budget

Podcast: Obamacare in Peril
The Week Ahead, Episode 59

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

CQ's health reporter Kerry Young and magazine deputy editor Shawn Zeller explain the consequences of the draft health care bill crafted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who can cement his legislative legacy by slashing Medicaid — a program that helps almost 70 million people who live in or near poverty or have disabilities.

Show Notes:

House GOP Still Bickering Over Budget
Defense increase, mandatory spending cuts primary areas of disagreement

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent says Republicans should not waste time arguing over topline levels for nondefense discretionary spending since those will likely be raised in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican squabbling over a defense spending increase and mandatory spending cuts continues to put in danger a fiscal 2018 budget resolution, and subsequently, plans to overhaul the tax code.

After a Friday conference meeting to discuss the budget and appropriations process, their second “family conversation” of the week on the topic, the House GOP appeared no closer to consensus on a budget resolution that could get the 218 needed votes on the floor.

Senate Health Care Bill Gets Lukewarm White House Reaction
Tepid response follows cheerleading from Mike Pence

President Donald Trump will not take a position on any provision in Senate GOP leadership’s health care bill, his spokeswoman said Thursday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump and his top aides responded to the health care overhaul bill crafted by Senate Republican leaders with striking silence, even after Vice President Mike Pence said a final vote must happen in the next few weeks.

The White House did not issue any paper statement about the bill, either under Trump’s name or that of any senior official. And when Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders briefed reporters a few hours after the bill was made public, she declined to discuss any of its contents.

GOP Frets About Fiscal Restraint Progress
Conservatives pushing cuts to mandatory spending

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan says Republicans are still discussing options for the budget and appropriations process, even as conservatives are pushing for steep cuts to mandatory spending. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Fiscal restraint has long been part of the Republican Party’s brand, but GOP lawmakers have made little progress on reducing the amount of money the federal government spends. And frankly, they’re sick of it.

That’s the impetus for what has become a serious push by rank-and-file House Republicans to use the budget reconciliation process to enact mandatory spending cuts.

Ivanka Trump, Senators Hope to Push Family Tax Credits
Rubio: ‘Paid family leave is a part of it’

Ivanka Trump walks with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to a meeting at the Capitol with Republican senators on paid family leave on Tuesday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A group of Senate Republicans met with Ivanka Trump on Tuesday to begin constructing a tax credit package that could include family leave and other child care proposals. 

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who touted paid family leave during his 2016 presidential run, said lawmakers and President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter discussed a variety of tax proposals meant to benefit families, particularly those who are low-income.

Prospect of Repeat Budget Failure Puts Pressure on Republicans
Budget needed for GOP to get to tax overhaul, possibly mandatory spending cuts

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, seen here at a committee hearing last month with ranking Democrat John Yarmuth, is confident Republicans will pass a budget this year, despite GOP divisions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans face the possibility of failing to pass a full budget resolution for the second year in a row, despite making progress on their goals for a fiscal 2018 budget resolution.

The stakes are much higher than last year as the budget, through the reconciliation process, has become a tool for Republicans to advance legislation without Democratic support, something they lack on nearly all of their top priorities.

Podcast: The Budget Disconnect Within the Trump Administration
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 22

Eric Ueland, staff director for the Senate Budget Committee, is one of many high-profile staffers leaving Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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.

Democrats Plot Senate Slowdown Over Obamacare Repeal
Schumer, Murray among Democrats planning to highlight GOP process

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer says not to expect business as usual on the floor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats have decided to muddle the chamber’s work in a bid to highlight the closed-door nature of Republicans’ health care negotiations.

When the Democrats take the floor Monday evening for a series of speeches against the GOP’s efforts to roll back the 2010 health care law, they will also begin objecting to a variety of unanimous consent requests that generally govern more routine Senate floor business.

Will GOP Settle for a Clean Debt Limit Win?
No other legislative victories in sight

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin arrives for a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Dirksen Building titled “Domestic and International Policy Update,” on May 18, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Both repelling and wallowing in a manufactured crisis are surefire ways for the Capitol to put itself in the headlines. That’s why some fresh drama fabrication is getting underway, even before the lawmakers have decided if their response will be crisply responsible or melodramatically craven.

This morality play will be about the federal debt, which is not going anywhere except up in the near term, no matter what anyone in Washington says or does to the contrary.

Podcast: The Big Chill for Trump Budget
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 21

Lawmakers are starting to work on next fiscal year’s federal spending plan with nearly 30 hearings coming up — even though they’ve given a thumbs down to President Trump’s budget request and have no idea how much they can spend, says Budget Tracker editor David Lerman.