budget

When the Budget Resolution Isn’t About the Budget
Senators acknowledge budget is all about taxes

Georgia GOP Sen. David Perdue is teaming up with a Democratic colleague, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, on amendments to the budget resolution that declare the process is basically absurd. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

When Sen. John McCain removed the suspense by announcing he would vote for the budget resolution moving through the Senate, the Arizona Republican made clear the ridiculousness of the exercise.

“At the end of the day, we all know that the Senate budget resolution will not impact final appropriations,” he said in a statement. “To do that, Congress and the White House must negotiate a budget agreement that will lift the caps on defense spending and enable us to adequately fund the military.”

Podcast: Reading Is Fundamental, Just Not Always In Congress
The Big Story, Episode 76

The House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol is seen before lawmakers arrive in 2015. (By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Do lawmakers read or understand the legislation they pass? They are about to pass a budget resolution they say isn't about the budget and passed legislation last year that defanged the DEA during an opioid epidemic. Roll Call Senior Senate Reporter Niels Lesniewski walks through what's going on. 

 

Contrary to Rhetoric, Military Mishaps Have Been Declining
The Pentagon’s deadly accident-filled summer bucked a larger trend

The destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a chemical tanker in August, one of several deadly military accidents this year. Such incidents are on the decline, according to a Roll Call analysis. (Courtesy U.S. Navy)

Hawks in Congress have said military mishaps are up because the defense budget is down, but the data says otherwise.

The summer of 2017 saw a rash of fatal military accidents — ships colliding at sea, planes crashing and vehicles catching fire — that were deadlier than attacks from America’s enemies.

Rob Woodall Doubles Down in Budget Chairmanship Race
Georgia Republican vying with two others for gavel

Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall hopes to succeed Tennessee Rep. Diane Black as chairman of the House Budget Committee. (Al Drago/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Rob Woodall is all-in in the race to succeed House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, if and when she steps down.

“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.

Trump, McConnell All Smiles, All the Time
President, majority leader say they are on the same page, despite tension

President Donald Trump, left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., say their relationship is A-OK. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is ready to cancel Christmas recess to get a tax bill done, but President Donald Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled the effort could slip into next year.

Trump on Monday called his relationship with McConnell “very good” amid reports of tension between the two leaders. During a remarkable and rowdy midday joint press conference in the Rose Garden, Trump declared he and McConnell “are probably now … closer than ever before.

Podcast: Trump Kneecapping Obamacare Adds to Year-End Spending Hurdles
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 35

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks back to his office after speaking to reporters on Oct. 3, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Health care, border wall funding and legislation for Dreamers and an assortment of other issues are piling up and likely to complicate efforts for a year-end spending deal to avert a partial government shutdown, says CQ Budget reporter Jennifer Shutt.

 

Brady and Ryan Mulling Big Gamble on Key Tax Deduction
State and local tax deduction has its fans among rank and file, though

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady want to repeal the state and local tax deduction, but face resistance from several GOP colleagues in high-tax states. (Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call File Photo)

House Republican leaders face many decisions regarding details of a tax overhaul but perhaps none more immediately consequential than whether to roll the dice and try to eliminate the state and local tax, or SALT, deduction.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas and Speaker Paul D. Ryan have made it abundantly clear they’d prefer to get rid of the deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct what they pay in state and local property taxes and either state income taxes or sales taxes.

‘Call me,’ Trump Tells Democrats After Nixing Obamacare Subsidies
President paints Dems as in pocket of ‘their pet insurance companies’

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone in the Oval Office earlier this year. On Friday morning, he instructed Democrats to call him to talk about a "fix" for Obamacare. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“Call me.”

That was the message early Friday morning from President Donald Trump to Democrats after he drew their ire late Thursday night for canceling health care subsidies they immediately said would drive up insurance premiums.

Trump Dismisses Nuclear Buildup Report, Reverses Stance
‘Let it be an arms race,’ candidate Trump said

A nuclear-capable U.S. Minuteman III missile in its silo. President Trump reportedly told his team in July he wanted an eightfold hike in nuclear weapons, which he is denying. (Defense Visual Information Center photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Updated at 4:43 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Wednesday reversed his position on the need for a massive buildup of the American nuclear weapons arsenal, calling such a move “unnecessary” after a report emerged alleging he told his team he wanted just that.

Trump dismissed as “fake news” a NBC News report that he signaled in late July to senior national security officials his desire for a major increase in the number of American nuclear weapons.

Diane Black, Prepping Gubernatorial Bid, Takes Victory Lap
Tennessee Republican finally shepherded budget resolution through House last week

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black has had an undeniable impact on this year’s budget process, thanks to her efforts to forge a compromise package. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

The first woman to chair the House Budget Committee finally shepherded the fiscal 2018 resolution through her chamber Oct. 5, a traditionally thankless task that she took on after President Donald Trump tapped the former chairman, Tom Price, to be secretary of Health and Human Services.

Rep. Diane Black is now preparing to hand in her gavel after 10 months on the job, so she can focus on her campaign to become Tennessee’s next Republican governor, she announced in early August.