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Bipartisan negotiators reach modest budget pact

The offsetting deficit cuts include a requirement for newly hired federal workers to make larger contributions to their own pensions, as well as an increase in a federal airport security fee that would add $5 to the cost of a typical roundtrip flight. Also included were unspecified savings from military retirement programs.

Officials said Democrats had failed in their bid to include an extension of benefits for workers unemployed longer than 26 weeks. The program expires on Dec. 28, when payments will be cut off for an estimated 1.3 million individuals.

Congressional aides predicted bipartisan approval in both houses, despite grumbling from liberals over the omission of the unemployment extension, and even though tea party-aligned groups have already begun pushing Republican conservatives to oppose it.

So now we can wait for the separate legislation renewing the unemployment benefits that Pelosi was chirping about. Now that they have sealed the budget deal, just what leverage are they going to use to get the Republicans in the house to vote for it. It shouldn't be long now before they are packing up to go home for the holidays.

Merry Christmas the the unemployed!

Ho Ho Ho !

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