federal-budget

Steve Scalise Defends Planned Parenthood Strategy

Scalise, left, says Republican priorities are reflected in the way his office approached the Planned Parenthood defuding effort. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans were skeptical when their No. 3 leader started talking back in September about using the budget reconciliation process to defund Planned Parenthood, knowing full well it would be vetoed by President Barack Obama. Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., though, still counts it as one of the GOP's biggest victories of the 114th Congress. Ever since the GOP captured the majority in the Senate, Republican lawmakers had been holding out on using the Senate filibuster-proof process until there was a solid plan of attack to dismantle elements of the Affordable Care Act.  

The Planned Parenthood elements muddled that strategy a bit; many Republicans wanted to use the appropriations process to address Planned Parenthood, even though that raised the specter of a government shutdown.  

Pelosi Supports Omnibus, but Other Democrats Not Sold

Pelosi will support the omnibus, but some of her Democratic colleagues are still on the fence. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will vote for the $1.1 trillion spending bill, but it's unclear how many of her more liberal colleagues will follow her lead, a situation fluid enough that members and aides are concerned there might not be enough Democratic votes to offset Republican no votes.  

Members of the Congressional Progressive, Black, Hispanic and Asian Pacific American caucuses are inclined to vote against the omnibus, citing a variety of flaws in the bill they can't ignore.

It's A Deal: Republicans Settle for Notable Omnibus Wins

Republicans said Ryan deserved high praise for creating a more inclusive, collaborative environment in the lead-up to the omnibus negotiations. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has been offering members the same refrain since taking the gavel from John A. Boehner two months ago.  

He'd been dealt a bad hand by the old regime, according to the Wisconsin Republican, and the best thing for everyone was to make it through the end of the year so the Republican House can return to "regular order" and run the government as it should.  

Congress Has a List of Deadlines, Is Checking It Twice

Ryan has a long month ahead. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress returns this week for a pivotal work period with multiple deadlines, a busy schedule for an institution that tends to wait until the very last minute to get things done.  

House lawmakers will spend the next four legislative days laying the groundwork on crucial pieces of legislation for the rest of the month, negotiating terms and conditions among themselves and with their counterparts across the aisle and Rotunda.  

Key Chairmen Could Be Booted From Steering Committee

Ryan. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Every committee chairperson could soon have a voice in who gets appointed to his or her panel, according to a proposal to revamp the Steering Committee that's being mulled by Speaker Paul D. Ryan and a seven-member task force.  

But there's a catch: The six chairmen who already have permanent seats on the Steering Committee would have to step aside. The goal is to create a more inclusive culture in the House Republican Conference that Ryan, R-Wis., has promised to promote.  

Ryan Takes Crowdsourcing Approach to Spending Bills

Ryan holds his first weekly on-camera press conference Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In pursuing a departure from "business as usual," Speaker Paul D. Ryan is crowdsourcing his members for ideas on how to craft a spending deal for the remainder of fiscal 2016.  

"So things are gonna be done a little differently around here," Ryan said Thursday, at his first solo news conference. "I laid before our conference today a choice of options," he said. "Instead of having leadership pre-determine, pre-negotiate and pre-decide how things are gonna go, I wanted to invite our members to discuss how we move forward."  

Ryan Leaves Door Open to Policy Riders in Spending Bill

Ryan addresses the crowd after being sworn in on the House floor as the 54th speaker of the House on Oct. 29. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:35 p.m. | Speaker Paul D. Ryan won't rule out policy riders in the omnibus appropriations bill the House will consider in the weeks ahead.  

“This is the legislative branch, and the power of the purse rests within the legislative branch," the Wisconsin Republican said Tuesday at his first news conference as speaker, "and we fully expect that we're going to exercise that power."  

Appropriator Praises Speaker 'Sonny Boy' Ryan

Lowey, D-N.Y. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans showed Thursday they were willing to give Paul D. Ryan a chance when they overwhelmingly elected him the 54th Speaker of the House.  

Democrats are also showing signs of enthusiasm for the Wisconsin Republican's promotion. Appropriations Ranking Member Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., told CQ Roll Call shortly after Ryan's swearing-in ceremony she had "enormous respect" for the incoming speaker, with whom she said she grew close following a congressional delegation trip to Saudi Arabia nearly a decade ago.  

Boehner Ends Rocky Run as Speaker on a High Note

Boehner is going out on a productive week for his chamber. Above, he enters the room for his last weekly press conference on Tuesday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

When the Nov. 3 deadline to raise the debt limit rolls around next week, John A. Boehner should be resting easy and enjoying  his new golf cart . Holding up a box of tissues before assuming the podium, Boehner stood before his colleagues Thursday to say goodbye.  

"I leave with no regrets or burdens," he said.  

Can Paul Ryan Keep the Manure Out of the House Barn?

Ryan walks through Statuary Hall to Boehner's office on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 7:10 p.m. | Rep. Paul D. Ryan may agree with his conservative colleagues about the way the budget deal was cooked up — it “stinks,” he told NBC News — but its passage sets the speaker-in-waiting up to tackle the multitude of challenges ahead.  

The budget agreement should give the new speaker some breathing space to foster an environment of empowering committees and members, at least until the beginning of December. But the fact that Boehner, in his final news conference as speaker, agreed with the Wisconsin Republican that the process of arriving at the two-year budget agreement and debt limit increase was broken illustrates just how challenging Ryan's new assignment really is.