Federal Workforce



Budget Reform: Diagnosing the Problem

Laura Blessing | May 3, 2018

The federal budget process is broken.  There are few things that political actors across the spectrum agree on; the deep dysfunctionality of congressional budgeting is one.  This topic has received considerable attention in recent years, most recently via a joint select committee created to seek reforms.  The  need for such an investigation


How Dr. Ronny Jackson got Nuked.

Mark Harkins | April 30, 2018

Now that erstwhile Secretary of Veterans Affairs nominee Dr. Ronny Jackson has lost his job as the President’s personal physician, he should blame former Sen. Harry Reid for his troubles. On November 21, 2013, in the face of sustained Republican opposition to confirming President Obama’s nominees and judges, the Senate took the extraordinary step of


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


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


Passing a Budget Resolution: It Ain’t Easy

Kenneth Gold | January 20, 2016

Like last year, when Republicans held majorities in both the House and the Senate, it’s generally assumed that Congress will pass a budget resolution this year.  House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price (R-GA) has stated he intends to write an FY17 budget resolution that will balance the budget in ten years. But even though Senate


It’s Not Over

Kenneth Gold | November 2, 2015

Many of the news stories that covered last week’s passage of the two-year, 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act had headlines similar to the Associated Press story titled “No shutdown, no default: Congress leaders, Obama back deal”.  And while the agreement is an enormous and widely unexpected accomplishment that does prevent the country from going into default,


Executive Orders v. Executive Actions

Susan Sullivan Lagon | February 27, 2015

Article II of the Constitution begins, “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”  The extent of that “executive power” has been debated since the beginning of the republic—indeed, even earlier.  The Founders were familiar with John Locke’s concept of “executive prerogative” (that certain circumstances call for the


Uncertainties Ahead for Federal Spending

Kenneth Gold | January 28, 2015

For federal departments and agencies, the most important issue in the First Session of the 114th Congress will be the shape of the FY16 congressional budget resolution, which will set the discretionary spending levels for the Appropriations Committees.  New House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price of Georgia recently told a Heritage Foundation Conference that he


Odds Are Against Another Government Shutdown, But…

Congress returns from its August recess next week, and is well positioned to conclude one of the least productive Congresses in modern history.  With less than a month before the next fiscal year begins, it would be reasonable to expect a flurry of activity surrounding last ditch efforts to pass at least some of the


Last One Out…

This week has been a big one for congressional retirements (Coburn, McCarthy, McKeon, McIntyre, Moran, Owens).  Many we have heard about, including half a dozen Members, for various reasons but at least one columnist has speculated that it is the working conditions.  Other departures have been more quiet as three senior House Appropriations Committee staffers


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