Very Big Week in Congress

Today begins a very big week in Congress that could have huge consequences for the remainder of the calendar year.  First, the Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a ruling that will likely dominate the airwaves this week.  Second, Congress must deal with two critical legislative… Read More


Senate Bill Requires Reports on Impact of Sequestration

Yesterday, the Senate passed a five-year reauthorization of farm legislation (S 3240) that includes a bipartisan amendment requiring detailed reports on the effects of the pending budget sequestration on both defense and nondefense discretionary spending. The amendment would require three reports: one from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the overall budget figures… Read More


Odds and Ends for the Week

Student Loan Interest Rates:  Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are getting close to a deal to prevent student loan rates from doubling on July 1st, from 3.4 percent up to 6.8 percent.  A deal could be announced as soon as today, although early next week seems more likely. The talks have… Read More


This Week in Congress

The House was in recess last week, while the Senate kept itself busy with continued consideration of the “Farm Bill”. This bill authorizes agricultural research programs, as well as a host of other programs that support the US agriculture industry. The Senate Appropriations Committee also considered a few more spending bills, including the FYFiscal Year… Read More


“DREAM Act” Closer to Reality

President Obama took executive action today to end the deportation of people who would be eligible for the DREAM Act if it were enacted. The new policy, effective immediately, will grant the people eligible for the program renewable, deferred action on their immigration status and the ability to apply for work authorization. The DREAM Act… Read More


Senate L-HHS-ED Appropriations

Earlier today, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved their FY 2013 appropriations measure by a vote of 10-7.  That bill would provide $158.8 billion in discretionary spending for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, as well as related agencies.  This is about $2 billion more… Read More


This Week in Congress

Senate appropriators are scheduled to release their Labor-HHS-Education spending bill at a subcommittee markup Tuesday. This tends to be the most controversial appropriations measure each year and will likely receive a fair amount of Republican opposition given provisions that would fund key elements of the 2010 health care and financial regulatory overhauls. Action on the… Read More


Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations

House appropriators say the traditionally controversial Labor-HHS-Education appropriations measure could move forward in committee in June. Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) said Thursday that he would like to unveil his measure when the House returns from its recess the week of June 18th. Last year, the measure was not marked up by the House… Read More


Today in Congress

The Senate’s in at 9:30am and is expected to hold a key procedural vote on the farm bill at 10:30am. The House is in at 10:00am with first votes expected between 1:30—2:30pm and last votes expected between 10:00—11:00pm. The House is set to repeal parts of the health care act, including the medical device tax…. Read More


This Week in Congress

The House starts its workweek considering several measures under suspension of the rules, including — coinciding with National Police Week — the National Blue Alert Act, which aims to help reduce the threat of violence against law enforcement officers. Later in the week, the House takes up a bill that would reauthorize the Violence Against… Read More