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Congress Facing Down Another Shutdown

Federal funding for FY 2018 runs out on March 23 when the current CR expires. This current CR was designed only to provide Congress enough time to write and pass an omnibus appropriations bill wrapping all 12 bills into one package. But the appropriations part of the February 9 budget deal may not happen in

Gun Debate Occupies Washington Discussion For Now

The talk in Washington last week was dominated by the latest school shootings in Parkland, Florida. At the start of the week it seemed clear that the Congress would do little if anything, but those plans seemed to get at least a partial jolt by the President’s cabinet room meeting on Wednesday, February 28, the

Appropriations Discussion Continues But Progress Unclear

The appropriations discussions continued behind closed door last week with progress reportly limited. Although the February 9, budget agreement raised the caps on “non-defense” spending by approximately $60 billion (or more like $50 billion when matched against what was permitted in 2017), that non-defense includes the State Department, military construction and some veterans programs but

DACA OK Until?

The Supreme Court, on Monday, February 26, declined to take up an emergency ruling on the President’s repeal of DACA that had been set to take place on Monday—today. The Administration was attempting to speed up the process and was asking the Supreme Court to take up some lower court rulings that have placed a

More on Opioids

Last week the President became the latest President to mark a top priority by declaring war on it. Mr. Trump declared a war on opioids saying, “When confronting a crisis of this magnitude, the most important factor—and one where government too often falls short—is making sure that every dollar is used effectively. To this end,

Congress Returns With Questions: DACA, Appropriations, Guns?

Congress returns this week for what will be a shortened session but it will be the first opportunity to determine how they will handle three front and center issues: guns, appropriations and DACA They return from their districts for the first time post-Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida shootings. Some will come back from

Fiscal Year 2018 Mop-Up As Members Return

Funding for the current fiscal year expires on March 23. It is not expected to be a problem as that short term CR was designed to allow appropriators to allocate funding provided under the February 9, 2018 budget deal (PL 115-123). That deal agreed to raise the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) caps for both

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, How Deferred?

One of the other issues confronting Congress this week will be what will be the next steps on DACA? There seems to be no path forward for the more than 700,000 DACA-covered young people. The expiration date or the implementation date for the Presidents executive order is March 5, next Monday. The courts, at the

President Unveils 2019 Budget

On Monday February 12, the President released his first full fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget. It was released just two days after the Congress had passed and the President signed a budget agreement (PL 115-123) that means many of numbers in the budget are off and well below what was agreed to on the previous

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