budget

Mulvaney Confirmed as Budget Director
Arizona’s John McCain is only defector in party-line vote

South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney was confirmed as director of the Office of Management and Budget on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate confirmed Rep. Mick Mulvaney as the new director of the Office of Management and Budget on Thursday morning, allowing the budget process to move forward.

The South Carolina Republican was confirmed by a 51-49 vote, with Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain the only Republican defector. The Arizona senator announced on Wednesday that he could not support Mulvaney’s nomination because of the congressman’s work to cut defense spending. 

Amid Senate Tensions, Hatch Eyes Bipartisan Tax Deal
Utah Republican says House GOP plan will not pass the Senate

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch says that despite “a lot of bitterness around here,” he plans to meet with Senate Democrats to gauge interest in a bipartisan tax proposal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch has launched a new push for a bipartisan Senate alternative to the contentious House Republican tax plan, as President Donald Trump begins to frame administration priorities.

The Senate Finance chairman said last week he was meeting with Democratic tax writers one-on-one and hoped there would be leeway for deals, after bitter debates over Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin riled the Senate and exposed deep partisan fault lines.

A Big League Border Overhaul?
Trump will work with Congress on immigration overhaul, spokesman avers

The Trump administration says it is ready to work with lawmakers on a sweeping immigration overhaul. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A White House that swept to power with hardline immigration rhetoric and kind words for Russia, on Wednesday expressed a willingness to work with lawmakers on an immigration overhaul, and said some existing sanctions on Russia should remain in place.

President Donald Trump has issued executive actions aimed at jump-starting a massive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, stripping federal funding for so-called sanctuary cities, and banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Trump Advisers’ Infrastructure Plan Has Big Risks
Could reward investors in projects

President Donald Trump's pick for U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross worked on Trump's proposal for infrastructure (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo).

An infrastructure plan put together by two advisers of President Donald Trump could carry potential risks, economists and transportation experts say.

The plan is based on a paper by Trump economic adviser Peter Navarro, who is director of the National Trade Council, and Wilbur Ross, Trump's pick for Commerce Secretary that was set before the election.

Is Trump Taking Policy Cues From Paul Ryan?
Nod to tax proposal just latest in series of shifts

President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Ryan, right, as he arrives on stage while Vice President Mike Pence looks on, at the GOP retreat in Philadelphia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Pool)

PHILADELPHIA — In a few short months, Donald Trump has shifted from a candidate who considered Speaker Paul D. Ryan a “very weak and ineffective leader” to a president who seems to be leaning on him to beef up his policy agenda.

A sign of that evolution came Thursday when Trump, speaking before congressional Republicans at their issues retreat here, embraced Ryan’s “border adjustment” proposal to tax U.S. imports instead of exports as a way to pay for his border wall.

Who’s Going to Pay for the Wall? Congress!
Ryan, McConnell are noncommittal on how to pay for border wall

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speak at the Republican issues’ retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

PHILADELPHIA — House Speaker Paul D. Ryan expects President Donald Trump to submit a roughly $15 billion supplemental appropriations request to pay for his border wall, but neither Ryan nor Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would detail whether the cost will be offset by spending cuts or paid for with deficit spending, nor whether Mexico would ultimately pay for it, as Trump promised repeatedly during the 2016 campaign.

“As far as the offset, we’re going to wait for the administration and see what their supplemental looks like,” Ryan said at a media availability with McConnell on Thursday at the GOP’s issues retreat here.

Ryan Lays Out Ambitious 200-Day Congressional Agenda
Health care and tax overhauls slated to be done by August per GOP plan

Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., does a television interview at the GOP retreat in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. House and Senate Republicans are holding their retreat through Friday in Philadelphia, with a visit from President Donald Trump expected Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

PHILADELPHIA — House Speaker Paul D. Ryan is laying out an aggressive 200-day agenda that will have Congress rolling back regulations, repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law, funding a border wall, rewriting the tax code, expanding the veterans’ choice program, advancing an infrastructure package and avoiding a debt default — all before the August recess. 

“It’s the president and his administration working hand and glove with the speaker and the majority leader,” New York Rep. Chris Collins told reporters after Ryan’s presentation at the start of the GOP retreat here on Wednesday. “It’s going to be hard. We’re going to be doing controversial things. The speaker’s message was, ‘None of this is going to be easy, and we’re going to be attacked by somebody regardless of what we do, so let’s buckle our seat belts and understand we have an obligation here.’”

Republicans Could Face Trouble Balancing Next Budget
The GOP has a formidable challenge in trying to write a fiscal 2018 resolution that balances in a decade

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, left, and Mike Lee of Utah want to eliminate the deficit within 10 years.(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Budget Nominee Mulvaney an Investor in Gold, Silver
President Donald Trump’s pick to oversee the federal budget holds stock in a range of funds, from gold and uranium mining to the global airline industry

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s nominee to oversee the Office of Management and Budget, has significant investments in gold and the energy sector. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Walker Wants GOP to Lead on Criminal Justice, Immigration
Head of Republican Study Committee says new approach warranted

Walker thinks Republicans need to move beyond talking points on simply securing the border when discussing immigration policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker wants Republicans to take the lead on issues where they’ve been timid in the past, like overhauling the criminal justice and immigration systems.

“There are communities that are hurting, that are suffering,” the North Carolina Republican told a group of reporters Monday. “And that should be important to both parties, to all the parties.”