BPC Blog

The Secretary’s remarks were followed by a discussion on the merits of the limit

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew spoke yesterday at the Bipartisan Policy Center, where he reiterated his view on the critical need to increase the debt limit in a timely manner to ensure the U.S. government can continue financing its existing obligations. Otherwise, he said, “delaying action can cause harm to our economy, rattle financial markets and hurt taxpayers.”

Make no mistake: improving the budget process will not by itself eliminate partisan polarization, restore civil discourse, or increase willingness to seek common ground. Nor will it make elected leaders more courageous in the face of hard choices. But if the Murray-Ryan agreement presages a new willingness to break out of gridlock and get urgent public business done, then an improved budget process would be a big help.

What are the most promising opportunities to promote greater residential energy efficiency? Is there a role for the federal government?

State and Federal Efforts Working Together to Improve Energy Efficiency Investment
By Todd Nedwick

There is growing awareness about the role of energy efficiency investments in fighting poverty. Reducing energy consumption in low-income housing not only lowers utility bills, but helps extend the life of the property by freeing up capital that can be used to address maintenance repair needs or make necessary improvements. Energy efficiency investments also create healthier living environments, which can lower the incidence of asthma, and other ailments that keep children home from school or adults from their jobs.

After years of rapid growth, Turkey's economy has slowed to a near halt and the value of currency has plummeted

Jessica Atlas and Preston Feinberg contributed to this post.

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, came to power more than a decade ago and, under their leadership, took Turkey from a struggling economy to the seventeenth largest in the world. While the AKP earned success and legitimacy from the rapid growth of the Turkish economy, Turkey has recently been beset by economic difficulties that, as Turkey approaches a series of pivotal elections, could pose a threat to the AKP’s continued rule. Turkey’s Central Bank has taken action to ameliorate economic strain and restore investor confidence, but its actions, running counter to Erdoğan’s stated economic policy, could make it a political target.

In 2012, the number of households spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent set a new record

Our country is in the midst of a rental affordability crisis that is having a devastating impact on our nation’s most vulnerable families. Many of these families are forced to make the difficult choice of spending less on health care, food, and other basic necessities just to cover their housing costs. With rental demand expected to be strong throughout the remainder of the decade, rents are likely to rise even higher, exacerbating an already difficult, if not impossible, situation.

New Laws Have Made Big Banks Safer
By Phillip L. Swagel, Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative Co-chair, The New York Times

“U.S. banks are financed with considerably more capital than previously, meaning that they can suffer more losses (or fines) before failing. And if a large bank does fail, the resolution authority in the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform legislation provides legal authority not previously available to deal with failing large banks. The demise of a large bank will be no minor event, but the financial system is safer than previously and so too is the broader economy as a result.”

Past analysis from BPC shows that the debt ceiling confrontation in 2011 cost American taxpayers $18.9 billion over a decade

Absent action by policymakers, there is a very real chance that Treasury would not have sufficient cash-on-hand to cover all obligations due as soon as February 28. Because February historically has a high cash deficit, due to the start of tax-filing season and the payment of income tax refunds, extraordinary measures will be exhausted quickly.

Was the media coverage from the President Obama’s State of the Union address partisan? Here is a round-up of the front pages and home pages of popular news outlets. Take a look at the headlines and share your opinions, common themes and reactions in the comments. Did we miss a great article? Please share it with us.

History demonstrates that 2014 doesn’t have to be a lost year for immigration reform, health care cost containment or housing finance reform

Civil Rights Act

Appearing on the Sunday morning talk shows ahead of last night's State of the Union address, senior aides to President Obama said that the White House would pursue a number of executive actions in 2014. The plan is a sign of the president’s willingness to achieve his agenda without waiting on Congress, which seems unable to overcome partisan differences on most policy issues. However, by overusing executive action, the president could further antagonize congressional Republicans and therefore exacerbate an already tense relationship.

Eight priorities we hope to hear tonight in President Obama's State of the Union address

Through ongoing projects on the budget and fiscal policy, energy, health care, national security, housing and immigration, BPC has demonstrated that Democrats and Republicans can work together to address serious issues facing Americans.

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