Federal Relations

March 17, 2011

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

March 12, 2011

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

March 9, 2011

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

March 7, 2011

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

January 19, 2011

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

January 10, 2011

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

December 21, 2010

COMPETES Reauthorization Passes (Update)

**12/21 Update** Today, the House passed the America COMPETES Act, as already agreed to in the Senate. The legislation now goes to the President, who is expected to sign it. Additional details will be provided shortly *********************************** On December 17th, in somewhat of a surprise move, the Senate voted to pass the America COMPETES Act.

December 20, 2010

Congress Passes Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act

On Friday Congress passed an altered version of the existing Post 9/11 GI Bill, which is designed to address issues that arose with the previous legislation. The updated bill will:  –  provide full tuition for those attending a public school in their home state and up to $17,500 in tuition payments for those attending private schools

December 9, 2010

DREAM Act Passes House, Awaits Vote in Senate

The House passed its version of the DREAM Act late Wednesday, which would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented children who graduate from college or serve in the military. The Senate today decided to kill its own version of the bill – most likely because of the expectation that it would not receive enough

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