Avionics News April 2014 - 20

BELTWAY BRIEFING
BY JAMES A. HUNTER , Government Relations Director, Arent Fox LLP  jamie.hunter@arentfox.com

Partisan Thaw Continues
on Some Issues
Election-year politics in play

well to the prospect of defaulting on the country's debt. And in
The U.S. Congress began 2014 on a bipartisan note by comthe wake of the disastrous government shutdown, Republicans
pleting the final fiscal year 2014 spending bill Jan. 16 after havno longer had the political leverage (or the votes) to extract
ing passed a budget agreement in December covering domestic
concessions in exchange for increasing the debt ceiling. Reand military spending through fiscal year 2015. The agreement
ferring to the number of votes necessary to move legislation in
means federal discretionary spending will increase in fiscal year
the House, Speaker John Boehner succinctly noted that "when
2014 to $1.012 trillion and to $1.014 trillion in fiscal year 2015.
you don't have 218 votes, you have nothing."
If the agreement had not been reached, discretionary spending
The recent thaw in partisanship on these key
would have been $967 billion in 2014. Although the
issues has been a positive development for the
sequestration law remains in place, the additional
country. However, Democrats and Republicans in
spending for fiscal year 2014 and fiscal year 2015
Congress have still found plenty of disagreement.
was made possible by reducing spending in other arFor example, the parties started the year sparring
eas of the federal budget, raising the aviation passenover extending unemployment benefits for jobless
ger security fee assessed to airline tickets, reducing
workers, which expired at the end of 2013, with
federal employee pension benefits and other similar
each party blaming the other for the delay. In addimeasures that drew bipartisan support.
tion, despite some signs of movement on immigraThe budget agreement and the final fiscal year
James A. Hunter
tion reform in the House, it remains unlikely that
2014 spending bill passed with majority support in
Congress will send a final bill to President Obama
the House of Representatives from both parties and
this year, as Republicans and Democrats continue to differ on
with strong bipartisan majorities in the Senate. Although the
a pathway to citizenship for the more than 12 million undocuspending increases are modest in scope, the agreement itself
mented workers.
was a major bipartisan breakthrough in a Congress that voters
Generally speaking, Democrats and Republicans also have
associate mainly with the partisan rancor that led to the governstaked out different positions on trade policy, with the mament shutdown last October. House Republicans, in particular,
jority of House Democrats opposed to so-called "fast track"
whom the public blamed the most for the shutdown, were moauthority, which helps expedite free trade agreements through
tivated to work with Democrats to avoid another shutdown in
Congress. Many Democrats believe these agreements have
January as their members prepared for their re-election bids. In
undermined the manufacturing sector and depressed wages,
addition, some older, "establishment" House Republicans, eswhile Republicans generally support free trade as a way to
pecially members of the Appropriations Committee, have been
promote job growth and opportunities for U.S. companies
eager to restore "regular order" to the annual budget process
abroad. This issue lends itself to the broader disagreement beand avoid future brinksmanship.
tween the parties on economic issues that will play out in the
After dispensing with the fiscal year 2014 budget, Congress
mid-term election.
continued its newfound bipartisan streak by passing a long-deAs we head into election season, it appears the Republicans
layed farm bill. Congress also passed a "clean" increase in the
will focus their campaigns on Obamacare's shortcomings and
debt ceiling in February without tying it to additional budget
the weak economic recovery, while Democrats believe they
cuts or a policy initiative, and, as we go to press, is expected
have struck a chord with voters on income inequality issues
to consider repealing the controversial cut to military pensions
like the minimum wage. Although Congress will continue to
that was included in December's budget agreement. The debt
address substantive issues, such as the fiscal year 2015 budceiling vote is particularly significant given congressional Reget, expect to see highly political and non-substantive votes
publicans' reluctance in recent years to increase it without corand committee hearings in both the House and Senate that will
responding budget cuts or other concessions. However, the reserve as fodder in this year's congressional campaigns. 
ality is that neither voters nor Wall Street would have reacted

20

AVIONICS NEWS

*

APRIL

2014



Avionics News April 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News April 2014

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View From Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
Beltway Briefing
Before & After
Avionics Business International
Member Profile
Wholesale Perspective
A Conversation With...
Member Profile
AEAviators
Marketing Report Card
What's Working
Business Basics
What's New
Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News April 2014 - Intro
Avionics News April 2014 - Cover1
Avionics News April 2014 - Cover2
Avionics News April 2014 - 1
Avionics News April 2014 - 2
Avionics News April 2014 - 3
Avionics News April 2014 - Point of Communication
Avionics News April 2014 - 5
Avionics News April 2014 - AEA Now
Avionics News April 2014 - 7
Avionics News April 2014 - 8
Avionics News April 2014 - 9
Avionics News April 2014 - 10
Avionics News April 2014 - 11
Avionics News April 2014 - 12
Avionics News April 2014 - 13
Avionics News April 2014 - The View From Washington
Avionics News April 2014 - 15
Avionics News April 2014 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News April 2014 - 17
Avionics News April 2014 - 18
Avionics News April 2014 - 19
Avionics News April 2014 - Beltway Briefing
Avionics News April 2014 - Before & After
Avionics News April 2014 - Avionics Business International
Avionics News April 2014 - 23
Avionics News April 2014 - 24
Avionics News April 2014 - 25
Avionics News April 2014 - Member Profile
Avionics News April 2014 - 27
Avionics News April 2014 - 28
Avionics News April 2014 - 29
Avionics News April 2014 - Wholesale Perspective
Avionics News April 2014 - 31
Avionics News April 2014 - 32
Avionics News April 2014 - 33
Avionics News April 2014 - 34
Avionics News April 2014 - 35
Avionics News April 2014 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News April 2014 - 37
Avionics News April 2014 - Member Profile
Avionics News April 2014 - 39
Avionics News April 2014 - 40
Avionics News April 2014 - 41
Avionics News April 2014 - AEAviators
Avionics News April 2014 - 43
Avionics News April 2014 - Marketing Report Card
Avionics News April 2014 - 45
Avionics News April 2014 - 46
Avionics News April 2014 - 47
Avionics News April 2014 - 48
Avionics News April 2014 - 49
Avionics News April 2014 - What's Working
Avionics News April 2014 - 51
Avionics News April 2014 - 52
Avionics News April 2014 - 53
Avionics News April 2014 - 54
Avionics News April 2014 - 55
Avionics News April 2014 - Business Basics
Avionics News April 2014 - 57
Avionics News April 2014 - 58
Avionics News April 2014 - 59
Avionics News April 2014 - 60
Avionics News April 2014 - 61
Avionics News April 2014 - 62
Avionics News April 2014 - 63
Avionics News April 2014 - What's New
Avionics News April 2014 - 65
Avionics News April 2014 - 66
Avionics News April 2014 - 67
Avionics News April 2014 - 68
Avionics News April 2014 - 69
Avionics News April 2014 - Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News April 2014 - 71
Avionics News April 2014 - 72
Avionics News April 2014 - Cover3
Avionics News April 2014 - Cover4
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