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Dems Draw Line At Retirement Security

“Democrats rule out entitlement changes in budget talks” reports Politico: “The declaration effectively limits the scope of the budget talks to a small-ball deal to fund the government for one year, possibly two. Republican senators said in a series of interviews they’re more likely to agree to higher funding levels if they can slow down mandatory spending on Social Security and Medicare … Democrats do not believe there is a realistic scenario to find more than about $80 billion in new spending for the military and domestic programs, potentially restricting budget negotiators to a deal that does not last through the election.”

Budget deal may be elusive this month. WSJ: “Congressional leaders appear increasingly unlikely to reach any kind of budget deal in time to ease passage of an increase in the federal borrowing limit needed by early November … GOP aides from both chambers now say a vote on any budget deal would likely be separate and come later this year. The government’s current funding does not expire until Dec. 11.”

Debt limit impasse threatens Social Security checks. Roll Call: “Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew told Congress Thursday that the extraordinary measures used to forestall exceeding the debt limit would be exhausted by Nov. 3 … The third of the month is not insignificant. That’s the day payments are made to beneficiaries of both Social Security and SSI…”

Sanders Close In Money Race

Sanders keeps pace with Clinton on fundraising. Bloomberg: “Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign raised $29.9 million during the third quarter—almost all of it going to her primary war chest—ending it with nearly $33 million cash on hand … Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, raised $26.2 million during the third quarter, but spent only $11.3 million over the three-month period. That left his campaign with more than $27 million in cash on hand…”

But rejects check from infamous drug CEO. The Hill: “Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign is rejecting a donation from much-maligned Turning Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, who has been under fire over drug prices. Shkreli tried to donate $2,700, but the campaign said no thanks. ‘We are not keeping the money from this poster boy for drug company greed,’ Sanders campaign spokesman Michael Briggs told the Boston Globe on Thursday.”

Clinton keeps up attack lines from debate. Politico: “…she began road-testing a new campaign slogan she debuted earlier this week on the debate stage, ‘I’m a progressive who likes to get things done.’ … Clinton also tried to paint Sanders’ gun control views as out of touch with where the majority of the country is on the issue…”

NYT’s Paul Krugman sides with Hillary over Bernie in Wall Street reform debate: “…Mrs. Clinton had the better case. Mr. Sanders has been focused on restoring Glass-Steagall … And repealing Glass-Steagall was indeed a mistake. But it’s not what caused the financial crisis, which arose instead from ‘shadow banks’ … Mrs. Clinton has laid out a plan to rein in shadow banks; so far, Mr. Sanders hasn’t.”

America is more socialist than you think, says NYT’s Timothy Egan: “In the reddest of red states — say, Idaho — you can find the kind of socialism, through publicly owned utilities or the federal dam that farmers rely on for their water, that would be right at home among aquavit-sipping Danes.”

Breakfast Sides

Rep. Paul Ryan takes flak for immigration stance. Politico: “…his adversaries on the far right want to discredit his [possible Speaker] campaign before it even begins — and they’re using Ryan’s extensive pro-immigration record as their key weapon.”

WH says it wants TPP vote before 2016 lame duck session. The Hill: “…punting a trade vote until late next year could allow critics more time to build opposition to the pact in Congress and among the voters. It would also leave Obama a very narrow time window to see the agreement passed before he leaves office in January 2017. ‘There is no need for Congress to delay action on TPP until the end of next year,’ [WH spox Josh] Earnest said. ‘I don’t know why we would wait more than a year to enjoy the benefits’ of the deal.”

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