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Posts Tagged ‘appropriations’

DOD’s Fiscal Straits Unlikely to Improve, Washington Lawmakers Tell Forum

  • August 25, 2015
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Two Washington state lawmakers offered a downcast outlook for the defense budget and the prospects for Congress to alleviate the Pentagon’s fiscal challenges during last week’s Defense Community Regional Forum at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Rep. Adam Smith (D), ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, forecast shrinking budgets, a lack of flexibility from Congress on how DOD can respond to the cuts and a possible government shutdown. “It’s not just that the budget is being reduced, it’s that it’s being reduced in an incredibly unpredictable fashion,” Smith told the audience …

Senate Democrats Urge McConnell to Begin Budget Talks

  • August 21, 2015
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With only limited time available after lawmakers return to Washington next month, Senate Democrats this week urged Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to start negotiations over the fiscal 2016 spending caps immediately. “With the existence of a clear and urgent deadline for action, we believe it would be unwise to wait until after the Congress returns from the August state work period — just 23 days before the end of the federal fiscal year — to begin talks on a path forward,” all 46 members of the Democratic Conference, which includes two independents, wrote McConnell on Tuesday. “We cannot afford to wait, only to let delay and inaction bring us to the brink of another totally predictable and completely preventable crisis …

Quick Agreement over CR Needed to Avoid Shutdown following Hectic September

  • August 11, 2015
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A busy September for Congress punctuated by debate over the Iran nuclear deal, high-priority highway and cybersecurity bills, and the pope’s visit likely will result in lawmakers getting only one shot at passing a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open after Sept. 30. Because of the time Congress will be devoting to other priorities when it returns to Washington after Labor Day, neither the House nor the Senate will have the luxury of amending the CR they receive from the other chamber and sending it back for a second vote, reported CQ. “The highway bill, the cyber bill, the other things that need to get done, and the Iran resolution, and the highway bill are going to take a lot of time,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, vice chairman of the Republican conference …

Shutdown Not in the Cards, McConnell Says

  • August 7, 2015
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday insisted there would be no government shutdown in October in the wake of the controversy over undercover videos of Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of fetal tissue. McConnell said he would not indulge conservatives who are demanding that language removing $528 million in federal funding for the group be attached to any fiscal 2016 spending bills, including a continuing resolution, reported CQ Roll Call. “I can’t tell you what will finally end up in or out of any government funding resolution. I can tell you without fear of contradiction there will be no government shutdown …

Talk of Potential Shutdown Emerges in Wake of Planned Parenthood Videos

  • August 4, 2015
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A growing number of Republicans are calling for the party’s leaders to link fiscal 2016 spending bills, including a continuing resolution, to language denying funds to Planned Parenthood, in response to a series of undercover videos showing the organization’s executives discussing the sale of fetal tissue. A failed procedural vote in the Senate Monday to debate a measure cutting off federal funding for Planned Parenthood is unlikely to slow a rising outcry over the issue from conservatives. The effort began in the House last week with 18 members pledging to oppose any spending bills that continue funding for the organization, reported the Hill. And now Senate Republicans, particularly three of the members running for president, have taken up the mantle …

Congress Will Aim to Approve CR after August Recess

  • July 31, 2015
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One of Congress’ primary goals when it returns to Capitol Hill in September will be clearing a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government open when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. Leaders of both chambers have now acknowledged what has become readily apparent with the appropriations process at a standstill in the House and Senate. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said discussions about a stopgap funding bill for fiscal 2016 will take place in September. “When we come back after August we’ll discuss the way forward on getting the government funded,” McConnell said, reported CQ Roll Call. He dismissed the prospect of hashing out a budget agreement with the White House sooner …

Prospect of Federal Shutdown Reaches 40 Percent, Expert Says

  • July 29, 2015
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With Republicans leaders resisting President Obama’s latest call for budget talks to resolve the impasse over fiscal 2016 spending, federal budget expert Stan Collender says the chances of a government shutdown have now risen to 40 percent. Of course, the most likely outcome still is a continuing resolution that remains in force until a budget deal can be reached, Collender, an executive vice president at Qorvis/MSLGROUP and a former staffer on the House and Senate Budget committees, said in a blog post. Last month, House Speaker John Boehner had said he was willing to sit down with the White House to negotiate a budget deal, but so far the president had never asked him do so. But after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy last week said he didn’t see “a place currently where they c(ould) come to a conclusion …

New House Appropriations Chair Could Result in New Defense Cardinal

  • July 28, 2015
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A decision by Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) not to seek a fourth term atop the House Appropriations Committee when the next Congress starts in 2017 could create an opening for chairman of the committee’s defense spending panel. During an interview last week, Rogers said he didn’t expect to ask his party’s leadership for a waiver to allow him to retain the committee gavel for a fourth consecutive term. The three leading contenders to chair the full committee are Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) — who now heads the defense spending panel — Kay Granger (R-Texas) and Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.). All three are positioned to make a strong case for replacing Rogers. None, however, has publicly stated they are interested in pursuing the chairmanship …

Congress to Take up CR in September, Boehner Says

  • July 24, 2015
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Lawmakers most likely will rely on a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open when the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday. “It’s pretty clear, given the number of days we’re going to be here in September, that we’re going to need a CR of some kind,” Boehner said. The speaker did not address how long he envisioned a stopgap measure lasting, reported CQ Roll Call. “No decisions have been made about that,” he said. “We’ll deal with it when we get back in September …

Democrats Step up Pressure to Negotiate Higher Spending Caps

  • July 22, 2015
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President Obama on Tuesday reiterated his call for Republicans to negotiate higher spending levels for domestic agencies as well as the Pentagon if he is to sign any fiscal 2016 appropriations bills. “I’m calling on Republican leaders in Congress to come to the table with Democrats, sit down, negotiate a budget that protects our national security and our economic security,” Obama said at a VFW convention in Pittsburgh. “I’ve said I will veto any budget that locks in the sequester. It is not good for our country,” he said …

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