Finally-A Final Debt Deal

The framework for a final deal to raise the debt ceiling is finally on the table.  The House and Senate will continue working today with a goal of pushing a bill through both chambers by tonight.  The leadership of both parties in both chambers have also agreed to commence their August recess as soon as… Read More


House Debt Vote Delayed

House Republicans leaders were left scrambling to rewrite deficit reduction legislation after a widely anticipated vote on the proposal was canceled late Thursday.  The vote on the debt limit and deficit reduction plan could come today (Friday) if the House Speaker is able to modify his bill enough to garner the votes he needs for passage.  However,… Read More


Senate Holds Hearing on Department of Ed FY12 Budget

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies held a hearing yesterday on the Department of Education’s FY12 budget. Secretary Duncan was the witness. In his opening remarks, Duncan expressed concern that America has gone from being a world leader in education to now being “middle of the pack”.  He… Read More


FY12 State & Foreign Ops Bill Released

The House Appropriations Committee today released their FY12 State & Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow.  The bill includes a total of $39.6 billion in regular discretionary funding, which is $8.6 billion or 18 percent below FY11 levels and $11.23 billion below the President’s FY12 request.  Included in these reductions… Read More


Deficit Talks Continue…

Bipartisan deficit reduction talks broke down again over the weekend and congressional leaders are now writing their own proposals to avoid a government default in eight days (August 2nd).  Lawmakers could vote on their separate plans later this week, which may form the basis for a compromise.  The House Speaker will present a plan to… Read More


Debt Deal Advances While Appropriations Slows Down

Debt Limit:  President Obama and House Speaker Boehner are continuing their negotiations on a new “grand bargain” that would raise the federal debt limit by August 2nd, call for $3 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade, and promise a federal tax code overhaul next year.   The deal would be a new version of… Read More


Debt and Appropriations Update

Debt Negotiations Continue:  Congressional leaders will meet with President Obama at the White House again today as both sides show no sign of softening their positions.  Obama has increased the pressure on Congressional leaders to reach a deal in the coming weeks by stating that he would not agree to any short-term measures.  The President… Read More


Week in Review

New Staff Member in the Office of Federal Relations:  On Tuesday, Sarah Martin Castro joined the OFR team in our Washington, DC office as our new Associate Director.  Sarah comes to us after several years as the government relations officer for the University of Missouri System.  She has also worked on Capitol Hill for a… Read More


FY12 Energy Bill Released

The House released its Energy & Water Appropriations bill for FY12 today.  The bill provides a total $30.7 billion for the Energy Department and federal water projects in FY12, $5.9 billion (16 percent) less than requested by the President and $1.7 billion (5 percent) less than FY11 enacted totals.  The bill provides an additional $1… Read More


FY12 Appropriations Update

Today, three House Appropriations subcommittees are expected to approve FY12 domestic spending bills that continue the push by House Republicans to cut domestic spending and reverse administration policies.  Interior-Environment Bill:  Steep cuts are proposed for the EPA, federal clean water and drinking water programs, and for state environmental grant programs that Republicans say are a… Read More