Budget and Appropriations



Senior Fellow Mark Harkins on The HILL AM View Podcast

GAI | January 10, 2018

GAI Senior Fellow Mark Harkins was a guest this morning on The Hill AM View Podcast. He and correspondent Alexis Simendinger discussed the value of earmarks as a legislative technique. Interesting discussion in light of recent comments by President Trump expressing enthusiasm for bringing back this congressional practice.


Outlook for the FY2018 Appropriations Process

Matt Glassman | January 9, 2018

The FY2018 appropriations process in Congress—which will provide funding for the federal government from October 1, 2017, until September 30, 2018—is once again approaching a deadline. After its failure to enact full year appropriations bills by October 1, Congress has passed a series of continuing resolutions (the first through December 8; a


R.I.P. Budget Hawks

Mark Harkins | November 20, 2017

November 16, 2017, will be a day long remembered in the annals of Congressional history. Not because of the Franken picture or the fact that Sen. Menendez’s trial ended in a hung jury or even that Roy Moore had another revival press conference. No, this day will be remembered as the day the budget hawks


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


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


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