Federal Budget and Appropriations

Interview on Compromise Budget Bill

In a rare moment of cooperation, Congress looks ready to pass a bipartisan budget bill that will ease sequester cuts and keep the government running for the next two years. Orchestrated by Democratic senator Patty Murray and Republican representative Paul Ryan, the bill would reduce the federal deficit by $20 billion. It passed the House

Op-Ed: No Good Options For Speaker

By Marian Currinder and Joshua Huder The federal government has shut down for the first time since 1996 and all eyes are focused on House Speaker John Boehner. Will he continue to insist upon tying a repeal or delay of Obamacare to a funding bill? Or will

Funding the Government, Defunding Obamacare, & Innovative Procedure

As Congress steps closer to the various fiscal cliffs over the next week, the pressing question for Republican leadership is how to defund Obamacare. Several Republicans have indicated they will not support any continuing resolution not tied to the defunding the ACA. The law goes into effect on October 1st and many see this as

Defense Cuts are on the Way, Part 1: $100 billion, $300 billion, or $500 billion?

The question for defense spending is not whether it’s going to decrease over the next five years; rather it’s how far and how fast.  The good news for defense is that it’s unlikely to shrink as much as it did following the end of the Korean War (down 43%), the Vietnam War (33%), or the Cold

The Federal Deficit is Shrinking Dramatically: So Why Aren’t We Celebrating?

This year’s federal budget deficit is shrinking, and shrinking faster than anyone had anticipated: surely this is good news.  There have been a number of really positive developments on the budget and the economy over the last several months, mostly unexpected.  Just last month, the House and Senate both passed budget resolutions, for the first

81 More Ways to Save Taxpayer Dollars

Like all presidential budget requests, President Obama’s FY14 budget includes recommendations for streamlining government to promote greater efficiency.  Traditionally, presidents propose cuts to programs (Obama’s budget includes 215) and encounter resistance from Congress, but this year might be different. Congressional Reaction Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) recently sounded a call

What the Budget Resolution Is, and Isn’t

As the House and Senate Budget Committees process their respective versions of the budget resolution this month, it’s useful to remind ourselves exactly what this document is about. And what it isn’t about. Here’s a quick and dirty primer: What the Budget Resolution is: • A blueprint, in the broadest terms, on what the federal

Congress and the Ulysses Solution: When Tying Your Hands Can Work; And When It Doesn’t

The sequester is in place despite Congress providing itself an expedited process meant to stave off these indiscriminate and draconian across-the-board cuts. Back in 2011, when congressional Republicans insisted on substantial spending cuts as the price of increasing the debt ceiling, the President and Speaker Boehner tried to reach a “grand bargain”. After failing in

Update on the Sequester and Its Potential Impact

With nine days to go, hope of averting the March 1 sequester continues to fade, with each side drawing a line in the sand, and little reason to believe that their differences can be breached any time soon. Last week the President again went on record demanding that any agreement to delay or cancel the

Debt Ceiling Extension Likely to Pass; No Federal Pay Freeze

Later today the House will vote on a plan to effectively lift the debt limit for four months, removing, or at least postponing, the threat of default. The bill, HR 325, temporarily extends the debt limit without seeking any concessions on spending, and allows Republicans a way to avoid having to actually cast a vote

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