By Richard Cowan and David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Budget negotiators in the Congress have reached an agreement on Tuesday that, if approved by the House and Senate, could restore some order to the nation's chaotic budget process and avoid another government shutdown on January 15. The chief negotiators, Democratic Senator Patty Murray and Republican Representative Paul Ryan, were to announce details at a news conference at 6 p.m. ET (2300 GMT). While not a big deal in terms of deficit reduction, enactment of the funding measure - by no means a certainty - would be a departure from the political showdowns of recent years that have rattled markets, threatened the country's economic recovery and lowered the standing of the U.S. Congress to all-time lows in the eyes of voters. The most immediate result would be to avoid starting the new year with another government shutdown on January 15. The government was partially closed from October 1 to October 16 after a battle over Obamacare held up passage of a measure to fund the government. As the terms of the prospective budget plan became clearer, conservative groups warned that they would oppose it because it would blunt some of the automatic spending cuts known as "sequestration." As envisioned, the two-year deal aims to restore Congress' normal budgeting process, which has broken down every year since 2010. It is not expected to address the equally volatile issue of the nation's borrowing limit, known as the debt ceiling, which will need to be increased in the late winter or early spring and could by itself spark a conservative-led showdown. Congressional aides familiar with the talks said there were still some sticking points on Tuesday, such as a demand from Democrats to extend long-term federal unemployment benefits due to expire on December 31 for 1.3 million Americans. Democratic support for a budget deal, considered essential for passage in the House of Representatives given the conservative opposition, is likely to hinge on whether the unemployment benefits can be extended separately, a senior Senate Democratic aide said. But Democratic senators said negotiations were making progress and a deal was close at hand after hearing a mid-day status briefing from Murray, who heads the Senate Budget Committee. "I am very, very hopeful and increasingly optimistic that we will have a budget," said Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat. Democrats "are working to minimize ... the size of the cut that Ryan has sought," said one Senate aide. Ryan "is still working with Senator Murray to cut spending in a smarter way. They haven't reached an agreement yet," said William Allison, a Ryan spokesman. TARGETING REPUBLICANS As the two lawmakers and their staffs worked behind closed doors, conservative groups were waging a public campaign to defeat their efforts. Those groups hold sway with House Republicans, and with the 2014 midterm elections coming into focus, their opposition to the deal could complicate its passage. In some cases, the groups are backing more-conservative primary challengers to Republican incumbents they view as too moderate. According to congressional aides speaking before the deal was announced, any tentative budget deal might allow spending to rise from the scheduled $967 billion for fiscal 2014 to around $1 trillion. While that increase in outlays would be offset by raising some government fees and possibly cutting federal workers' retirement benefits, conservatives were rallying against the deal, even before it was reached. Americans for Prosperity, which supports cutting taxes and government spending, called on congressional Republicans to "stand firm" in upholding a second round of across-the-board automatic spending cuts, which are scheduled to start in January. "Otherwise, congressional Republicans are joining liberal Democrats in breaking their word to the American people to finally begin reining in government over-spending that has left us over $17 trillion in debt," said AFP President Tim Phillips. A Ryan-Murray deal it is expected to relax some of those cuts, which are known as "sequestration." Late on Monday, another conservative group, Heritage Action for America, an offshoot of the Heritage Foundation, announced that it also could not support the emerging budget deal. The group complained that such a deal would increase spending "in the near-term for promises of woefully inadequate long-term reductions." Koch Industries, the company controlled by conservative activists and campaign contributors Charles and David Koch, also urged Congress in a letter to stick to the $967 billion spending cap set under the sequester. "It is essential if our country is to achieve economic prosperity once again. It is also the right thing to do," wrote Philip Ellender, the head of Koch Industries' government and public affairs arm. While some Republicans backed by the Tea Party conservative movement will likely heed these calls, the party's more moderate wing is eager to make a deal that avoids more messy budget showdowns, particularly with mid-term congressional elections in less than a year. In October, it was largely Tea Party-led demands to undermine "Obamacare" health reforms that prompted the shutdown. From the other end of the political spectrum, Democratic lawmakers have voiced opposition to any deal that takes a whack at federal workers' pensions without asking sacrifices from wealthier Americans. A vote in the Republican-controlled House could be expected to come by Friday, when that chamber plans to recess for the year. If it passes the House, the Democratic-controlled Senate is likely to vote on it late this week or next week. Senate Democrats are banking on winning the support of at least five Republicans who want to ease the Pentagon's automatic spending cuts and avoid a budget standoff like last October's, which led to a 16-day government shutdown. Absent a budget deal, money for most federal agencies is set to run out on January 15, and much of the government will close. (Reporting by Richard Cowan and David Lawder; Editing by Eric Beech and Jackie Frank)
Actress Anne Heche has died. The 53-year-old actress was in a devastating car accident on Friday, August 5, that left her in a coma. Her family had issued a statement shortly before her death to inform the public that the “Six Days, Seven Nights” actress was not expected to survive after experiencing a catastrophic brain injury caused […]
- In The Know by Yahoo
TikTokers were shocked by what this mom uncovered in the toddler clothes section.
