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… Read More


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,… Read More


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… Read More


CR Through March 2013

Well, it’s official!  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner have reached a deal to keep the federal government funded for six months, meaning there will be no threat of a government shutdown when the federal fiscal year ends September 30th. The funding deal would keep government spending at current levels through… Read More


Senate Committee Approves Bill Banning Invasive Research on Apes

Late last week, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee approved by voice vote the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (S 810) that would ban “invasive” research on chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, or gibbons. The bill prohibits any research that “may cause death, injury, pain, distress, fear, or trauma” to the animal,… Read More


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