Paul M. Krawzak

Republican senators to press disaster aid case to Trump

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby will meet with President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday afternoon to discuss a path forward on disaster aid, the Alabama Republican told reporters.

GOP Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and Joni Ernst of Iowa will also attend the meeting, Shelby said.

House puts off vote on spending caps deal; adopts ‘deeming’ resolution

The House set an overall spending cap of nearly $1.3 trillion for appropriators in that chamber to write their fiscal 2020 bills, adopting a “deeming resolution” on Tuesday as part of the rule governing floor debate on separate spending caps legislation — although that legislation hit a snag on Tuesday. 

The tally was 219-201, with no Republicans voting for the rule and seven Democrats voting ‘no.’

Progressives are holding back votes on the spending caps bill
Progressive Congressional Caucus leaders want more nondefense funding over the next two years

Leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said Tuesday that the current bill to raise discretionary spending caps won’t pass the House unless it’s amended to allow more nondefense funding over the next two years.

“We do think that if we’re going to go negotiate, we should be negotiating from our strongest place and our strongest place is saying we want more nondefense spending. So that’s where many of us are at,” Rep. Mark Pocan said after a House Democratic Caucus meeting.

Talks to raise spending caps are underway, Enzi says
The Senate Budget chairman said House Democrats reached out to discuss legislation increasing the caps

The gears are beginning to turn in a way that could launch formal bicameral talks to raise discretionary spending caps for the next two fiscal years.

At the start of the fiscal 2020 budget resolution markup Wednesday, Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi said the House Democratic leadership reached out to him a day earlier to discuss legislation to increase the caps.

House Appropriations may start markups in April
Markups have to begin in April or May at the latest to have any chance of bills passing on the floor in June

House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey and Democratic appropriators are looking at starting fiscal 2020 markups as soon as late April with the Defense, Labor-HHS-Education and Legislative Branch bills, people familiar with the process said.

The Military Construction-VA and Energy-Water bills also are on tap to be among the first five bills marked up, as part of an effort to begin advancing bills across the floor in June.

White House readies lean budget with fat nondefense cuts
Democrats have already rejected plan that even some Republicans say is unrealistic

BY PAUL M. KRAWZAK AND DAVID LERMAN

President Donald Trump will send a budget request to Capitol Hill on Monday seeking to eliminate deficits in 15 years, relying on rosy economic growth forecasts to boost revenue and tight limits on nondefense appropriations to counterbalance hefty increases for the military and his signature border wall project.

Spending deal at mercy of Trump budget, debt limit and border money
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 101

President Donald Trump's fiscal 2020 budget request, due out next week, is likely to skirt a defense spending cap to boost the military while proposing deep cuts to nondefense programs. CQ's Paul M. Krawzak explains how the White House blueprint is sure to trigger a new showdown over spending limits,  along with the need to increase the debt limit and the continuing battle over border wall funds.

Show Notes:

Expect a ‘prolonged fight’ over spending caps
Deal might not be reached until it’s too late to get next year’s spending bills done in time

Lawmakers return to Washington this week looking for quick movement on another two-year budget deal to waive austere spending caps and lay the foundation for an orderly fiscal 2020 appropriations process.

There’s little reason to believe a “caps deal” can be achieved quickly, however. In fact an agreement may not be reached until late in the year, some observers say, when it’s too late to get next year’s spending bills done in time for the start of the new budget year Oct. 1.

In bid to avoid shutdown, spending deal drops Violence Against Women Act extension, other contentious provisions
House and Senate conferees were signing the document Wednesday night, votes expected Thursday

As negotiators were finalizing a final fiscal 2019 funding package highlighted by border security spending Wednesday evening, it became clear that an extension of the Violence Against Women Act wouldn’t make the cut.

Several policy riders in the mix earlier Wednesday, including back pay for federal contractors for wages lost during the 35-day partial shutdown and the VAWA extension, didn’t make it in the final bargaining over the fiscal 2019 spending conference report, according to aides in both parties.

Mulvaney hosting Camp David meeting with Yarmuth, others
Mulvaney extended the invitation but didn't provide any details of the subject matter of the agenda

A small group of Republican and Democratic House members are headed to Camp David after votes Friday to meet with White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, to see if they can find common ground on budget and other issues.

Mulvaney extended the invitation but didn't provide any details of the subject matter of the agenda.

Corporate rate increase could hinder economic growth, CBO director says
Hall said raising the tax would likely reduce business investment

Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall said raising the corporate income tax rate as many Democrats want to do could slow down economic growth and wage increases.

