CQ budget reporter Paul M. Krawzak explains the negotiations to lift the budget caps by as much as $250 billion over two years.
Congress began the week with growing uncertainty about how the effort to pass another temporary spending bill will play out and the possibility of a partial government shutdown after midnight Friday.
No budget talks were held over the long weekend after the breakdown in negotiations last week, people familiar with them said. Talks had stalled over the fate of roughly 690,000 “Dreamers,” or young adults brought to the United States illegally as children who are currently able to remain in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
GOP leaders are working on a stopgap continuing resolution that would continue current spending levels into mid-February and include a health care package that would reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, fund community health centers and extend various Medicare provisions, people with knowledge of the process say.
Some elements of the proposal are still being worked out, and it is unclear what the final package will look like. But the aim is to draw bipartisan support on the floor of both chambers next week, averting a partial government shutdown after midnight next Friday, Jan. 19, when the current stopgap expires.
The House Republican Steering Committee plans to meet Jan. 9 to consider three candidates for the next Budget chairman, GOP aides said.
Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia, Steve Womack of Arkansas and Bill Johnson of Ohio are vying to succeed Diane Black, who is stepping down from the position to concentrate on her campaign for governor in Tennessee.
By RYAN McCRIMMON and PAUL M. KRAWZAK
The Senate early Wednesday passed a final version of the GOP tax plan, leaving Republicans and President Donald Trump within striking distance of the most sweeping overhaul of the tax code in decades and their top policy goal for the year.
Congressional negotiators have moved well north of $200 billion in their discussions of how much to raise discretionary spending caps in a two-year budget deal.
The higher numbers under consideration follow an initial Republican offer several weeks ago to raise defense by $54 billion and nondefense by $37 billion in both fiscal 2018 and 2019 — a $182 billion increase in base discretionary spending.
CQ's Paul M. Krawzak spells out the progress lawmakers are making on reaching a two-year budget deal that would most likely lift the 2011 budget caps.
Updated 9:54 p.m. | Thursday’s release of the text of the Republican tax bill by the House Ways and Means Committee will set in motion the complex effort to estimate the effects of the legislation.
It is unclear whether initial cost estimates will be ready when Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady releases the text of the bill. Several people with knowledge of the process said they expect the score will not be ready until later in the week, or possibly until Monday before the markup. All Brady would confirm Tuesday is that a score would be available going into next week’s markup.
The Senate adopted a fiscal 2018 budget resolution Thursday night that was amended at the 11th hour with the aim of making it acceptable enough to House Republicans to avoid a conference committee and speed the consideration of a tax overhaul.
The budget was adopted 51-49.
The Senate on Thursday night agreed, 52-48, to an amendment by Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi that modified the House-passed budget resolution, jettisoning reconciliation instructions aimed at getting $203 billion in mandatory spending cuts.
Instead, the Wyoming Republican’s amendment replaces the House directive for a deficit-neutral tax cut with one that could add up to $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years, similar to the Senate’s.
“Absolutely,” the George Republican said when asked if he will compete for the top spot when Black leaves the chairmanship. Black is running for governor of Tennessee next year, though she has not yet said when she plans to leave her position at the Budget panel.
Senate Republicans are bracing for the loss of Eric Ueland, one of their top procedural experts, at a time when they face the potentially formidable tasks of getting a budget resolution and tax overhaul passed in the Senate.
Ueland, who served as GOP staff director of the Senate Budget Committee for the past four years, is President Donald Trump’s nominee to be undersecretary for management at the State Department. The Portland, Oregon, native is awaiting a vote by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He stepped down to a senior adviser role on the Budget panel last month.
CQ budget reporter Paul M. Krawzak explains why a Senate budget resolution would add between $750 billion and $1.5 trillion or more to the deficit over 10 years, making any tax cuts temporary.
Republican lawmakers are eager to craft a budget resolution that would ease passage of a tax overhaul, but already divisions are emerging. CQ budget reporters Paul Krawzak and Ryan McCrimmon explain the many moving parts.
Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi told Republicans Thursday he intends to mark up a fiscal 2018 budget resolution in September.
In addition, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., met with Republicans on the Budget Committee late Thursday morning and charged them with producing a budget resolution after the recess.
A flurry of activity has kept lawmakers busy setting spending levels for various programs, writing a budget blueprint and talking about a tax overhaul. But plenty of obstacles could still stand in their way, say CQ’s Budget Tracker editor David Lerman and senior budget reporter Paul M. Krawzak.
All eight former directors of the Congressional Budget Office — Democrats and Republicans alike — sent a letter to Congress on Friday protesting the ongoing attacks on the agency’s integrity and urging that Congress continue to rely on CBO estimates.
In the letter, the former directors registered what they said was their “strong objection to recent attacks on the integrity and professionalism of the agency and on the agency’s role in the legislative process.”
Senate Republicans have won an argument before the parliamentarian that will allow a House-passed health care reconciliation bill to be taken up and amended in the Senate next week without any obstacle, CQ Roll Call has learned.
After hearing arguments weeks ago from Democratic and Republican aides, Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough issued her opinion that the House bill (HR 1628) complies with jurisdictional requirements within Senate reconciliation instructions.
As lawmakers start to work on fiscal 2018 spending bills, some Cabinet secretaries who appear before them are doing little to defend President Donald Trump’s budget request, say CQ budget reporters Kellie Mejdrich and Paul M. Krawzak. Also, there are hints that appropriators are willing to consider giving the Pentagon even more money than what Trump is requesting.
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