Federal Relations

Committee Work


April 21, 2016

Senate Full Committee Approves C-J-S and T-HUD Appropriations Bills, Plus Emergency Zika Funding

Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a draft FY 2017 C-J-S spending bill with $56.3 billion in discretionary spending that includes funds for efforts to combat heroin use. The FY 2017 amounts would be about $563 million above the currently enacted level, and $1.6 billion more than the Obama Administration request. Overall, it is a 1 percent increase…


April 18, 2016

Busy Week for Appropriators

House and Senate Appropriations committees show no signs of slowing down as both committees announced their intended  schedules for the week. The Senate Appropriations Committee has announced subcommittee and full committee markup of FY 2017 Commerce, Science and Justice Appropriations bill, which funds federal research agencies including the National Science Foundation and NASA. Also hearings have been…


April 15, 2016

Appropriators Move Forward

Appropriators from both chambers of Congress advanced several of the annual spending bills needed to finance government agencies for the fiscal year that begins the first of October, but plenty of roadblocks could derail the process at any time. That includes the fact that Republican House leaders say they’re not giving up on getting a budget…


November 19, 2015

ESEA/NCLB Conference Finished, Vote in House Expected

House and Senate conferees finished their work on an agreement to rewrite the No Child Left Behind law today. Members are hopeful that the conference package can clear both chambers by the end of the year. Both parties have been critical of the last reauthorization law (which renamed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to No…


June 24, 2015

House Committee Passes FY16 Labor-H

The House Appropriations Committee passed it’s FY16 Labor-H bill by a vote of 30-21. The passage came after hours of debate during which Democrats bitterly criticized funding levels for domestic discretionary accounts and saw a series of their amendments defeated. The bill is $3.7 billion below fiscal 2015 enacted levels and $14.6 billion below President Barack Obama’s…


June 16, 2015

House Appropriators Releases FY16 Labor-H

House Appropriations Committee Republicans released their draft FY16 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor (Labor-H) spending plan earlier today, and Democrats are already protesting the proposal and calling for an end to the budget caps. The House Appropriations Labor-H Subcommittee is expected to consider and pass the measure tomorrow. The Labor-H bill may…


June 8, 2015

Defense Money Starts Moving

The Senate Defense Approps Subcommittee will mark up its spending bill tomorrow, and the full Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to take it up the measure on Thursday. Simultaneously, the Senate will start the week with debate on dozens of amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which will be on the floor all week — the Senate is…


May 21, 2015

Alexander and Murray Release HEA Working Groups

Today, HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) announced several bipartisan, full committee staff working groups to address four major issues related to the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The working groups will examine the following topics: Accountability Accreditation College Affordability and Financial Aid Campus Sexual Assault and Safety Senators Alexander and…


May 20, 2015

OMB Letter of Concern to House Appropriators about FY16 CJS

As this process gets ever more interesting, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Sean Donovan sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee’s Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) about the draft FY16 CJS Appropriations bill. The letter expressed strong concern on the funding levels for science and innovation due…


April 29, 2015

Senate Judiciary Releases Patent Bill

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee has released their long-awaited version of patent legislation. The House has promoted several bills, namely the Innovation Act,  over the last few years, including this year. The text of the Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship Act (PATENT Act) has yet to be released, but purportedly the measure would simply pleadings,…



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