Federal Relations

FY11 Compromise or Government Shutdown?

Negotiations on the FY11 budget continued yesterday mostly through competing press conferences where Republicans and Democrats traded blame, with little indication of any movement toward a compromise.  The likelihood of government shutdown remains high as Democrats continued to argue that GOP leaders were refusing to compromise because they didn’t want to upset conservatives and tea

Congress Continues Work on FY11 Budget

Congress returns to work today for a three-week session where lawmakers face some difficult budget and spending decisions.  The most urgent task remains funding the government for the rest of FY11, with the latest continuing resolution (CR) set to expire in less than two weeks (April 8th). The current CR cut another $6 billion in

New CR Through April 8th

** UPDATE 3/17 ** This afternoon, the Senate voted 87-13 in favor of a three-week stopgap spending measure, or continuing resolution (CR), that would keep the federal government funded through April 8th.   The new CR includes $6 billion in cuts to the federal budget. Some conservative House Republicans had pledged to vote against the measure,

House Votes to Defund NPR

In a 228-192 vote, the House passed a bill today that will prohibit federal funding for National Public Radio. The vote, which fell mostly along party lines, came after a week-long strong push by the Republican party following the release of tapes by a conservative activist who secretly filmed NPR executives criticizing the Tea Party. The resolution also will

Congress Prepares Next Short-Term CR

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee revealed the details of the next short-term continuing resolution (CR), which would keep the federal government funded through April 8th.  The current CR expires on March 18th.  The new spending measure would cut another $6 billion below current levels.  The package would fulfill the Republican leadership’s commitment to cut $2 billion

Senate Votes Down Two FY11 Budget Proposals

The Senate today rejected alternative Republican and Democratic approaches to the long-term FY11 spending bill.  The House-passed HR 1, which would cut $57.5 billion from current FY11 funding, failed on a vote of 44-56; the Senate Democratic leadership plan, which would cut $4.7 billion from current funding, failed on a vote of 42-58.  Since neither

Senate Passes Patent Overhaul Bill

By a vote of 95-5, the Senate approved S. 23, a measure aimed at updating the nation’s patent system for the first time in decades.  Supporters of the bill believe it will foster innovation and bolster US economic growth and competitiveness around the world.  The debate now moves to the House where it faces an

FY11 Debate Continues…

After approving another continuing resolution (CR) last week to run through March 18th, Congress must now get serious about how to fund the remaining six months of FY11, which has been operating roughly at FY10 levels since the start of the fiscal year on October 1, 2010.  The Republican controlled House and the Democratic controlled

Federal Spending Cuts Planned

House Republicans are still considering options for how best to keep their campaign promise to cut federal spending and the overall size of government. Today they will consider a resolution that would require the House Budget Committee Chairman to set FY11 non-security discretionary spending limits at FY08 levels. The full House expects to vote on

Tucson Tragedy Puts Legislative Schedule on Hold

The shooting over the weekend of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 19 others has prompted House leaders to cancel pending action on legislation this week, including their plans to vote on repealing health care reform. Instead, the House will be in session for two days this week but the only business will occur Wednesday when

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