Congressional Update



Political Dynamics of the Second Session of the 118th Congress

Matt Glassman | February 5, 2024

The first session of the 118th Congress was historically unproductive. Only 35 measures were signed into law, with only the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Defense Authorization Act of significant note. Several major items on the agenda—border security, foreign aid, tax extenders—saw no floor action, while others—the Farm bill, FAA reauthorization, the FY24 appropriations—


Second Verse, Same as the First: 2024 Appropriations Watch

Katina Slavkova | January 10, 2024

After a chaotic and historically unproductive first session, the 118th Congress appears to be off to a more hopeful start in the new year. Recent news indicating congressional leaders have finally secured an agreement on the top-line numbers for funding the federal government for the remainder of FY24 is certainly


Debt Limit Déjà Vu? What Can We Learn from the Close Calls of 2011 and 2023?

Laura Blessing | June 7, 2023

Normally, we remember what we were doing when great triumphs or tragedies take place on the world stage.  Fiscal policy is not typically on that list of events. And yet, I remember clearly what I was doing in the lead up to Treasury’s “X date” in 2011. I was in grad school, and I had


The Debt Ceiling and the Appropriations Process

Katina Slavkova | May 3, 2023

The partisan and intra-branch posturing on the debt ceiling, on display since January, has finally yielded actual legislative text.  Last week Speaker Kevin McCarthy successfully shepherded his conference to pass a debt ceiling bill, accurately characterized as a “bare-minimum victory on a doomed bill.” This description of the House GOP’s initial bargaining offer perfectly


Back to the Future for Appropriations Procedures in the 118th Congress?

Matt Glassman | March 17, 2023

President Biden released the President’s Budget last week and with it, the federal appropriations process has lurched to a start.  In the modern era, we have come to expect to see late introduction of the President’s budget, forgoing passing a budget resolution by the budget committees (“deeming” them instead), and the failure to pass individual


Continuing Resolutions: Continuing to Damage Defense

GAI | January 9, 2023

Guest Post by Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Cabana For the national security community, the calendar year has dawned with an $858 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and an omnibus funding bill passed in late December. But what may have felt like a Christmas miracle to congressional staffers scurrying home belies a larger problem. The fiscal


A Very Busy Lame Duck?

Katina Slavkova | December 1, 2022

Why walk when you can fly?  As the 117th Congress pushes into its lame duck session, party leaders consider an ambitious array of bills, and historically, it’s not unusual for such sessions to feature major legislative items.  While lame ducks of the past decade or two have typically been marked by


The Midterms Cometh

Laura Blessing | October 11, 2022

A bar graph haunts Washington.  You know the one.  Its jagged teeth notch losses for the President’s party in every post-WWII midterm House election, all except two.  Those electoral projections have been a moving target this year, and in many respects we are living in unusual times.  But the ultimate results will be more


Rest In Peace Congressional Budget Process

Josh Huder | June 6, 2022

Sometime in the last ten years the congressional budget process died. The precise moment is hard to pinpoint because it is not totally – just mostly — dead. But today, only a hollow version of the process still exists. Partisan majorities pass shell budgets to trigger reconciliation in the hopes


The Defense Budget: Current Status and Core Issues

Katina Slavkova | May 3, 2022

Defense officials are already busy making the obligatory annual rounds on Capitol Hill in support of the President’s preferred spending priorities. The current steady pace of congressional hearings might suggest that Congress is methodically working its way towards a timely passage of the defense budget. But this burst of activity on the


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