Federal Relations

July 31, 2012

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

July 30, 2012

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,

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

July 27, 2012

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

July 26, 2012

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

July 24, 2012

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

July 19, 2012

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

July 17, 2012

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

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

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

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