Director’s Desk



Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | April 15, 2024

Dear Friends, With FY2024 funding bills finally off the to-do list, the House and Senate have a bit more bandwidth to focus on other priorities. But even as I write this, events are overtaking the chambers’ planned schedules. Following Iran’s weekend attack on Israel in retaliation for a recent strike, it appears the House


Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | March 12, 2024

Dear Friends, “It’s a huge month for appropriations” isn’t always something we say about March, but nothing is normal on the Hill these days. Now that six FY24 funding bills have finally reached the President’s desk, we look to the next (partial) shutdown deadline ten days away. With huge, complicated bills like Defense and


Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | February 5, 2024

Dear Friends, The biggest news on Capitol Hill this week will be the bipartisan immigration deal reached by Senate negotiators. Surprising no one, it has already produced turmoil in both chambers. Many Senate Republicans, as well as a few Democrats, have signaled their opposition, and House Republicans have promised the bill will never


Director’s Desk

Dear Friends, Happy New Year! We hope you had a restful and joyful holiday season. As we all get back to our work and routines, Congress joins the party this week with both chambers returning to a long and urgent to-do list – which is strikingly similar to last month’s. Read on for a great


Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | October 3, 2023

Dear Friends, Well! After one of the craziest weekends any of us can remember witnessing on the Hill, I’m certainly relieved to be writing a very different note this week than I had expected. As everyone knows, a last-minute about-face by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Saturday afternoon teed up easy passage of a


Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | September 7, 2023

Dear Friends, It has become commonplace for us to greet September with a long congressional to-do list and some degree of concern over whether the federal government will be funded come October 1. The main difference this year, unfortunately, is the intensity with which the shutdown speculation is ramping up. There are stark differences


Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | August 1, 2023

Dear Friends, As the House and Senate settle into August recess, let’s take a quick look at where things stand on the Hill and what looms ahead in September. Despite a lot of promises from both sides of the Capitol, the appropriations process is barely inching along, raising fears of a possible shutdown.


Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | June 7, 2023

Dear Friends, Washington may be starting June with wildfire haze and sonic booms, but thankfully at least not a debt default. I hope you’ll read on for Senior Fellow Laura Blessing’s fascinating look at the many similarities between the debt limit negotiations of 2011 and 2023, and some important cautions for the


Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | May 3, 2023

Dear Friends, The biggest story on Capitol Hill- and the theme of this month’s newsletter – is the debt limit. Now that House Republicans have passed what amounts to an initial offer (and promptly left town for a week-long recess),  the focus will shift to whatever move President Biden and


Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | March 17, 2023

Dear Friends, As the cherry blossoms open around the Tidal Basin, another spring ritual is getting underway in Washington: the annual budget and appropriations cycle. President Biden submitted his Proposed Budget for FY24 on March 9, kicking off another round of budget hearings on the Hill, which will be followed by months of


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