Newsletter: May 8, 2013

Are “Gangs” the Solution?
By John Haskell, Senior Fellow

Gangs of lawmakers have been making news since at least the 1983 reform of Social Security. The theory is that smaller, nimbler groups including members from both parties are more likely to get results on contentious issues. While in recent years gang activity in the Senate has proliferated, their record has been at best spotty. Tricky political dynamics make it tough for even high profile senators to get results on major issues.


Upcoming GAI Course(s):

Advanced Budget and Appropriations Process
July 1 – 2, 2013

The formulation and enactment of the annual federal budget is a highly complex process that involves thousands of individuals in both the executive and legislative branches. Both the House and the Senate must vote on the annual Budget Resolution, as well as on the annual appropriations measures. But the process begins when an individual program manager prepares a budget request and a justification for that request within the department or agency.


Certificate Program in Legislative Studies

The Certificate Program in Legislative Studies is designed for professionals who are currently working or planning to work in an executive branch department or agency; in a congressional staff position; with an interest group, law firm, or news organization; or others whose business or organization is affected by federal legislative or regulatory activities.


Director’s Desk

For the first time in five years, both the House and the Senate have passed their respective FY14 budget resolutions.  The next step in the budget process mandates that the two chambers go to conference, and sets a target date of April 15 to produce a concurrent budget resolution, although the deadline is rarely met. The differences in the bills are significant. The House bill proposes to balance the budget in ten years, primarily through massive cuts in entitlement programs and non-defense discretionary spending.  The Senate version is divided 50-50 between revenue increases and program cuts, with some changes to entitlement spending, with the majority of the discretionary cuts coming out of defense spending, and doesn’t propose to balance the budget at all.  Chances of reaching a compromise would be slim at best, if they could reach an agreement on how to convene a conference committee, but so far they’ve not been able to do even that.  We’ll examine these issues in detail in our upcomingAdvanced Budget and Appropriations Process class, one of the Advanced Classes in ourCertificate Program.

Ken Gold

Published by Gov’t. Affairs Institute at Georgetown University
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