Budget and Appropriations

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Public Policy Briefing – August 6, 2020

Pressure is mounting on Republican and Democratic negotiators in the US Capitol to reach an agreement on a COVID-19 response package that can pass both chambers of a divided Congress and be signed into law by President Donald Trump in the coming days. But evidence persists that the March 27 enactment of the massive CARES … Continue Reading

Public Policy Briefing – August 4, 2020

Bipartisan talks in Washington continue with the aim of producing a significant COVID-19 response and economic “stimulus” measure that can be signed into law by President Donald Trump this summer. Republicans and Democrats remain far apart in the negotiations, according to sources on both sides of the talks. But discussions continue as pressure mounts on … Continue Reading

Public Policy Briefing – July 30, 2020

Talks among party leaders in Washington about a future COVID-19 relief package are at an impasse, with Democrats still adamant about enacting legislation that injects trillions of additional dollars into the American economy, and Republicans seemingly trying to run out the clock in hopes Democrats will consent to passing a “skinny” deal that temporarily addresses … Continue Reading

Public Policy Briefing – July 28, 2020

Bipartisan negotiations aimed at producing the next major federal COVID-19 response legislation – delayed by more than a week of infighting between congressional Republicans and the White House – are finally underway. The baseline for the talks: HEROES vs. HEALS, pitting the US$3.5 trillion HEROES Act passed by the US House of Representatives in May … Continue Reading

Public Policy Briefing – July 23, 2020

The enhanced unemployment benefits created by the March 27 CARES Act are set to expire in eight days. The US Congress will need more time than that to determine a path to passage of the next major bipartisan pandemic response legislation – assuming Republicans and Democrats in Washington are able to eventually reach agreement on … Continue Reading

Public Policy Briefing – July 16, 2020

Coronavirus cases in the US are surging. States are closing bars and restaurants. States, local governments, schools and private enterprises are calling upon the federal government for aid, and the US Congress is preparing to craft bipartisan emergency legislation of US$1 trillion or more. It’s March 2020 all over again – only this time, legislators … Continue Reading

Public Policy Briefing – July 9, 2020

The House and Senate will not return to Washington until July 20, but discussions among the “four corners” in the US Congress are underway with the intent of crafting a bipartisan COVID-19 relief measure that can be signed into law by President Donald Trump by the end of July. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and … Continue Reading

Land and Water Conservation Fund Clears First Congressional Hurdle for Permanent Funding

What happened: Last week the Senate passed a landmark piece of legislation – the Great American Outdoors Act.  Under the legislation, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) would be permanently and fully funded at $900 million annually rather than funding levels being determined by the congressional appropriations process each year. What is next: The … Continue Reading

Redefined by COVID-19 and Shaped by Current Events: What’s Ahead for US Federal Appropriations

How has COVID-19 altered the US federal appropriations process? What steps is Congress taking to adopt must-pass fiscal year 2021 spending bills? Will the United States experience another government shutdown this year? Attention in Congress will soon turn to the annual appropriations process and passage of fiscal year 2021 spending bills.  In addition to funding … Continue Reading

Markups on Appropriations Bills Begin in the House this Week with FY2018 MilCon-VA Bill; House Republican Members Push for an Omnibus Before August Recess

Legislative Activity Markups on Appropriations Bills Begin in the House this Week with FY2018 MilCon-VA Bill; House Republican Members Push for an Omnibus Before August Recess Appropriations subcommittees in the House will commence FY 2018 spending bill markups this week, with the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) subcommittee markup scheduled for this evening. Still … Continue Reading

With a Passing Glance at the President’s Request, Congress Continues Work on FY 2018 Appropriations

Legislative Activity With a Passing Glance at the President’s Request, Congress Continues Work on FY 2018 Appropriations President Trump’s FY 2018 budget request, which was released on May 23, was received in Congress with reservation by Democrats and Republicans alike. The $4.09 trillion federal budget request, entitled “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” proposes cutting … Continue Reading

President Trump’s Budget to be Released; Appropriations Committee Work for FY 2018 Begins

Legislative Activity President Trump’s FY 2018 budget This week brings the long-anticipated full details of President Trump’s FY 2018 budget, which is expected to be released on Tuesday. The Administration’s “skinny budget” released in March indicated the potential for large cuts to several agencies amounting to a $54 billion reduction in domestic spending. The budget … Continue Reading

Appropriators Turn Attention to FY 2018 Process Without the Guidance of a Budget Resolution; President Trump’s FY 2018 Budget Proposal Anticipated on May 23

Legislative Activity Appropriators Turn Attention to FY 2018 Process Without the Guidance of a Budget Resolution Now that the FY 2017 budget is finalized, appropriators are ready to focus on the FY 2018 process, even though the budget committees have yet to produce a budget resolution to provide topline spending levels for the upcoming fiscal … Continue Reading

