• House Budget Resolution to Retain Higher Spending Caps0

    Republican members of the House Budget Committee have decided to stick with the higher spending caps afforded by last October’s two-year budget deal in the fiscal 2017 budget resolution they are drafting. To offset the $30 billion in additional discretionary spending passed by Congress last year, the panel’s budget resolution will include a variety of options for trimming the cost of mandatory spending programs, most likely by attaching reforms to entitlement programs in this year’s spending measures, reported CQ Roll Call. Many observers did not believe Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) would be able to unite Republicans on the Budget Committee behind a fiscal blueprint, as conservatives had insisted on ignoring the higher caps allowed by last year’s budget deal …

  • House Republicans Torn over How to Tackle FY’17 Appropriations

    House Republicans Torn over How to Tackle FY’17 Appropriations0

    If House Republicans appeared to achieve a degree of unity after Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) agreed to lead the chamber last year, it wasn’t long lasting. The party is split among multiple camps on how to handle fiscal 2017 appropriations. Many members, including the GOP leadership, are content to stick with the spending levels for defense and non-defense programs outlined in last October’s two-year budget deal, which raised the discretionary spending caps by $30 billion for FY 2017. A vocal contingent of conservatives, though, is pressing for a lower overall topline. A third bloc, defense hawks, is pushing to provide additional dollars for the Pentagon …

  • Senate Blocks Attempt to Restrict Use of OCO Funds0

    In the most significant policy battle the Senate expects to face as it debates the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, the chamber on Tuesday rejected a Democratic effort to stop lawmakers from authorizing the use of tens of billions of dollars in extra war funds to sidestep the statutory spending caps in a 46-51 vote. Following the vote, it’s not clear whether Senate Democrats will try to block the annual policy bill, S. 1376, from advancing in the chamber. Afterwards, Democrats vowed to stop the GOP from going ahead with its strategy to offer the Pentagon budget relief while ignoring domestic agencies by blocking progress on spending bills …

  • Democrats’ Shutdown Talk Intended to Force GOP’s Hand0

    An increasing number of senior Democratic lawmakers have been warning that the federal government is headed toward another shutdown when the new fiscal year begins as a result of the brewing dispute over fiscal 2016 spending. “We’re now kind of paddling down this river serenely when we all know there is this huge waterfall ahead. And if our Republican colleagues want to keep quietly paddling toward a government shutdown, that’s their choice,” Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), ranking member on the House Budget Committee, said last week. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), ranking member on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, noted the similarities with the issues surrounding appropriations in FY 2014 when a partisan dispute resulted in a 16-day shutdown. “While not a mirror image of two years ago, the FY 2016 process is careening towards a similar fate …