Appropriations

Trump’s ‘Taxpayer-First Budget’ Slashes Domestic Spending
President proposes $4.1 trillion in spending for fiscal 2018

A worker assembles the budget for Fiscal Year 2018 at the Government Publishing Office's plant on North Capitol Street before a visit from OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks on May 19, 2017. The budget will be released next week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The fiscal 2018 budget that will be unveiled by the White House Tuesday would wipe out the deficit in 10 years through trillions of dollars in spending cuts and new revenue generated by economic growth, based on data provided by the administration.

President Donald Trump proposes to spend $4.1 trillion in fiscal 2018, measured as outlays. The spending plan projects collecting $3.65 trillion in revenue in 2018, resulting in a $440 billion deficit in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

Supreme Court Affirms Ban on ‘Soft Money’ in Campaigns
Opponents of ban say they will take concerns to Congress

Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., applauded the high court's decision to let a lower court's ruling on the case stand. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the so-called soft money ban on state and local parties, prompting opponents of the restriction to turn their pleas for repeal to Congress.

Although proponents of political money limits cheered the decision, they said that new Justice Neil Gorsuch’s position on the case confirmed their fears about his campaign finance views.

Trump Seeks Further Delay in Health Care Subsidy Lawsuit
Insurance plans, Democrats say uncertainty will continue

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said the administration's actions will lead to more uncertainty in the health insurance markets. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump administration again delayed a decision in a major case that could upend the health insurance markets created by the 2010 health care law, in a motion filed in federal court Monday.

Justice Department lawyers asked in the motion for another 90-day delay in a case that centers on about $7 billion of annual subsidies that are aimed at making health care services more affordable for low-income people who gained coverage under the 2010 law.

New Jersey’s Favored Son in Hot Water
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 18

Mild-mannered New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen has largely avoided attention through two decades in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen could face an ethics investigation after he created problems on the job for a liberal activist, says CQ budget and appropriations reporter Ryan McCrimmon, who adds that the once unbeatable lawmaker and Appropriations Committee chairman suddenly has competition in 2018.

Show Notes:

Congressional Day Care Wait List Up to ‘Several’ Years
266 children waiting for the call

Staffers pay anywhere from around $1,000 to $1,400 a month for child care on the Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By ALEX GANGITANO and KATHERINE TULLY-MCMANUS

If you’re a House staffer and thinking about having a baby in three years, you probably should get on the congressional day care wait list now.

Word on the Hill: Staffers Got Talent
Armed Forces Day tomorrow

Geoff Browning pursues his musical career on the side. (Courtesy Nicholas Fitanides/ Geoff Browning)

Geoff Browning, legislative assistant for Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., has a pretty serious music career on the side of his Capitol Hill job. 

His band, Of Tomorrow, is playing tonight at the 9:30 Club (815 V St., NW) with other musicians, including Karl Denson of the Rolling Stones, Melvin Seals of the wider Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia Band family and Alan Evans of Soulive.

Energy Grant Freeze Worries Senators, Including Murkowski
’We are deeply troubled by reports that the Department of Energy has delayed awarding funds’

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, talks with reporters before the Senate Policy Luncheons in the Capitol on May 9, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators are seeking assurances that a Trump administration freeze on certain grants by the Department of Energy does not become permanent.

Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said Wednesday that she sought “assurances” from DOE about the future of DOE research funding — currently on hold for a department-wide review — and indicated she endorsed inquiries to ensure those assurances are met.

Senators Push Back on Trump Drug Abuse Actions
Republicans pledge to fight funding cuts, shifts in criminal enforcement policy

West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito says she will push back against efforts to cut funds to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump pledged to tackle prescription drug abuse and the flow of illegal drugs into the country. But his White House efforts are off to a rocky start so far.

Earlier this year, Trump appointed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to lead a opioid crisis task force. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, along with other administration officials including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have embarked on a listening tour of areas ravaged by the opioid epidemic.

Former Navy Pilot Challenging New Jersey’s Rodney Frelinghuysen
Democrats targeting Appropriations Committee chairman in 2018

New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, is a Democratic target in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Navy veteran and federal prosecutor Mikie Sherrill announced a challenge to New Jersey Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen Thursday. 

Frelinghuysen, chair of the Appropriations Committee, is a Democratic target this cycle, and he’s facing fresh heat for voting for the Republican health care bill last week. 

Dave Brat Town Hall Gets Heated
Support for GOP health care bill among boo lines

Rep. Dave Brat faced a hostile crowd Tuesday night at a town hall where constituents were upset with his political positions on health insurance coverage and President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. — Rep. Dave Brat faced a rancorous crowd at a town hall here Tuesday night that took issue with his positions on health care, Russia investigations and, frankly, most other topics.

Brat, meanwhile, took issue with many of the attendees’ frequent shouting over him, saying it was counterproductive to civil discourse.