Congressional Update



Budget Dysfunction: Potential Reforms

Laura Blessing | July 11, 2018

The federal budget process, laid out in the 1974 Budget Act, is a complex, multi-stage process with many opportunities for partisanship and intra-party divisions to derail it. And derailed it has been, with workarounds like omnibus appropriations and Continuing Resolutions (CRs) becoming the new normal. The myriad challenges in the present-day process were discussed at length in


Congress in 2018: What’s left?

Josh Huder | March 5, 2018

Last month Congress struck a two-year deal that greases the budget wheels to the tune of an extra $320 billion. While political posturing and two brief government shutdowns hampered bipartisan negotiations, congressional leaders in the House and Senate ultimately settled on a budget that outlines discretionary spending, lifts the Budget Control Act’s(aka sequestration) caps


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


Victims of Their Own Success

Laura Blessing | December 21, 2017

The Republican Party has become a victim of its own success.  Given their legislative, administrative, and impending electoral challenges, this may sound odd.  But on their biggest policy priority, tax policy, they may have been too successful.  And those previous successes combined with the tax bill passed this week may just imperil their reputation as


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


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