happen to a market driven economy. Protect farmers but loot other industries. We can buy Ethanol cheaper off shore gov sets price to support industry. I would say forget expensive electric cars covert to LNG with Fracking we haves 200 yr supply clean fuel. and sugar price control???
@martydotcom i have been and worked in the gasoline industry and oil industry they make more money than you and 20 other people can spend in a life time.if you have never worked in the industry or farmed which i have both done then you have no idea on what kind of money oil and gas companies make nor do you know what struggles the american farmer goes through so until you have experience you should do a little more research.and like i said if the government would flood the market with some of the reserve oil we have put back it would drive the oil prices down and the president could place the cap back on the price per barrel when it gets down to 65.00 to 75.00 a barrel then prices on everything would go down due to lower fuel prices and face it theres a control of every price on every thing just not sugar
@Faceman Couldn't agree more, have done very very well in gas/ oil investments. Farming $$$ in good years and a bitch in bad. Individual farmer an antique, corp farms just pigs at feed trough of government. Where I live 27 mil ocean front home 3 acres, plants 18 orange trees gets farm tax abatement claiming legally its an orange grove Crop insurance fine for Midwest but the won't vote for national flood disaster insurance. Price supports are fine for farmer price fixing for manufacturing
Why wouldn't Romney allow Paul Ryan to speak about voucherizing Medicare? That was one of the biggest blunders of Romney's campaign. Ugggh. I can just see $$$ in obama's eyes. He's going to be like a kid in a candy store. Except, the bill will be paid by us.
i say yes to the farm bill because it protects produce growers,beef growers and milking farms as well as the chicken house industry.now on the extended unemployment thats kind of tricky.some cities have more jobs than others and the cities with the least jobs should get the extended benefits,just because theres more jobs coming available doesnt mean people in the smaller towns can get to the larger towns to go to work but i do agree we need to do something to put more people to work and soon.i agree 100%on cutting spending but we dont need to cut all the spending here at home we need to cut the billions of dollars going over seas to help people that wouldnt piss on us if we was on fire unless they could piss gas
Here an alt plan B for all you that are so terrified. Boehner has singled he's open to negotiate, Sean Hannidy is open to immigration reform, guess what? It's going to happen If not you can always try this http://gawker.com/5959719/we-the-people-petit...
I don't know where all this optimism comes from? the dramatic rise in food stamps? and of course that little weasel Harry Reid will get in front of the government media and whine like a little girl about all those poor people who just 99 weeks of unemployment is just not enough... 4 years from now if this country is even still standing Hillary Clinton will have to run as a Republican.
All farm subsidies such as CRP, should be immediately ended. Farmers should not be paid to NOT grow crops. When the price of food is ever increasing, we should be producing as much food as possible. It would bring the cost of corn back to a controlled level, which would benefit everyone who uses it's by products. The corn shortage is the reason every product which contains high fructose corn syrup is ever increasing in cost. And another contributing factor is the use of corn in ethanol fuel.
This is what the majority ask for. Now let's allow this to play out. We will all suffer at some point regardless. I say allow the majority to have what they wanted, pass everything The POTUS wants, allow all the changes, amendments, etc. If you can get government assistance I suggest you do for the next four years at least.
90% of farming in the USA is done by corporations. 95% of farm subsidies go to Corporations. Time to end farm subsidies. It's called free market people. They will just have to take a lower profit margin. And if they won't? Then the real farmers get a chance to get back in business.
I'm all for "real farmers" getting back in business. More small farms, more organic farming, more local produce. I love a local farmers market, and refuse to buy the produce in the supermarket if it is from Chile or Peru or Mexico. I live in California, the biggest "bread basket" on the planet. Why should I eat avocados from Chile?
@Denizen_Kate Yeah I find it hilarious when the right wingers are talking about California. They have no clue that the largest agricultural area in the entire world is the Central Valley of California. The right is always hoping California "falls off in the ocean" but ya know. If it did their food prices would triple in a heartbeat. Funny how the right always supports their own demise.
Congress isn't interested in tackling anything. If they were, they would repeal all of the bogus legislation they've traded for political capital . They've created these issues so they could then turn around and solve them. Over and over again.
Two things about "Fiscal Cliff". It is the wrong word to use and it will work out and here is why:
First of all, that is only a word being used, a catch phrase of negativity that scares people which is while many are bailing out of stocks and taking losses and as a corporate investor and market trader, I see numbers on my desk each day and what goes on in the markets. The numbers are improving!!
As for Congress, I assure everyone here, a DEAL will be worked out before the end of this year and signed into law in January. We are not going over a cliff. Neither Republican nor Democratic leaders want that. Republicans have to worry about poll numbers more than Democrats at this time for two years from now. President Obama never has to worry about poll numbers again so that gives him the edge along with a landslide win thus; there will be an agreement. I believe this President will work with Republicans and I know they need to work with him. The reason I believe he will work with them is he knows, a lot of Americans voted for Romney and in his mind, he wants to prove this second term that he has their interest in mind just as much as anyone else. I believe that. He wants all Americans to do well and he said so in acceptance speech and gave promises again. He fulfilled all promises he made in 2008 that some do not realize and he will these too. Obama is a good man. He might not be the smartest President in American history but he is smart and he gets people in there to talk with who really know the economy like Warren Buffett for one you see coming and going from White House etc. I think Obama will pick a Republican for his new administration and he will work with Congress and Republicans in the House have no choice but to work with him this time so everything is going to be okay economically so long as no unknown terrible event happens like 911 and no one can predict those things but we all do know, four years, Obama has protected the Homeland. He cannot protect all our assets worldwide. That is impossible and it shows he was most concerned with the homeland.
Bottom line, a DEAL will be worked out in December, announced and signed into law in January. Save this post as proof, I predicted it. It is going to be okay for Republicans and Democrats and all Americans as time moves on. We are in recovery now so the big topic in spring will be taxes. Accounting rule says we must raise taxes soon so it will come down to whom taxes are raised on. I think more wealthy but not set in stone yet. Taxes will then need to be reduced again in about three years before he leaves office. To not raise taxes soon will cause a deflationary recession.