Federal Relations

Senate Moves Tax Package Forward (Updated 12/17)

**2nd Update 12/17** The packaged has been fully approved by Congress and is heading to the President’s desk, where it will be signed this afternoon. ** Update ** Today, by a vote of 81-19, the Senate voted to pass the much discussed tax-extenders package. The bill now goes to the House for a vote. The $893 billion

FY11 Omnibus Spending Bill Increasingly Possible (Updated 12/17)

**12/17 Update: Now increasingly unlikely, as several committed votes in favor have switched Today, in a step towards closing out the FY11 appropriations process, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its omnibus appropriations package. The package would enable modest increases to federal research agencies that the University of Washington draws competitive grant support from. Additionally, the

DREAM Act Passes House, Awaits Vote in Senate

The House passed its version of the DREAM Act late Wednesday, which would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented children who graduate from college or serve in the military. The Senate today decided to kill its own version of the bill – most likely because of the expectation that it would not receive enough

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

Pell Grant Fix in House CR (Updated)

**12/9 Update A year-long CR passed the House on 12/8. The legislation includes $5.7 billion to close a shortfall in the Pell Grant program. The process now continues in the Senate. CR Summary** The House of Representatives is preparing two options for a closeout of the FY11 appropriations process. One option is a year-long continuing

2011 House Schedule Released

Leaders in the House have released a tentative schedule for calendar year 2011. However, the endgame for the current Congress and the FY11 appropriations process remains uncertain. Passage of appropriations bills for the current fiscal year now rest on the ability of the Senate leadership to garner the necessary 60 votes. It is expected that an outcome on

Second Temporary Spending Measure Likely (Updated)

**12/3 Update: Congress has approved a CR (referenced below) that will last through 12/18, allowing lawmakers additional time to attempt an omnibus spending bill that would closeout the FY11 appropriations process.** The House of Representatives is close to a vote on a second continuing resolution (CR) that would continue the level funding of government operations through December

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

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

Leadership announced for 112th Congress

Congress completed their leadership elections last week, which will take effect in January at the beginning of the 112th Congress. In the House Speaker of the House: John Boehner (R-OH) Majority Leader: Eric Cantor (R-VA) Minority Leader: Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Majority Whip: Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) Minority Whip: Steny Hoyer (D-MD) In the Senate (no changes

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