Federal Relations

On the Hill


June 18, 2015

FY2016 Labor-HHS Bill Moves Through Subcommittee

The House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved its FY2016 spending bill by voice vote, with all Democrats voting against the proposal. The panel earlier had rejected a dozen amendments in a series of voice votes, with partisan splits apparent over family planning and the implementation of the 2010 health law. However, members of both parties made…


June 11, 2015

Senate Moves to Attach Cyber Legislation to NDAA

On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) filed for cloture on a cybersecurity amendment, a move that would fold the threat-sharing information legislation into the annual defense policy bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) received consent to modify an already pending amendment related to background checks for military…


June 1, 2015

House to Consider CJS

The House Rules will meet today to approve a rule for consideration of the FY2016 CJS Appropriations bill (H.R. 2578). The House will begin consideration of the bill beginning tomorrow at noon and possibly continuing through Thursday. As has been previously mentioned, the cuts to the measure and the report language accompanying the legislation have raised some…


May 20, 2015

COMPETES Passes the House

After an interesting debate, the House narrowly passed HR 1806 – the America COMPETES Reauthorization of 2016 but a vote of 217-205. The bill was largely along party line vote with all Democrats and 23 Republicans voting against the measure. Earlier this week, the White House issued a veto threat. As previously discussed, the bill authorizes science…


OMB Letter of Concern to House Appropriators about FY16 CJS

As this process gets ever more interesting, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Sean Donovan sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee’s Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) about the draft FY16 CJS Appropriations bill. The letter expressed strong concern on the funding levels for science and innovation due…


May 12, 2015

House Gets Ready to Consider COMPETES and NDAA

The House Rules Committee will meet at 3pm on Wednesday to considered movement forward for both HR 1735, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016 and HR 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015. Today, the House Rules Committee will meet to consider the overall rule for the NDAA, and subsequent to that will determine which…


April 30, 2015

HASC Passes NDAA

The House Armed Services Committee once again got its annual National Defense Authorization Act over the finish line this morning. Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) gaveled down at 4:39 a.m. after the panel voted 60-2 to approve the bill and 18 hours after the markup started. Over the course of the session, the panel considered roughly seven…


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…



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