appropriations

Why Democrats aren’t rushing to change immigration laws
They don’t agree with Trump and public sentiment doesn’t provide a mandate toward a solution

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., flanked from left by Assistant Democratic Leader Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Cheri Bustos, D- Ill., and Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark, D-Mass., speaks to the press during the House Democrats' 2019 Issues Conference at the Landsdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg, Va. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats are treading carefully on immigration as they attempt to show they can lead on the divisive issue heading into the 2020 elections.

President Donald Trump, who won election in 2016 on a campaign to crack down on immigration and what he often refers to as “open borders,” is planning to repeat the strategy heading into 2020. In recent weeks, he’s launched near daily attacks on Democrats for their refusal to change immigration laws — an accusation that, as with many things Trump says, is not entirely true.

Progressive power play: Pentagon-level spending for nondefense programs
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 107

Rep. Mark Pocan, D- Wis., who co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, wants to open the conversation on boosting nondefense spending.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Hemp concerns and trade jitters top agriculture appropriations hearing
The Agriculture Department’s request includes cuts to research, rural housing and international humanitarian food programs

Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue takes his seat to testify during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate appropriators had trade woes and the promise of industrial hemp on their minds Thursday as they sought assurances from Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue of better times for farmers in their states.

Perdue testified before the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee on the president’s $15.7 billion request for discretionary funding for the Agriculture Department. The request is more than $4.2 billion lower than the enacted level for fiscal 2019 and includes cuts to research, rural housing, international humanitarian food programs and other areas popular with lawmakers.

Republican senators to press disaster aid case to Trump

UNITED STATES - MARCH 5: Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., talks with reporters before the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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.

Trump accuses Dems of ‘treason’ even as Mulvaney seeks a border deal with them
‘No one views the White House as credible on this issue,’ says senior House Democratic source

American and Mexican flag fly over the Paso del Norte International Bridge on March 30 in El Paso, Texas. President Donald Trump continues accusing Democrats of "treason" over their border policies. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump continues accusing congressional Democrats of treason — a crime punishable by death — over their border security policies even as his acting chief of staff was on Capitol Hill Wednesday seeking a deal.

And a senior Democratic aide expressed doubt that a deal is likely over what promises to be among 2020’s most contentious campaign trail issues.

Bernhardt nears confirmation, but Capitol Hill isn’t finished with him
Grijalva wants acting Interior chief to testify on at least two different oversight probes

David Bernhardt appears likely to be confirmed as Interior secretary this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt will likely be confirmed in the Senate by a comfortable margin this week — but that could be his easiest day on Capitol Hill for a while.

The Senate voted 56-41 Wednesday evening to end debate on the nomination after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier in the day that he expected the chamber to be “voting to confirm” Bernhardt “later this week.” And while some coastal Republicans have raised concerns about the Interior Department’s plans for opening all U.S. coasts to oil and gas drilling, there doesn’t appear to be enough GOP opposition to derail confirmation.

Trump finally finds a Bush he likes: Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush
‘This is the only Bush that likes me,’ POTUS exclaims at non-political event

President Donald Trump, here in Grand Rapids, Mich., on March 28, was in Texas for fundraisers and an energy infrastructure speech. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday found a member of the Bush family he likes: George P. Bush.

The 42-year-old son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a 2016 GOP primary rival of the president, holds one of the most powerful offices in Texas, that of land commissioner. He is the nephew of former President George W. Bush and grandson of the late former President George H.W. Bush. Trump during the 2016 Republican primary fight dubbed his father “Low Energy Jeb.”

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

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced the spending caps bill would be punted until at least after the two-week recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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.’

Democrats ponder power of the purse to get full Mueller report

Attorney General William Barr is greeted by full committee chair Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., before a House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing in Rayburn Building on the Department of Justice's budget request for Fiscal Year 2020 on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Top Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee aren’t ready to wield their power over Justice Department funding to pressure Attorney General William Barr to provide the full special counsel report from Robert S. Mueller III — but they aren’t ruling it out either.

Rep. Jose E. Serrano, chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the DOJ budget, told reporters that appropriators could prescribe that no dollars be used to block Mueller’s full report from being released — not that he’s saying that would happen.

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

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., participates in the House Democrats' news conference in the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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.