Federal Relations

January 4, 2013

Today in Congress

Yesterday marked the first day of the 113th Congress. For the 84 freshmen members, including Suzan DelBene (D-1st), Derek Kilmer (D-6th), and Denny Heck (D-10th), the real work starts (even though DelBene is a 6-week veteran as she filled the remaining term in Jay Inslee’s old seat). They join Congress at a time when the

January 3, 2013

WELCOME 113TH CONGRESS

The 113th Congress will be sworn in at noon today but will take no break from fighting over fiscal priorities with the opening weeks and months likely to be dominated by partisan fights over the size of a multibillion-dollar disaster aid package (Super Storm Sandy relief package), how to raise the nation’s debt ceiling before

January 1, 2013

Fiscal Cliff Averted

Early this morning, the Senate rang in the New Year by approving legislation to avert the economic impacts of the fiscal cliff. The bipartisan agreement makes changes to tax policy by allowing for the first income tax rate increase in nearly two decades and also delays the sequester by offering $24 billion in other spending

November 30, 2012

STEM Jobs Act Approved

By a vote of 245 to 139, the House passed this afternoon the STEM Jobs Act (HR 6429) offered by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Lamar Smith (R-TX).  The bill, which previously failed in September on suspension of the rules, would create 55,000 STEM visas for graduates of Carnegie Foundation rated (very high

November 28, 2012

Alternative to Dream Act Introduced

As the Los Angeles Times is reporting, three republican senators introduced an alternative version of the Dream Act on Tuesday that would give legal status for young immigrants brought to the US unlawfully as children.  The effort, called the Achieve Act and launched by retiring senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) and

September 19, 2012

Today in Congress

The Senate’s in at 10:00am and will continue work on a veterans jobs bill. A series of votes are possible. The chamber will recess from 12:30 to 2:15pm for weekly caucus lunches. Then, the senate will hold a procedural vote on the House-passed six-month continuing resolution to fund the government. The House is in at

September 14, 2012

House Approves 6-Month CR

Yesterday, the House easily passed a continuing resolution (CR) that the Senate will likely vote on next week. The House voted, 329-91, to back the CR (H J Res 117) that would fund government through March 27, 2013 at the discretionary limit set by last year’s deal to raise the federal debt ceiling (Budget Control

September 12, 2012

Sequester “Fix” Discussed

There is growing pessimism on Capitol Hill that Congress will be able to reach a deal to avert the automatic spending cuts, known as sequesters, before – or even after – the November election. The “Gang of 8”, a bipartisan group of senators, continues to work on a comprehensive deficit reduction plan that most likely

September 10, 2012

Congress Back to Work

Congress is back in session this week after the long August break and political party conventions. There are few legislative priorities on the agenda before Congress breaks again at the end of the month through the November elections. This week, the House will release and then vote on a six-month continuing resolution (CR) for FY2013,

August 10, 2012

Sequestration Transparency Act Signed Into Law

On August 7th, President Obama signed into law HR 5872, the Sequestration Transparency Act (PL 112-155). As previously reported on this site, in July, Congress overwhelmingly cleared the bill which requires the Administration to report, within 30 days, the effects of the automatic budget sequester at the “program, project and activity level.”  The Administration will

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