From our friends in the US House

KEY POINTS ON STATUS OF BIPARTISAN BUDGET TALKS

*  Staffs continued to work through the night to bridge existing gaps.  No agreement has been reached and talks will continue this morning.

*  The major reason no agreement has been reached: spending.  The need for substantial spending reductions is at the core of the disagreement.  For the most part policy riders are close to resolution.  The Speaker has been adamant that a bill that fails to include legitimate and substantial reductions in spending will negatively impact job growth by sending the signal that Washington is still not serious about dealing with its spending addiction.  Both the size and the composition of the spending cuts are still unresolved.

*  The troop funding bill passed Thursday by the House is noncontroversial and the president’s veto threat is petty, partisan and evidently intended to shut down the government.
There’s nothing in the House-passed troop funding bill that won’t largely be encompassed in a final package.

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