Appropriations

Senior Democrats Want Audit of Nuclear Warhead Plan
Smith, Kaptur skeptical of administration plan

Rep. Marcy Kaptur has joined with a fellow Democrat overseeing the nuclear arsenal to ask for an audit on modernization efforts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The two most senior House Democrats who oversee the U.S. nuclear arsenal want an audit of the cost of and justification for modernizing certain nuclear warheads.

Adam Smith of Washington, ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, and Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, ranking member on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, questioned “the affordability and need” for so-called interoperable warheads in a letter to Gene Dodaro, who heads the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ watchdog.

Ep. 10: Trump Team Tight-Lipped on President’s Budget As Appropriations Begin
Budget Tracker Extra

Lawmakers this week will start to consider where money should be spent in what appears to be a very difficult budget process, says CQ Roll Call’s appropriations reporter Kellie Mejdrich. Meanwhile, the administration sent a missive about who should discuss President Trump’s initial budget request, says Mejdrich.

Abortion Opponents Look for a Home in Democratic Party
Some Democrats think a bigger tent gives party best chance in 2018

Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur has voted against recent GOP restrictions on abortion but thinks her party should have a big tent on the issue. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For supporters of abortion rights, the Democratic Party has become the only real option.

But as the party struggles to make inroads in red states, where its economic message may resonate more than its social values, some Democrats think there needs to be more flexibility on that issue.

GOP Gets a Second Shot at Governance Test
But as shutdown showdown looms, no signs of change in party factionalization

President Donald Trump and Congress soon face a partial government shutdown if they can’t work something out. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The tax overhaul can wait, and it’s going to have to.

For the Republican government that so phenomenally flopped its first big attempt at policymaking, a much more basic test of governance looms in the next month — and another failure seems hardly a politically acceptable option.

Defense Supplemental Request Overstated By $5.2 Billion
Pentagon asks for money, twice

President Donald Trump has requested money to be added to his defense supplemtnal bill that is already in the bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Trump administration wants Congress to add $30 billion to its fiscal 2017 Defense spending bill, but about $5.2 billion of the proposed addition is already in the bill, according to a Senate committee.

CQ Roll Call disclosed on March 20 that the administration’s $30 billion supplemental request for the Pentagon contained more than $3 billion in ship and aircraft programs that were already in the House-Senate agreement (HR 1301) that the House passed earlier this month and that awaits Senate action.

A Republican Party Pulled in Multiple Directions
Same factors could bedevil other legislative priorities

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan will face the same factions in his Republican caucus that helped sink the GOP health care measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan wasted no time, fresh off his defeat on the Republican health care plan, in pivoting to priorities like a tax overhaul. But the constituencies pulling his party in different directions will still be present for those complicated debates as well.

“Our members know that we did everything we could to get consensus,” the Wisconsin Republican said shortly after he pulled a measure that would have partially accomplished what has motivated his party for more than seven years: getting rid of the 2010 health care law. But in the end, the GOP’s factions pulled it in so many directions that they couldn’t even muster a majority to pass a bill that would put a win on the board.

Whip List: Obamacare Rollback Vote Nears Breaking Point
A handful more GOP opponents would doom measure

House Freedom Caucus members, from left, Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho, Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio make their way to a procedural vote in the Capitol on Friday before the vote on the Republican health care bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Enough Republicans appeared on the verge of voting against the House health care overhaul to require frantic lobbying and send House Speaker Paul D. Ryan to the White House as floor debate got underway Friday.

At least 20 House Republicans had already signaled opposition since the end of a Thursday evening huddle with top Trump administration officials in which Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney delivered an ultimatum, saying President Donald Trump was done negotiating on partially repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law.

The Latest on Republican Health Care Bill Vote
With Republicans unable to corral enough votes, bill is pulled from the floor

Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., center, and other members and staff make their way to a procedural vote in the Capitol before the vote on the American Health Care Act later in the day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans on Friday pulled their health care bill from the floor on Friday when it became clear they didn’t have the votes to pass the measure, dealing a major setback to their efforts to repeal the 2010 health care law that was the centerpiece achievement of President Donald Trump’s predecessor.

The announcement came after a frenzied two days of lobbying when major divisions emerged between leadership and its conservative and moderate blocs.

Pentagon Leaders Say Soft Power Central to ISIS Strategy
Mattis, Dunford pitch appropriators on supplemental funding proposal

Defense Secretary James Mattis says soft power is key to defeating terrorists abroad. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pentagon leaders on Wednesday stressed the importance of diplomacy in the fight against the Islamic State but sidestepped questions from Senate appropriators about the Trump administration’s proposed 29 percent cut to the State Department and other foreign operations accounts in fiscal 2018.

Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford pitched lawmakers on the military’s $30 billion request for supplemental funding for fiscal 2017, as well as the planned $54 billion boost to defense accounts proposed for next year, arguing that military readiness has been depleted after 16 years of war.

Chances of Change to Defense Spending Caps Falling
Troubles confront Trump budget proposal to lift defense limits

Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky., a veteran appropriator, is dubious of the proposed changes to the budget.. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican appropriators appear increasingly skeptical about President Donald Trump's eye-popping proposed changes to fiscal 2017 spending levels, including nondefense spending cuts, a proposed $30 billion defense supplemental and a $3 billion border security supplemental.

Lawmakers said in interviews that it looks increasingly unlikely that GOP lawmakers will propose — let alone pass — the needed changes to budget law to allow for Trump’s request to increase the fiscal 2017 defense cap by $25 billion and reduce the nondefense cap by $15 billion. The reductions in nondefense, which were not specified by Trump, likely would require some major, nearly immediate cuts in federal agency budgets.