It’s Not Over…2015 Bipartisan Budget Act

Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University By Kenneth Gold, Director 11/2/15 It’s Not Over Many of the news stories that covered last week’s passage of the two-year, 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act had headlines similar to the Associated Press story titled “No shutdown, no default: Congress leaders, Obama back deal”.  And while the agreement is an enormous and widely unexpected accomplishment that does prevent the country from going into default, it doesn’t in itself fund the government past December 11. The agreement that suspended the debt ceiling and lifted the caps … Continue reading

Rep. Walorski Opposes Funding Homeland Security, Senators Coats and Donnelly Support

By Russ Phillips
3/5/15

Yesterday President Obama signed into law the Homeland Security Appropriations Act,
2015 that had been approved by the House and Senate in recent days. Indiana’s Rep. Jackie Walorski voted to oppose the Act while Indiana Senators Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly supported the Act.

An explanation of Walorski’s vote was not found on her website. However, a Walorski staff member stated today, “The Congresswoman had hoped that a solution could be reached, the Senate again played politics with our country’s national security. Yesterday, Harry Reid and Senate Democrats blocked a vote to allow a bill, that would fund the Dept. of Homeland Security and hold the president accountable for his abuse of executive power, to go to conference and reach a workable solution. After careful consideration, she decided that she could not support the Senate passed bill  – a measure that did not halt funding for President Obama’s executive amnesty.”

Neither was a statement found on Donnelly’s website regarding his vote.

Coat’s website does include a statement about his vote.

The vote of all members of Congress will be found here.

Budget Battle Deadlines for 2015: Immigration, Debt Ceiling and 2016 Federal Budget

In order for Congress to avoid rushed backroom budget deals like the 1,600 page Cromnibus, they must adhere to deadlines in the budget process. Here are the ones they need to keep in mind this year:

2016_budget_timeline_large

National Priorities Project
By Jasmine Tucker
1/6/15

Today marks the first day of the Republican-controlled 114th Congress, where 74 brand new, newly-elected members will swear in with other members of Congress.

In a previous post, we brought you three New Years’ resolutions for Congress. Now that the new year and new Congress have started, here are some deadlines for lawmakers to keep in mind if they want to keep those resolutions: (more)

Those Pension Cuts and What You Need to Know

http://blog.aarp.org/
12/16/14

Congress recently carved a hole in a 40-year-old pension law that has prevented employers from cutting benefits earned by those already retired. This change applies to people covered under multiemployer plans that are in critical financial shape.

Here’s what you need to know:

What is a multiemployer plan? This is a pension covering workers and retirees from more than one employer in the same or related industries, such as trucking or construction. (Most of them were established under collective bargaining between a union and the employers.) There are about 1,400 multiemployer plans with 10.4 million participants… (more)

More analysis of spending bill and clarification as to whether it was $1.1 T or $1.01 T

The National Priorities Project (NPP) is a source I frequently refer to. If not familiar with NPP I strongly encourage visiting at least NPP’s home page. I subscribe to their email list (no cost and only requires email and zip) and this can be done near the bottom of their home page.

NPP has an analysis of the recently passed spending bill and has some details not previously shared on this blog including:

Debt & Deficit

  • Officially abides by the spending limits ($1.013 trillion) of the 2013 Ryan-Murray Bipartisan Budget Act.
  • However, total spending is actually closer to $1.1 trillion, when you count emergency spending and appropriations from previous years that will actually be spent this year, bringing spending above the Bipartisan Budget Act limit.

What’s in the $1.1 trillion spending bill?

(The Washington Post on 12/10/14 published “What’s in the spending bill? We skim it so you don’t have to,” as reported by Ed O’Keefe, and republished below.) This item has been updated and revised. The $1.01 trillion spending bill unveiled late Tuesday will keep most of the federal government funded through next September — and it’s packed with hundreds of policy instructions, known on Capitol Hill as “riders,” that will upset or excite Democrats, Republicans and various special interest groups. So, what’s in the bill? We’ve sifted through the legislation, consulted … Continue reading