115th Congress



The Sequester Died on May 5

Mark Harkins | May 30, 2017

Sequestration put into place by the Budget Control Act in 2011 (BCA) is still on the books.  But Congress, with the acquiescence of the President, has found a way to make that point moot.  By invoking another section of budget law, section 251(b)(2)(A)(i) and (ii) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of


The omnibus is here! And some things to clear up about congressional budget politics.

House and Senate leaders will push through an omnibus spending package this week. The bill combines 11 appropriations bills for the final months of the FY2017 calendar. Democrats walked away with some big wins in the omnibus. They struck over 100 policy riders, resisted non-defense cuts proposed by President Trump, managed to block funding for


Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures: CR edition

Josh Huder | April 17, 2017

Next week, the government will run out of money to stay open. And in typical fashion, Congress has left itself an insanely small window to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to keep it functioning. (If the process plays out normally, the Senate will have approximately  5 hours to spare before the government shuts down. This


The legislative filibuster isn’t going anywhere any time soon

Josh Huder | April 5, 2017

It’s a nuclear week in the Senate. Majority Leader McConnell has hinted that he has the votes to go “nuclear” on Judge Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. In effect, McConnell would invoke the same process then-Majority Leader Harry Reid used in 2013 to change the Senate’s interpretation of Rule XXII. The effect would reduce


Democrats’ Dilemma over the Federal Judiciary

Susan Sullivan Lagon | March 29, 2017

In all likelihood, Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch will replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. How he gets there is the question, not whether. If confirmed, Gorsuch will be a predictably conservative voice on the nation’s highest bench just like Scalia was. It’s the next vacancy that could shift the


On to Reconciliation! Republicans have a plan but probably won’t follow it.

Josh Huder | January 12, 2017

The Senate passed a budget yesterday. It lacked some of the typical hallmarks of a budget resolution. Namely, the chamber did not debate in any great detail discretionary spending numbers. This budget is meant for one purpose and one purpose only: repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Following the campaign congressional Republicans set out on


On Congress: A few Farewell Thoughts

Kenneth Gold | January 12, 2017

When the 115th Congress convened last week it was immediately faced with a range of important issues: the promised repeal of Obamacare, the passing of an FY17 budget resolution, proposals for major tax reform, an overhaul of entitlement programs, what to do about the massive federal debt, and a full slate of confirmation hearings in


Looking Towards 2017: National Security in Focus

GAI | December 1, 2016

With the election over and cabinet hopefuls parading to Trump Tower, political prognosticators are looking towards 2017.  What will the incoming presidential administration and unified Republican government mean for policy and politics?  The congressional experts at GAI are weighing in with a series of deeper dives on different subject areas.  Below are the contributions for