After a brutally divisive presidential campaign and two years of acrimony over the federal budget, the nation’s leaders joined hands Friday and pledged fast and far-reaching action to tame the public debt and avoid economy-shaking tax hikes set to hit in January.
The federal agency that insures pensions for 43 million Americans saw its deficit swell to $34 billion in the past year, the largest in its 38-year history.
In its annual report released Friday, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. blamed the growing shortfall on its inability to charge private employers adequate premiums for insuring pensions.
Former CIA director David H. Petraeus told Congress on Friday that the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, was clearly an act of terrorism, but he did not resolve the question of when the agency reached that conclusion, according to lawmakers who attended the closed-door sessions.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Friday that he will seek another two-year term for his current job and says he has far more support than he needs to keep it.
In an e-mail to supporters, Priebus said he has commitments from 130 of 168 members.He only needs the support of a majority of members — 85.
On the same day he told congressional leaders that he would seek common ground to avert deep budget cuts scheduled to go into effect next year, President Obama met with a roster of civic and civil rights leaders and promised them that he shared their goal of protecting the nation’s middle class and more vulnerable families, several of the leaders said.