Federal Relations

March 5, 2015

Feds Closed but Senate Holds Arctic Hearing

With 4-10 inches forecast, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) held a hearing on opportunities in the Arctic today despite the federal government being shut down due to snow in the District of Columbia. UW professor Cecilia Bitz testified before the Alaskan Senator, who is also Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, on the topic.

February 17, 2015

Snow Day!

SNOW DAY! The federal government is closed today as DC deals with a storm that has impacted the east coast from Atlanta to Boston. Winter storm warnings were in effect for 17 states, and the District remains under a warning until noon today. The Washington, DC metro area is expected to enjoy a balmy 32 degree

February 12, 2015

Ashton Carter Confirmed as Secretary of Defense

Today, the Senate on Thursday confirmed Ashton B. Carter to be the next defense secretary by a vote of 93 to 5. The installation of the new Pentagon chief comes on the same day that the President has asked Congress for the authority to formally authorize (and increase) military action by the US against the

February 4, 2015

House Passes Repeal of ObamaCare, again

On Tuesday, the House voted, again, to repeal Obamacare. What makes this attempt notable, however, is that the measure contained instructions to the House Committees with jurisdiction to develop alternative policies and legislation in the absence of the health care law. This is the first time the House has coupled an ObamaCare repeal vote with instructions

January 20, 2015

State of The Union

Tonight at 9 pm Eastern, 6 pm Pacific, President Obama is scheduled to give his 6th State of the Union address to Congress. The White House has been previewing certain initiatives, such as two years of free community college and paid sick leave, in advance of the speech tonight. Tonight, however, the crux of his speech is

January 15, 2015

House Passes DHS Appropriations and Raises Immigration Stakes

The House adjourned yesterday for the annual Republican retreat. But before they left, the House took steps to block major provisions of the president’s immigration policy announced in November of 2014. As an amendment to legislation funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for FY15, the House passed a series of amendments effectively blocking Obama’s executive action to shield millions

January 9, 2015

White House Proposes Two Years of Free Community College

In advance of his State of the Union address, President Obama is traveling to Tennessee today to announce one of his keystones of his 2015 agenda: two free years of community college.  The proposal, called America’s College Promise, is based on Republican Governor Bill Haslam, who developed and launched Tennessee Promise, which begins this year. Tennessee Promise allows any

January 6, 2015

Getting to know the 114th Congress

Today, Tuesday, January 5th, kicks off the 114th year the United State’s federal government has met to legislate. Over the next two years, the Republican party will control both houses of Congress for the first time since President Obama took office in 2004. This Congress will be the largest Republican majority since 1928 when the party

To Do List for Congress in 2015

As the 114th Congress convenes, House and Senate leadership are facing a challenging timeline of To Dos or Must Dos in 2015. The House and Senate Republican leadership have announced their intentions to pass legislation to allow for the Keystone XL pipeline, reform our patent system, and overhaul the nation’s tax structure. However, any number of

Welcome 114th Congress! Oh, and it’s Snowing!

The 114th Congress convenes today under a blanket of snow in Washington, DC. While the snow is expected to taper off by midday, disagreements over budget priorities that have stymied Congress in recent years won’t go away so soon and are likely to lead to the first vetoes of appropriations bills in nearly a decade.

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