Federal Relations

February 7, 2011

Congress Works to Finalize FY11 Budget

The Republican effort to roll back non-security discretionary spending to FY08 levels officially gets started this week with the return of House lawmakers from their one-week recess.  On Tuesday, House Republicans will set their new, enforceable spending limits for FY11, and later in the week unveil their package to cut spending for the remainder of

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

January 7, 2011

Fiscal Issues Dominate First Days in Congress

The 112th Congress convened Wednesday amid ceremonial pomp in the House with the election of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). Their first order of business was to adopt a rules package for the 112th Congress that is designed to advance Republican priorities to control federal spending, cut the deficit, and makes the chamber more accountable to

January 5, 2011

112th Congress Convenes Today

The 112th Congress convenes today, reinstating an era of divided government with Republicans in control of the House and Democrats in control of the Senate and White House.  Republicans will have a 242-193 majority in the House, while Senate Democrats and their two independent allies will hold a majority of 53 seats, compared with 47

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 16, 2010

Rep. Adam Smith Likely Ranking Member on House Armed Services

Yesterday, the Democratic Policy and Steering Committee voted to recommend that Washington Congressman Adam Smith serve as the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee. The vote essentially guarantees Congressman Smith the Ranking Member post in the 112th Congress. The Armed Services Committee has oversight of the operations of the Department of Defense as

December 9, 2010

Rep. Dicks Selected for Appropriations Post

Washington’s Norm Dicks is on course to serve as Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, after winning a vote of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee yesterday. The full Democratic caucus is expected to approve the nomination later today. The vote gives Cognressman Dicks the top minority party spot on the appropriations panel in the 112th

November 30, 2010

US Senate to Vote on Earmark Ban

The Senate postponed until this morning a vote on a measure that would ban all earmarks for the next three years. The chamber will vote on an amendment to food safety legislation proposed by Senator Coburn (R-OK) that would create a Senate rule effectively prohibiting the chamber from considering any measure containing earmarks.  Coburn’s amendment

November 24, 2010

First Week of Lame Duck Session Answers Little

Members of Congress returned to DC last week for a lame-duck session intended to address pressing issues, namely the need to finish the fiscal year 2011 appropriations process as well as to extend various tax cut provisions that expire at the end of the calendar year. Members spent the first week of the session largely

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