Congress Requests Information on Implementation of the Sequester

Today, the House Budget Committee mark up Republican leaders’ legislation, similar to bipartisan language added last week to the Senate farm bill that seeks more information about the automatic budget cuts.  The action comes after several attempts by lawmakers to get more details from the administration about how the roughly $109 billion sequester will take… Read More


Very Big Week in Congress

Today begins a very big week in Congress that could have huge consequences for the remainder of the calendar year.  First, the Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a ruling that will likely dominate the airwaves this week.  Second, Congress must deal with two critical legislative… Read More


Senate Bill Requires Reports on Impact of Sequestration

Yesterday, the Senate passed a five-year reauthorization of farm legislation (S 3240) that includes a bipartisan amendment requiring detailed reports on the effects of the pending budget sequestration on both defense and nondefense discretionary spending. The amendment would require three reports: one from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the overall budget figures… Read More


Odds and Ends for the Week

Student Loan Interest Rates:  Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are getting close to a deal to prevent student loan rates from doubling on July 1st, from 3.4 percent up to 6.8 percent.  A deal could be announced as soon as today, although early next week seems more likely. The talks have… Read More


Energy Production Legislation Debated

This morning the House will continue debate on the Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012 (HR 4480), which seeks to increase domestic oil and gas production and reduce regulation of the energy industry in order to reduce energy prices and boost economic growth. This measure is the result of compiling the text of 7 separate… Read More


This Week in Congress

The House was in recess last week, while the Senate kept itself busy with continued consideration of the “Farm Bill”. This bill authorizes agricultural research programs, as well as a host of other programs that support the US agriculture industry. The Senate Appropriations Committee also considered a few more spending bills, including the FYFiscal Year… Read More


Senate L-HHS-ED Appropriations

Earlier today, the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved their FY 2013 appropriations measure by a vote of 10-7.  That bill would provide $158.8 billion in discretionary spending for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, as well as related agencies.  This is about $2 billion more… Read More


Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations

House appropriators say the traditionally controversial Labor-HHS-Education appropriations measure could move forward in committee in June. Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) said Thursday that he would like to unveil his measure when the House returns from its recess the week of June 18th. Last year, the measure was not marked up by the House… Read More


Today in Congress

The Senate’s in at 9:30am and is expected to hold a key procedural vote on the farm bill at 10:30am. The House is in at 10:00am with first votes expected between 1:30—2:30pm and last votes expected between 10:00—11:00pm. The House is set to repeal parts of the health care act, including the medical device tax…. Read More


DOD Biofuels Efforts Threatened

The House is also slated to vote on a defense authorization bill (HR 4310), which has a small provision with big implications for future transportation fuels. The Defense Department has been developing advanced biofuels for its ships and planes, helping make a market along with other federal agencies. The DOD’s goal is to curb dependence on… Read More