Director’s Desk

Kenneth Gold | July 9, 2014

Prior to the start of this year’s World Cup, the United States had reached the semifinals only once, in 1930, at the first World Cup. The US team advanced beyond the round of 16 only one other time, when they beat Mexico in 2002, and reached the quarter finals.

At the start of this year’s tournament, the odds of the US winning were as high as 300-1. But after defeating Ghana, tying Portugal, and losing to Germany 1-0, the United States again advanced to the round of 16. The odds of the US winning the World Cup fell to 50-1, and even at those long odds, some hoped that this might be America’s year. In the end however, a talented Belgium team and reality set in, and the US went home, having won only a single match.

At the start of the year, many of us speculated that the odds were fairly good that Congress would pass all 12 appropriations bills prior to the start of the fiscal year, something they’ve not accomplished in two decades. Last year’s Ryan-Murray bipartisan budget agreement had set the discretionary spending level for FY15, as well as separate defense and non-defense caps, so there was no real need for a Congressional Budget Resolution to set the 301(a) allocation. As a result, the appropriations committees were free to begin their work earlier than any year in recent memory.

Fast forward to the second week in July, as Congress returns from its Independence Day recess. No one is betting that Congress will complete the individual spending bills on time, and few believe they’ll complete them at all. The odds on bet at this point is for yet another continuing resolution that will take Congress past the November elections, with the possible exception of passing a separate Defense appropriations bill.

Ken Gold is director of the Government Affairs Institute

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