• On the Hill: Alaska Senator to Lead Readiness Panel; Ryan Ends Discussion of Reintroducing Earmarks for Now

    On the Hill: Alaska Senator to Lead Readiness Panel; Ryan Ends Discussion of Reintroducing Earmarks for Now0

    The Senate on Thursday officially approved James Inhofe (R-Okla.) to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee, completing a three-step process put into motion to replace John McCain following his death Aug. 25. The change at the top of the committee triggered one other shift as well, with Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) taking the gavel for the

  • House Republicans Quash Attempt to Allow Some Earmarks0

    A change in House Republican rules that would have permitted earmarks for military construction projects and other “directed spending” funneled to government agencies did not go forward last week due to overwhelming opposition from fellow members. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), known for pushing the “Bridge to Nowhere,” planned on offering an amendment to Republican conference rules allowing an earmark directing funding to the federal government, a state or a unit of local government if the sponsor is identified, the earmark is initiated in committee and it falls within the appropriations subcommittee’s budget allocation …

  • New Political Dynamic Creates Uncertainty for Prognosticators0

    Passing the essential spending bills needed to keep the federal government running may be beyond the capabilities of the 112th Congress, but watching the drama unfold as the House Republican leadership gives way to the newly ascendant tea party freshmen is sure to be entertaining, according to a panel of inside-the-beltway experts at the ADC 2011 Winter Forum kickoff super session. “This is really unprecedented,” George Schlossberg, a partner with Kutak Rock LLP, said of the rise of a third political caucus in Congress — the tea party — and its potential to prevent House leaders from reaching a compromise with the Senate over funding the government through the remainder of fiscal 2011. And as a result, a federal shutdown looms when the current continuing resolution funding federal operations runs out March 4 …