Federal Relations

February 4, 2015

Senate Fails to Pass Homeland Security Spending Bill

The Senate failed to evoke cloture and pass the Department of Homeland Security spending bill for FY15. In an ironic twist, Senate Democrats used procedural maneuvers they so railed against in previous congressed to block the measure from moving forward. The 46 Senate Democrats banded together to block the bill from coming to the Senate floor for

January 30, 2015

Pell Grant Levels Announced

The Department of Education announced the maximum Pell grant levels for 2015-2016 today. The agency said the maximum award amount will be $5,775, which is an increase of $45 over the 2014-2015 award maximum. The amount is affected by the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), which was incorporated as part of Public Law 111-152.

December 14, 2014

Senate Passes FY15 Appropriations

In a very rare weekend session, the Senate voted 56-40 late Saturday evening to pass the FY15 $1.1 trillion spending package that funds most of the government through next September. As previously discussed in this blog, the package includes 11 appropriations bills that fund most of the government through Sept. 30 and a continuing resolution (CR) funding

December 12, 2014

‘Cromnibus’ Advances to the Senate

The House yesterday approved the FY2015 ‘cromnibus’ bill funding all areas of federal government through September 30, 2015 except for Homeland Security, which is subject to a continuing resolution (CR) through February 2, 2015. The House vote as close – 219 to 206 – and delayed several hours as GOP leaders worked their members to

December 11, 2014

House Fails IRA Charitable Rollover Legislation

The House failed to pass a permanent extension to the IRA charitable roll over provision. The House was considering a package of three tax extenders this week. The House previously passed a one-year extension, which is waiting Senate consideration. The White House had issued a veto threat on the measure.

December 10, 2014

FY15 Appropriations Released

Last night, House and Senate Appropriators unveiled a $1.1 trillion spending package that is a combination of all but one of the Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) appropriations bills rolled into an omnibus for the remainder for FY15, plus a continuing resolution (CR) funding the Department of Homeland Security through February 2015. The FY15 appropriations package, dubbed

House Considers Charitable Tax Extenders

Last week, the House voted to renew most extenders for one year — restoring them for the current 2014 tax year so that companies and individuals can make use of the breaks when filing their 2014 tax returns. The Senate expects to clear that measure in the coming days. Today, the House considered HR 5806, the

December 5, 2014

House Narrowly Passes Immigration Response

In a fairly narrow and mostly party line vote, the House passed a measure disapproving of Obama’s immigration action yesterday. It likely stops there: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate won’t take it up.  Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) has lead the effort in the House meant to channel conservative anger and stop the Administration’s

December 4, 2014

House to Pass Tax Extenders

The House is set to consider HR 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act today. The measure would retroactively extend more than 50 expired tax breaks for one year. It would renew the individual deduction for state and local sales taxes and the equalization of tax-free benefits for transit and parking, the business research and development tax credit,

NDAA Sent to Senate

The House passed HR 3979 the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a vote of 300-119. The Senate is expected to take up and pass the measure next week. The measure, which must be passed annually, authorizes all Pentagon and defense-related programs for the fiscal year. In FY15, the measure authorizes $577.1 billion for the

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