FY11 Appropriations Update

On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Justice-Science approved its FY11 draft bill, which would provide $60.5 billion in discretionary spending.  The draft measure would provide $3.9 billion (6 percent) less than 2010 levels, mostly because of the significant increase provided last year to perform the census, and just $2.7 million less than President Obama… Read More


FY11 Appropriations Process Moving Forward

Members of Congress face a busy week as they attempt to advance some major bills before the start of the July Fourth recess.  At the same time, the FY11 appropriations process may also begin to gear up this week and move forward after the July recess period. House Democrats would like to approve the FY10… Read More


Senator Robert Byrd, 1917-2010

Early this morning, US Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) passed away at a hospital in Virginia.  Byrd was 92.   Byrd, who was first elected to the Senate in 1958, was President Pro Tem, a largely ceremonial post but one that put him third in succession to the presidency.  On November 18th of this year, his 20,774th day… Read More


Senate Fails to Pass Extenders for the Third Time

On Thursday, Senate Democrats failed for a third time to pass a jobs and economic relief bill (tax extenders bill).  Republicans rejected the $100 billion-plus package, which included payments to states to cover for Medicaid costs and an extension of unemployment benefits.  This latest version of the bill reduced the original $24 billion in new… Read More


Energy & Climate Action Remains Uncertain

The Gulf oil spill continues to complicate negotiations on a legislative pathway for energy and climate legislation.  While many agree, including the President, that Congress must take action on an energy bill this year, several moderate senators remain unconvinced that a climate bill can garner the necessary votes in the Senate.  The Senate continues to… Read More


Congress Returns to Unfinished Business

Congress returns this week from its one-week Memorial Day recess with the Senate ready to take up the House-passed “extenders” bill, while the House determines their next move on the FY10 supplemental bill. Tax Extenders:  The tax extenders measure (HR 4213) under consideration in the Senate includes a number of important program authorities that expired… Read More


Update: Retirement, Budget, and Disaster Relief

The retirement of House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) will mark a change in the Democratic leadership of one of Congress’ most powerful committees.  Our own Congressman Norm Dicks (D-WA) appears to be the lead candidate to replace Obey as the top Democrat on Appropriations in the next Congress.  Currently the second-ranking Democrat on the… Read More


Immigration Reform Framework Released

Despite the absence of any support from the minority party, which will be necessary to advance a bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and two of his colleagues — Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) — have released a rough framework for comprehensive immigration reform. The outline serves as a starting point for public discussions… Read More


This Week on Capitol Hill, April 26-30

FLOOR ACTION ——————————— The Senate will reconvene at 2 p.m. today, and proceed to a period of morning business for one hour. Thereafter, the chamber will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to the financial regulatory overhaul measure, S 3217, Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010. A vote on the motion to invoke… Read More


Congressman Dicks Officially Selected to Chair Defense Appropriations

The House Democratic Caucus officially selected Norm Dicks (D-WA) to become chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday, filling the vacancy left by John P. Murtha who passed away in February. Congressman James Moran (D-VA) will replace Norm Dicks as chairman of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee. Congressman Dicks will remain a member of the Interior… Read More