Budget and Appropriations



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


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


Unusual Appropriations

Mark Harkins | May 20, 2016

The budget process created in 1974 put into place a mechanism to limit the power of appropriators and try to slow down spending growth.  By having either a Budget Resolution put a cap on discretionary spending or, when no Resolution is agreed to, having the Appropriations Committee put in place (or “deem”) a cap, the


Is Paul Ryan Delivering on Regular Order?

Josh Huder | April 13, 2016

When Paul Ryan accepted the nomination for the Speakership he promised his colleagues that he would deliver a more regular process. He promised more inclusion in developing strategy, more opportunities for amendments, and greater representation on panels that organize the chamber. So far he has delivered on some promises but continues to struggle on others.


The new Budget Drama and Procedural Inventiveness. Got to love the House.

Josh Huder | February 24, 2016

The optimism following the 2-year budget deal struck last October is officially over. Many House majority members who were unhappy with the deal remain unhappy. Over the past month House conservatives have signaled they will not vote for a budget unless they find $30 billion in cuts. Enacting a budget (or appropriations) below the


CBO predicts blizzard of debt

Mark Harkins | January 20, 2016

Saw a great tweet yesterday from Paul Singer (@singernews).  In reply to Lisa Dejardins’ (@lisaDNews) tweet on the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook: 2016 to 2026 (the Executive Summary was released Jan. 18) report predicting that the US will spend $6 trillion just on interest over the next 10 years Singer wrote


Passing a Budget Resolution: It Ain’t Easy

Kenneth Gold | January 20, 2016

Like last year, when Republicans held majorities in both the House and the Senate, it’s generally assumed that Congress will pass a budget resolution this year.  House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price (R-GA) has stated he intends to write an FY17 budget resolution that will balance the budget in ten years. But even though Senate


It’s Not Over

Kenneth Gold | November 2, 2015

Many of the news stories that covered last week’s passage of the two-year, 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act had headlines similar to the Associated Press story titled “No shutdown, no default: Congress leaders, Obama back deal”.  And while the agreement is an enormous and widely unexpected accomplishment that does prevent the country from going into default,


The boy who cried shutdown

Kenneth Gold | July 27, 2015

Having failed to pass a single FY16 appropriations bill, and with 14 legislative days scheduled* before the end of the fiscal year, a consensus has emerged on the inevitability of yet another continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown on October 1.  I think the odds do favor a CR over a shutdown, but


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