Federal Relations

On the Hill


February 2, 2012

Effort Begins to Repeal Sequester

Senate Republicans are posed today to initiate an effort to block automatic budget cuts scheduled to take place next January.  They will propose replacing the first year of the spending “sequester” with a plan to shrink federal employment and extend a pay freeze on government workers.  The effort is an attempt to stave off what…


February 1, 2012

Surface Transportation Reauthorization

House Republicans released the text of their much-anticipated $260 billion, four-and-a-half-year surface transportation reauthorization bill last night.  You can read the text of the bill here (PDF).  Legislation action on the draft bill begins in earnest today as the House Natural Resources Committee marks up the bill’s energy title.  That markup, starting at 10 am…


December 15, 2011

FY12 Spending Package Conference Report Released

After negotiations late into the night and leaders finally reaching an agreement, the House today released the conference report containing details for the remaining nine spending bills. The House is expected to vote on the package this afternoon and then send it to the Senate for quick passage. It looks like Congress will remain through…


December 5, 2011

Congress this Week

The Week Ahead The House is in at noon today, though no votes are expected.  Eight bills will be considered under suspension of the rules.  House Republicans will try to move forward on a deal to extend the expiring payroll tax cut and could hold a vote this week.  The Senate’s in at 2 pm…


November 21, 2011

Deficit Committee Failure Likely

After a long weekend of negotiations and finger pointing, members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction are all but ready to admit failure.  They will continue to work through the day Monday, but it appears unlikely that the eleventh-hour negotiations will yield a budget agreement before the deadline later tonight.  The barriers to…


November 17, 2011

Today in Congress

The House begins work at 10:00 am.  They plan to debate and hold votes in the afternoon on a constitutional balanced budget amendment, and the first minibus appropriations bill for the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce- Justice-Science, and Transportation-HUD.  This measure also contains a new continuing resolution (CR) to extend through December 16th.  The Senate will…


November 15, 2011

First Conference Report for FY12

The House will vote this week on the final conference report on the FY12 Agriculture, Commerce/Justice/Science (CJS), and Transportation/Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill – also known as the “Mini-bus” (House Report 112-284). The package also contains a Continuing Resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown and continue federal operations until December 16, 2011…


November 14, 2011

This Week in Washington DC

Happy Monday morning!  It will be a busy week in Washington, DC with the continuing resolution (CR) expiring on Friday, appropriators scrambling to approve at least one “mini-bus” before week’s end, the Joint Deficit Reduction Committee deadline looming next week, the House taking action on a balanced budget amendment, and Obama announcing the next phase…


November 8, 2011

Senate, House Resolutions Recognize UW 150th

Resolutions were introduced in both the House and the Senate (H.Res.458 and S.Res.313) recognizing the UW’s 150th year and its’ contributions to Washington state and the nation. The Senate resolution – introduced by Senator Cantwell and cosponsored by Senator Murray, passed the chamber this morning by unanimous consent. The House Resolution was introduced by Congressman…


November 2, 2011

Senate Approves First FY12 “Minibus”

By a vote of 69 to 30, the Senate yesterday approved an FY12 appropriations “minibus,” which includes three of the twelve FY12 appropriations bills: Agriculture, Transportation-Housing, and Commerce-Justice-Science. It appears that in the process of approving several amendments to the first FY12 appropriations minibus, the Senate did not make any changes to funding levels approved…



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