Federal Relations

January 23, 2013

House Temporary Debt Deal May Force Larger Deal on Spending Cuts

Update:  The House this afternoon passed their bill that would suspend the debt ceiling until the middle of May. The vote was 285-144. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Wednesday that the Senate will pass the House’s bill; the White House has indicated it will not block the measure.  The House will consider legislation today…


January 22, 2013

House GOP Proposes to Delay Debt Ceiling Fight

Amid all the pomp and circumstance yesterday, House Republicans released their proposal to postpone a fight over increasing the nation’s debt limit by suspending it until May 19th. The measure, which is expected to be considered on the House floor tomorrow, would suspend the debt limit through May 18th and then provide for an automatic…


January 21, 2013

Inauguration Day in DC

Earlier today, Barack H. Obama was sworn in for his second term as the 44th President of the United States.  During his inaugural speech, the President called for action on climate change, gay rights, immigration, and the nation’s partisan divide. The President also made the case that the nation needs to come together to do…


January 18, 2013

House GOP Proposes 3-Month Debt Limit Deal

Earlier today, House Republicans announced a plan to condition a three-month increase in the debt limit on the Senate committing to pass a budget by the April 15th statutory deadline.  As a consequence of not meeting that statutory deadline, the House GOP proposal would withhold congressional members pay.  The 1974 Congressional Budget Act requires passage…


New Bills of Interest

The following are some bills that have been introduced in the first weeks of the 113th Congress that may be of interest to members of the UW community: HR 118 (Holt, D-NJ) – National STEM Education Tax Incentive for Teachers Act of 2013, which would provide a credit for qualified tuition expenses up to $1000…


January 16, 2013

Sequestration would be a “Devastating Blow” to NIH

NIH Director Francis Collins calls the potential cuts from sequestration a “profound and devastating blow” for medical research. If Congress cannot find a way to achieve debt reduction without massive federal spending cuts, NIH will lose 6.4 percent of its budget this year.  This could hurt the availability of research grants.  Currently, 80 percent of…


January 14, 2013

This Week in DC

Washington, DC is gearing up for the Presidential Inauguration, scheduled to take place on Monday, January 21st (MLK Day). The Senate will remain in recess until then (they were in recess last week as well), while the House is in session today through Wednesday. The big issues facing this new Congress continue to be fiscal…


January 11, 2013

Tax Reform in 2013?

Tax reform has been discussed as a probable agenda item for Congress to tackle this year.  But with the recent deal to increase tax rates for higher earners and making certain tax breaks permanent, there now seems to be waning interest in a comprehensive rewrite of our nation’s tax system.  There are several reasons why:…


January 10, 2013

Recently Introduced Offshore Drilling Bill Would Create New NOAA Grant Program

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D – TX) introduced the Deficit Reduction, Job Creation, and Energy Security Act (HR 70) last week, The bill directs the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of Commerce, acting through NOAA, to initiate immediate action to create jobs in America by taking advantage of leasing opportunities and development of offshore…


January 7, 2013

Congressman Heck Named to House Financial Services Committee, Will Give up Budget Committee Post

In a rare appointment for a freshman Member of Congress, Congressman Denny Heck has been selected by his colleagues to serve on the House Financial Services Committee. The Committee is one of only four “exclusive” committees in the House—the other three being Appropriations, Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce. The House Financial Services Committee…


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