Shutdown Averted

President Obama and Congressional leaders announced a budget deal late Friday to avert a government shutdown. The outline of the deal is as follows: up to $39 billion in cuts from the 2010 budget, $514 billion in spending for the defense budget covering the remainder of this fiscal year, a GOP agreement to abandon controversial… Read More


Federal Shutdown Looms

A Thursday-night meeting between congressional leaders and President Obama failed to resolve an impasse over federal spending that, barring an agreement on Friday, would result in a federal government shutdown.  Federal government is currently operating on a continuing resolution (CR) that is set to expire at midnight tonight (Friday, April 8th).  If House Republicans and… Read More


Shutdown, FY12, and a Balanced Budget Amendment…

Shutdown Countdown… Late last night, House Republicans announced that they’re prepared to pass a new one-week continuing resolution (CR) extension with an additional $12 billion in cuts to FY11 unless Democrats “get serious about making real spending cuts on a long-term bill” for the remainder of the year.  The two parties have been negotiating over… Read More


FY11 Showdown and FY12 Startup

The FY11 budget predicament reaches its climax this week as tea party conservatives and Democratic leaders clash over how much, or how little, to slash from this year’s budget, and whether to include conservative policy riders that limit the federal government’s ability to spend money on things like Planned Parenthood, environmental regulations, and other liberal… Read More


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… Read More


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… Read More


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,… Read More


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… Read More


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… Read More


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… Read More