Federal Relations


April 24, 2017

Shut Down Show Down?

Congress is back this week after a two week Passover/Easter Recess, and the first order of business is reaching some agreement to keep the government open beyond 12:01 am Saturday morning. Tensions over funding have risen during the recess as the Administration has begun a hard push for more defense money and a significant amount ($1.4…

April 20, 2017

Trump Signs “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order

As promised, President Trump on Tuesday signed his “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, aimed partly at purported abuses in the H-1B visa program. The order reads, in part: (a)  In order to advance the policy outlined in section 2(b) of this order, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor,…

April 12, 2017

OMB Director Mulvaney Pushing for Sanctuary City Language in FY2017

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney is pushing House lawmakers to include language in the FY2017 omnibus appropriations bill to restrict federal funding grants for cities that do not enforce federal immigration policies. The goal is to bring the House Freedom Caucus on board with a government funding bill. Such a provision, known as a rider, would put…

OMB Releases Memo Outlining Agency Cuts, Lifts Hiring Freeze

Today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a memo (M-17-22) to agency heads directing federal agencies to make deep personnel cuts over the next year. This memo replaces the Presidential Memo freezing hiring (M-17-17), which was signed by the President on January 25th, which instituted a hiring freeze across all federal agencies. The OMB…

April 10, 2017

Two Weeks of Recess

As Congress begins a two-week recess for Easter and Passover, the countdown clock begins toward a potential government shutdown. Lawmakers left town last Friday insisting there would be no government shutdown when the current stopgap measure funding the government expires on April 28. For several weeks, House and Senate appropriators have been slowly negotiating a…

April 3, 2017

Votes Scheduled on Supreme Court Nominee This Week

The Senate Judiciary Committee is currently scheduled to officially vote today on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to become the next Supreme Court Justice. The committee is expected to clear the nominee for floor consideration for later this week. It is unclear at this point how the nomination vote will play out once it reaches…

March 30, 2017

Two More Cabinet Nominees Clear Committee

On March 30, the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee reported out the nominations of Sonny Perdue and Alexander Acosta for the posts of Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of Labor, respectively. The nominations now head to the full Senate for its consideration.

March 23, 2017

Drama Continues in Congress

With the full House currently scheduled to take up the Obamacare repeal-and-replace healthcare bill later today, as of this writing, it still remains uncertain as to whether the White House and the House Republican leadership have been able to convince enough holdouts to get the legislation across the finish line. Many sources report that negotiations…

March 22, 2017

NASA Transition Authorization Bill Signed Into Law

Earlier today, the NASA Transition Authorization of 2017 was signed into law by President Trump. The bipartisan bill was adopted unanimously in both chambers of Congress. Historically, different presidential Administrations have sought to emphasize different areas of the agency’s broad mission and expertise, and the legislation was an attempt, in part, to provide stability for…

March 20, 2017

FBI: No Wiretaps

During a public hearing that lasted most of the day before the House Intelligence Committee, FBI Director James Comey stated publicly neither the FBI nor the broader Justice Department have any evidence to confirm the Trump White House allegation that Trump was wiretapped. At the same hearing, Comey also publicly acknowledged that the FBI has…

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