- The Hill
Republicans, including Greene, have repeatedly accused the Justice Department of going after Trump for political reasons.
- Business Insider
Trump doesn't deny taking classified nuclear documents from the White House while baselessly accusing Obama of the same thing
Trump baselessly said Obama "kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified," suggesting that "lots" of them "pertained to nuclear."
"Alarm has grown when you talk to advisers of the former president," Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey tells MSNBC.
- Rolling Stone
Republicans in Congress and the conservative media are plum out of talking points following the revelation that the FBI may have been searching for material pertaining to national security
- Rolling Stone
"Nuclear weapons issue is a Hoax, just like Russia, Russia, Russia was a Hoax," the former president raged on Truth Social
Some Republicans express concern about Trump reportedly taking documents about nuclear weapons to Mar-a-Lago, even as they bash the FBI
One House GOP lawmaker said the severity of what Trump may have done could depend as not all nuclear information is "highly, highly" classified.
Trump baselessly bashed Obama for transferring records from the White House to Chicago. Here's why Obama was allowed while Trump is under scrutiny by the FBI.
The National Archives took it upon itself to dispel Trump's claims on Friday.
Here’s the Real Reason Tom Brady Is Taking a Surprise Break from the Buccaneers & When He’s Coming Back
His first break since coming out of retirement.
- The Recount
Fox News' Steve Doocy to House GOP Chair Stefanik on nuclear documents reporting: "That's kind of a big deal!"
Fox News' Steve Doocy said to House GOP Chair Stefanik that reports the FBI were seeking to retrieve classified nuclear documents from Mar-a-Lago is: "kind of a big deal!". President Trump overnight said that he encouraged the judge who authorized the search to release both the warrant and the list of items sought in the search.
- E! News
After Tom Brady missed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' team practice on Aug. 11, head coach Todd Bowles said the NFL quarterback will be taking time away from the team. Find out when he'll return.
- AZCentral | The Arizona Republic
Federal sources tell Newsweek what happened at Mar-a-Lago: The FBI truly thought this wasn't going to be a big deal. Whoops.
- Yahoo TV
Despite the fact that the image shown was credited to a Twitter handle run by a digital artist who creates memes, Kilmeade tried passing it off as real.
Republicans may have shot themselves in the foot by hammering the DOJ to release the Mar-a-Lago search warrant
Legal experts and political strategists speculate that Donald Trump's backers overplayed their hand and Merrick Garland called their bluff.
- Business Insider
The FBI was tipped off by an informer close to Trump who guided agents to where documents were kept, reports say
Officials told Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal that this person told investigators about the documents.
- The Daily Beast
Fox News/ScreenshotAs it becomes increasingly clear that Donald Trump may have violated the Espionage Act by storing “top secret” government documents at his private residence, the former president has turned to a familiar excuse: Obama did it too.“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” Trump posted on his social media platform Friday.But shortly after that, Fox News’ chief political ancho
Trump and his allies have attempted to distract Americans from an ongoing criminal investigation by pushing false claims about Obama. The facts reveal why the two presidents' actions aren't comparable
- The Advocate
The actress had been declared brain dead, but she was kept on life support for a time for the purpose of organ donation.
- The Hill
The list refers to one set of documents as “Various classified/TS/CSI documents,” meaning top secret/sensitive compartmentalized information. It states that FBI agents acquired four sets of top-secret documents, three sets of secret documents and three sets of confidential documents.