Budget

In Appropriations Endgame, All Roads Lead to Border Wall
Dec. 7 funding deadline fast approaching

Border Patrol vehicles stand guard along the United States-Mexico border fence in on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014. The fence runs through the cities of Calexico, Calif., and Mexicali on the Mexico side. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sooner or later, President Donald Trump will have to confront the political reality that Congress is extremely unlikely to provide the $5 billion he wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

That realization has to occur in less than a month, with the House and Senate both in session for only 12 legislative days before the current stopgap funding measure expires Dec. 7.

Democrat to Reshape Priorities on Spending Panel
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 86

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., is expected to lead the House Appropriations Committee in the 116th Congress.  (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Rep. Nita M. Lowey of New York is expected to lead the powerful House appropriations panel in the new Congress and she already has a list of priorities she will be pursuing. CQ's budget and appropriations reporter Kellie Mejdrich gives us a rundown of what those are and where Lowey may find common ground or clash with the Trump administration.

Trump Predicts ‘Deal-Making,’ Many Fights Ahead With Democrats
First up, both sides face border funding test in lame-duck session

President Donald Trump talks to reporters Wednesday, the day after the midterm elections. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump appears ready to make some deals — except when he’s threatening Democrats with “warlike” tactics.

Despite losing the House and several governorships in states that could be key for Trump’s 2020 re-election prospects, the president used a press conference last week to send widely divergent messages to lawmakers about just how much he wants to get done in the lame-duck remainder of the 115th Congress and after the 116th is seated in early January.

Republican Study Committee to Decide Between Mike Johnson, Tom McClintock for Next Chairman
Both candidates want to boost the RSC’s role in developing and communicating conservative policy ideas

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., is running to be the next chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans aren’t shying away from their conservative beliefs after they lost more than 30 seats to Democrats in last week’s midterm election. If anything they’re doubling down and trying to hone in on a more conservative message heading into 2020.

The Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in Congress, has long wrestled with questions about what it means to be a conservative and how to enact conservative policy in a divided Congress. Even with unified Republican government these past two years, the RSC struggled to enact some of its key priorities, such as pro-life policies and work requirements for government benefits.

Sean Patrick Maloney Fourth Candidate to Enter DCCC Chair Race
N.Y. Democrat joins Bustos, DelBene and Heck in race for campaign chief

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., is running to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney on Saturday became the fourth candidate to enter the race to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee heading into the 2020 cycle. 

The position to head up the House Democrats’ campaign arm is quickly becoming the most coveted leadership slot, even though the party will be defending a number of seats in traditionally Republican districts in two years time. The current DCCC chairman, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján — coming off a strong midterm election that has seen the party pick up over 30 seats and take back the House — is running for assistant Democratic leader.

Farm Bill Negotiators Aim to Hash Things Out in Veterans Day Meeting
Republicans lost their bargaining edge with the election, Collin Peterson says

Collin Peterson, D-Minn., who will likely take control of the House Agriculture Committee next year, and Mike Conaway, R-Texas, the current chairman, have locked in their plans for Veterans Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The two top House farm bill negotiators plan to meet on a federal holiday Monday to try to find a way forward on a compromise measure that could pass a lame-duck Congress.

Collin C. Peterson, currently the ranking member on the House Agriculture Committee and presumed chairman in the 116th Congress, said he and current Chairman K. Michael Conaway of Texas would meet on Veterans Day to discuss the legislation. A Peterson aide on Friday confirmed the Nov. 12 meeting.

Veterans Still Outpace Civilians in Congress, But Declines Continue
Midterms saw House increase in Democratic Vets, women with military experience

Jason Crow, Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District won his election Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file)

The number of military veterans in both chambers of Congress will at best remain unchanged despite a midterm cycle featuring dozens of candidates with military experience on both sides of the aisle.

Seventy-four veterans won House seats Tuesday night. Eight others were locked in races still too close to call Wednesday afternoon. In the Senate, a projected win for retired Air Force office Martha McSally in an Arizona race would bring the number of veterans in the next Congress to 17 — the same number that finished the 115th Congress. Even if veterans win all the outstanding races in the House, the percentage of House lawmakers with military experience will remain unchanged: 19 percent. 

Tim Kaine’s Policy Agenda For a Divided Congress
Former governor, veep candidate sees opportunities for cooperation

Sen. Tim Kaine says infrastructure and health care could be two policy areas ripe for bipartisanship in a divided Congress. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One day after the election, Virginia’s newly re-election Sen. Tim Kaine was ready to talk policy and where he thinks that Republicans and Democrats could rally to move forward in a divided Congress.

He said that for the first time in a while, there could be common ground on health care, and he singled our for praise the bipartisan opioids bill that was signed into law last month.

Here’s All the House Republicans That Voters Sent Home
Incumbent losses cut across all factions of the Republican Caucus but most are moderates

Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, pictured at Greenglade Elementary School polling place on Election Day in Kendale, Florida, is one of at least 19 House Republicans to have lost re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated on November 11 at 11:22 a.m. | Voters have sent 22 House Republican incumbents and counting home, as the predicted Democratic wave materialized in the lower chamber’s midterm contests. 

The losses cut across all factions of the Republican Conference but most of the incumbents going home after this term are moderate members. With the number of House Republicans shrinking next year, conservatives are poised to become a larger portion of the conference. 

Committee Charged With Overhauling Budget Process Nears Deadline
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 85

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A 16-member bipartisan, bicameral select committee is on the verge of proposing changes to the annual budget and appropriations process, including moving the budget resolution from an annual to a biennial schedule. CQ's Jennifer Shutt talks about the select committee's progress with Mike Veselik, manager of the Federal Budget Process Reform Project at Convergence, and Building a Better Budget Process stakeholder Matt Owens, who testified in front of the panel earlier this year.