Congressional Update



Senior Fellow Mark Harkins in the News

GAI | August 24, 2017

Senior Fellow Mark Harkins was interviewed by CBS News to weigh in on a recent New York Times report about a widening rift between President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. You can see the CBS News story here .


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


What We’re Reading

GAI | May 9, 2017

We are living in interesting times.  In order to bring you more insight on the issues of the day, we thought we’d send out a sampling of what we’re reading in the office.  There’s a lot going on in addition to the recent budget developments that Josh Huder ably covers in his piece for this


The Omnibus Is Here

Josh Huder | May 8, 2017

House and Senate leaders  pushed through an omnibus spending package last 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, and managed to block funding for


Whither Tax Reform? Chasing the Great White Whale

Laura Blessing | February 7, 2016

Tax reform, particularly genuinely comprehensive tax reform, seems to be the great white whale of American politics.  Given that it tends to occur once a generation, the smart money is always on betting on the reform du jour failing.  And yet, confident rumblings have yet again surfaced–from Speaker Ryan and Ways and


What Does Congress Have on Tap in 2016?

Josh Huder | January 7, 2016

The 114th Congress was a whirlwind of activity compared to its predecessors. Accomplishments like trade promotion authority, a Medicare “doc-fix” solution, a two-year budget deal, and the highway funding act were legislative highlights in a productive first session. In all, the 114th Congress passed 115 laws, the most in a first year of Congress since


An Early Look at Prospects for the FY16 Budget

Kenneth Gold | March 31, 2015

On Wednesday last week the House passed its version of the FY16 budget resolution; and on early Friday morning the Senate passed its version. Modern budget resolutions are highly partisan vehicles, so one would assume that they’d pass easily in each chamber. And with one party in control of both the House and the Senate,


It’s not all Gridlock: What Republicans can accomplish in the 114th Congress

Can decades of dysfunction reverse course in a single Congress? No. But despite the general pessimism surrounding Congress there are several reason to expect the 114th to be more productive than its recent predecessors, which were historically bad on several fronts. Now that divided congressional control is over a sense of mild optimism


Obama Loses the Legal Battle, but the Battlefield Has Changed

The Supreme Court handed President Obama a defeat in NLRB v. Noel Canning  this week, declaring that Obama’s three appointments to the NLRB made during “recesses” between pro-forma sessions the Senate convened every three days were clearly unconstitutional.  If the Senate says it’s in session—even pro-forma—then it’s in session, and the president must obtain its


Earmarks and Eric Cantor’s Primary Loss

Ashley Parker and Jonathan Martin have an excellent piece in The New York Times on the changing demographics of voters in suburban districts and how that led to primary defeats of Sen. Thad Cochran in Mississippi (now in a runoff) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia. I think they underplay a critical


1 2