The House is expected to vote Thursday on the bipartisan deal that would set spending levels for the next two years, replace many of the indiscriminate "sequester" budget cuts and, in theory at least, take off the table one of the most partisan of the many partisan issues that have contributed to the gridlock in Washington.
NPR's Tamara Keith tells our Newscast desk that passage is expected but not certain. She adds that:
Federal workers have reason to be nervous. The budget agreement announced Tuesday — if it passes — would raise revenue by making employees contribute more toward their pensions.
It's part of a trend. Governments at all levels have been cutting back on pension benefits in recent years, in an attempt to fix funding problems caused by the recession and years of fiscal mismanagement.
In many cases, states and localities have made benefits less generous. But that has, for the most part, only affected newly hired workers.
WYPR's Fraser Smith and Jill Lawrence of National Journal talk about Maryland Senate Barbara Mikulski, her ability to work across the aisle, and her role as a leader among the Senate's 20 female members.