Federal Relations

February 12, 2014

Senate Passes House Bill to Raise Debt Ceiling

With an impending snow storm as a powerful motivator, the Senate passed the House’s bill to suspend the debt ceiling until March 15, 2015 by a vote of 55-42. Earlier this week, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas vowed to filibuster the measure since the House Republicans “caved to President Obama” and were unable extract to

February 11, 2014

House Passes Clean Bill to Raise Debt Ceiling

With a vote of 221-201 , the House voted to suspendthe debt limit for one year without requiring any offsets. Earlier this week, the House had floated the idea of adding military COLA pay to the measure, but ultimately that proposal and other additions were squashed. The measure narrowly passed and only passed with the help of

February 3, 2014

In-State Tuition for Veterans Bill Passes House

Tonight, the House has considered and passed that would require in-state tuition for certain veterans (Section 4 of HR.357, the GI Bill Tuition Fairness Act as amended). The bill was brought up under an expedited process referred to as “Suspension of the Rules.” Bills brought up in this manner are generally bipartisan, non-controversial measures that are

January 28, 2014

Farm Bill Conference Report Announced

After two years of negotiating, Farm bill conferees announced a sweeping, bipartisan five-year farm bill late Monday. The measure costs an estimated $1.1 trillion and is filled with trade-offs and an estimated savings of nearly $23 billion. The bulk of savings comes from cutting $19 billion from farm programs, including an end to direct payments

January 16, 2014

Murray Introduces Bill to Provide In-State Tuition for DREAMer Students

Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the Investing IN States To Achieve Tuition Equity (IN-STATE) for Dreamers Act of 2014. The IN-STATE for Dreamers Act establishes the American Dream Grant program, which encourages states to increase access to higher education for low-income students, regardless of immigration status. This program would provide $750 million

House Sends FY14 Omnibus Bill to Senate

Yesterday the House approved the $1.1 trillion FY14 omnibus spending bill that remains true to the intent of December’s budget agreement and sets a new tone for the FY15 appropriations cycle.  Adopted by 359-67, the strong bipartisan support in the House should help build momentum next in the Senate where lawmakers are racing against a

January 13, 2014

FY2014 Omnibus Released

Appropriators unveiled the FY2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill today. This legislation will provide discretionary funding for the entire federal government for the remainder of the current fiscal year. As drafted, the omnibus package fully respects the contours set in December but adds hundreds of pages in detail, spelling out where the dollars will actually go. The

January 8, 2014

FY2014 Omnibus Stalled

Congressional leaders are trying to finalize a FY2014 omnibus spending package and have agreement on six of the 12 appropriations measures that cover discretionary spending for federal programs. Despite the progress, lingering disagreements are making it increasingly likely that a draft of a final agreement won’t make it to House and Senate leaders until possibly

December 16, 2013

Budget Deal Moves to the Senate

Today the Senate will resume consideration of pending nominations and then turn to the budget deal on Tuesday with a vote likely by mid-week. Top appropriators are beginning negotiations on an omnibus FY2014 spending package in anticipation of the Senate clearing the $85 billion budget deal this week that would boost overall spending levels. Congress

December 12, 2013

House Approves Two-Year Budget Framework

The House passed a budget agreement today by a vote of 332-94. The two-year budget deal, crafted by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), will bring back “regular order” to the annual appropriations process that has eluded Congress for the past couple of years. Lawmakers voted 332-94 on the deal that sets

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