He also said during a House Budget Committee hearing that it’s not clear that raising the tax above the current 21 percent rate would produce deficit savings.

White House to put Medicare cuts on hold during shutdown
Pay-as-you-go law would force cuts if shutdown lingers until Jan. 24

The Trump administration won’t order up a round of cuts in federal benefit programs, primarily Medicare, if the partial government shutdown remains in effect later this month, a senior Office of Management and Budget official said.

If the shutdown lingers until Jan. 24, under current law, the OMB would be forced to slice around $839 million from nonexempt programs across the government. That number represents the figure left on the pay-as-you-go “scorecard” for 2018, specifying the net amount added to the fiscal 2019 deficit by laws enacted last year, excluding emergency spending that is exempt from the calculation.

House Democrats’ budget to assume corporate tax increase
Yarmuth aims to bring fiscal 2020 budget resolution to floor by early April

Rep. John Yarmuth, the new House Budget chairman, said his chamber’s budget blueprint will aim to claw back lost revenue by boosting the corporate tax rate from its current 21 percent to as high as 28 percent, with rate increases also possible for high-earning individuals.

The Kentucky Democrat said Friday he wants to mark up a fiscal 2020 budget resolution, which will outline his party’s vision for taxes and spending over the next decade, in time to reach the House floor in early April. Yarmuth said Democratic leaders have told him they want to be ready so they can set the procedural stage for passage of all 12 appropriations bills before the August recess.

Rules package would renew ‘Gephardt Rule’ with a major twist

A proposed House rules package wouldn’t just reinstate the old rule that let the chamber avoid separate votes on the statutory debt ceiling 20 times in three decades starting in 1980. 

The new rules offered by House Democratic leaders, set for floor debate Thursday, would turbocharge the old “Gephardt rule” into something completely new. It would allow the chamber to spin off a resolution “suspending” the debt ceiling to the Senate, without a House vote, once the House adopts its own version of a budget resolution.

Shutdown Fears Abound, Despite Temporary Reprieve
Another deadline looming in appropriations standoff

Congressional aides on both sides of the aisle say they don’t see how the appropriations impasse ends without a partial government shutdown just in time for Christmas Eve.

President Donald Trump signed a continuing resolution into law Friday that would change the expiration date of the stopgap measure enacted before the midterm elections to Dec. 21. But he wasted little time in taking aim at Democratic leaders for “playing political games” on border security funding, even as he prepares to sit down with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York in the Oval Office Tuesday.

Trump’s Christmas Wish List: Billions for Wildfire Suppression, Unaccompanied Children
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 91

Just when lawmakers thought they had breathing room to hammer out a year-end spending deal, President Donald Trump drops a request for an extra $4.76 billion, technically referred to as anomalies. CQ's budget and appropriations team, Kellie Mejdrich and Paul M. Krawzak explain what's at stake for government spending with co-host Jennifer Shutt. ...
Mueller Probe, Wall Funding Could Trip Up Spending Plan
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 88

With just eight legislative days remaining to avoid a partial government shutdown, lawmakers will confront a slew of prickly issues, including Robert S. Mueller III's Russia investigation, in their government spending talks, says CQ's senior budget reporter Paul M. Krawzak. He games out what might happen to the seven pending bills that need to pass by Dec. 7.

Surprise Roadblock Could Sideline Budget Overhaul Panel
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 87

The co-chairwoman of the select committee tasked with overhauling the budget process threw her colleagues a curveball that could derail plans to report out a bill by the Nov. 30 deadline, CQ's senior budget reporter Paul Krawzak tells host Jennifer Shutt.

Despite the Rhetoric, Congress Is Unlikely to Tackle Deficit, Entitlements
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 83

The rising deficit, the president’s request for 5 percent in budget cuts and discussions of needing to trim Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security set off a storm of debate just three weeks before the midterms. Roll Call's senior Senate reporter Niels Lesniewski, senior CQ budget reporter Paul M. Krawzak and co-host Jennifer Shutt explain why Congress is unlikely to deal with any of it.

Democratic Unity on Budget Faces Tests in New Congress
What flavor of nationalized health care can the party agree to — if any?

If voters give Democrats control of the House in November, they’ll get a chance to write the first left-leaning budget blueprint since 2009 in that chamber.

That would give Democrats an opportunity to show through the tax and spending blueprint how they want to address rising deficits, insolvency projections for social safety net programs, and get a jump on their 2020 message.