Today in Congress

The House is not in session today. The Senate’s in at 2:00pm and will hold a procedural vote on the nomination of Robert E. Bacharach of Oklahoma to be United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate then will turn to S 3414, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.  As reported… Read More


CR Through March 2013?

House and Senate leaders appear to have reached a deal on a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for six months beyond the start of the federal fiscal year on October 1st.  The CR would extend current funding levels through March 2013.  The effort, if approved by Congress, will avert any threats of… Read More


Report Required on Sequester Impacts

We may soon learn more about how the scheduled automatic budget cuts, or sequester, will affect federal programs. Yesterday, the Senate passed a House measure (HR 5872) giving the Obama administration 30 days to describe its plans for implementing the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to go into effect beginning in January. The measure… Read More


Labor-HHS-Ed Bill Status

The House Appropriations Committee has not yet announced a full committee markup for its FY 2013 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill, and now many are raising doubts that it will ever do so. On Monday, Congressman Norm Dicks (D-WA), ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, expressed his belief that his GOP colleagues have “indefinitely postponed” further… Read More


Congress Talks CR, Appropriations, and Sequester

FY 2013 Continuing Resolution:  Several Republican lawmakers are advocating for an early vote on a stopgap spending bill for FY 2013 that would keep the government running into early next year, leaving contentious funding decisions for the next Congress. Most believe they are betting that they’ll have more power next year – possible control of… Read More


Education Provisions in House L-HHS-Ed Bill

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-HHS-Education released their draft FY 2013 appropriations bill this morning, with plans of a Subcommittee markup tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10:00am eastern time.  Highlights include: Pell Grants – The maximum Pell Grant award is increased to $5,635, mostly due to an authorized mandatory cost-of-living adjustment. Corporation for Public Broadcasting – The… Read More


FY 2013 Labor-HHS-ED Draft Bill

The House Appropriations Committee this morning released their draft FY 2013 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow morning (Wednesday).  As expected, the draft bill includes $150 billion in discretionary funding, which is $6.3 billion below last year’s level and $8.8 billion below the President’s budget request. Health… Read More


Sequester “Line in the Sand” Bills

Senate Democrats are warning that they will not agree to a deal to stop across-the-board spending cuts early next year (sequester) without new revenue gained by ending tax breaks on the wealthiest Americans.  To that end, they circulated a draft bill yesterday that would spare most Americans from higher tax rates that are due to… Read More


This Week in Congress

Both the House and Senate return to Capitol Hill today from their Fourth of July recess and begin the final four week stretch before the August recess. The Senate is in at 2:00pm though no votes are scheduled until tomorrow. The House is also in at 2:00pm with votes expected at 6:30pm, when seven bills… Read More


The Aftermath…

Both the House and Senate are in recess this week for the Fourth of July holiday.  Late last week, both chambers demonstrated that they can advance legislation by reauthorizing federal highway and transit programs for two years and preventing Stafford student loan interest rate increases.  Also last week, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care… Read More