FY 17 Omnibus Vote Expected on Thursday; Hearings on FY 18 Move Forward Despite Lack of Budget Resolution

Legislative Activity On Sunday night, an agreement for a fiscal year 2017 Omnibus bill had been reached. Although the text was not available at the time of posting, it is expected to be released in short order. Last week, as anticipated, a Continuing Resolution (CR) was enacted to allow for additional time to iron out … Continue Reading

Government Shutdown Looms as Current CR Expires Friday; White House Expresses Interest in Bipartisan Negotiations

Legislative Activity Government Shutdown Looms as Current CR Expires Friday; White House Expresses Interest in Bipartisan Negotiations Congress faces a short time frame to pass a spending package for the remainder of the current fiscal year and prevent a government shutdown as the current FY 2017 Continuing Resolution (CR/P.L. 114-254) expires Friday at midnight. House … Continue Reading

Fiscal Year 2017 Negotiations Continue; Fate of Supplemental Proposal Unclear

Legislative Activity The FY 2017 Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on April 28, and Congress has eight session days remaining before that deadline. Those in leadership on the Committees on Appropriations have expressed their desire to vote on an Omnibus during the week of April 24, after Congress returns from the Easter recess, and negotiations towards … Continue Reading

Future of Budget Reconciliation Unclear; President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request Begins Moving Through Congressional Process

Legislative Activity Budget Reconciliation and FY 17 Appropriations The House FY 17 budget reconciliation measure- the American Health Care Act, aimed at “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Care Act- did not receive a floor vote last week, and its future is now uncertain. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said the House Republican party “will need … Continue Reading

Trump Releases FY 2018 Budget Blueprint and Sends FY 2017 Military and Border Supplemental to Congress

Executive Branch Activity Trump Releases FY 2018 Budget Blueprint Last week, President Donald Trump released his FY 2018 “skinny budget,” intended to serve as the blueprint for his full budget request expected in May. As anticipated, the $1.1 trillion budget request adheres to the topline discretionary spending cap of $1.1 trillion mandated by the Budget … Continue Reading

House Passes FY 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill; President Trump to Deliver FY 2018 Budget Outline This Week; Debt Ceiling Suspension Expires This Week

Legislative Activity FY 2017: House Passes Defense Appropriations Bill, What About the Rest? The House passed its $577.9 billion FY 2017 defense appropriations bill (H.R. 1301) last week by a vote of 371-48 which included a $6.8 billion increase in procurement funding above the Obama Administration’s budget request for the fiscal year. The chamber still … Continue Reading

Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill Revives Process; Legislative Fate of Other Spending Bills Uncertain; President Trump’s Budget Receives Differing Reactions; House Appropriators Begin Work on FY 2018

Legislative Activity FY 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill The House is expected to vote on its FY 2017 defense spending bill this week. The legislation, released by appropriators on Thursday, totals $577.9 billion, which is $5.2 billion higher than  the FY 2016 level, and in line with the parameters contained in last year’s National Defense Authorization … Continue Reading

Congress Looks to Finalize Funding for the Current Fiscal Year; Trump’s FY 2018 “Skinny Budget” Expected Mid-March

Executive Branch Activity Trump’s FY 2018 “Skinny Budget” Expected Mid-March The Trump Administration is reporting it will release its FY 2018 budget proposal by mid-March, according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. The proposal is expected to be a “skinny budget” and provide an outline of the President’s fiscal goals, while a more comprehensive … Continue Reading

Fiscal Year 2018 Pared-down Budget Expected in “Next Few Weeks”; Reconciliation Timeline Still Unclear; Border Wall Costs Higher than Expected

Legislative Activity President Trump’s FY 2018 Budget Proposal The Trump Administration intends to release a FY 2018 budget proposal within the “next several weeks” according to President Trump’s Press Secretary, Sean Spicer. It is likely that this submission will be an outline (“skinny budget”) which will lay the groundwork for a more complete budget plan … Continue Reading

Mulvaney Confirmation Vote Moves to Full Senate; Debate Continues on the Return of Earmarks; President Trump to Deliver Delayed Budget Request

Legislative Activity OMB Director-Nominee Rep. Mulvaney’s Confirmation Vote Moves to the Full Senate Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) is one step closer to being confirmed as President Donald Trump’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) after being confirmed in a party-line vote by the Senate Committee on the Budget (12-11) and the Senate … Continue Reading

Republican Conference Emerges from Retreat with Tentative Plans on Reconciliation; Supplemental Funding Legislation for Border Wall Expected; OMB Nominee Mick Mulvaney Faces Tough Questions

Legislative Activity Last week, the Republican Conference held its annual retreat in Philadelphia. Although members left the meeting without a clear path forward on numerous items, it was clear that they intend to have a busy legislative schedule over the next year. With regard to fiscal issues, Republicans remain committed to passing two budget reconciliation … Continue Reading
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