Continuing Resolution

GOP Senators Express Willingness to Skip August Recess, Bundle Spending Bills
16 senators involved include vulnerable incumbent Dean Heller

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., led a Tuesday press conference about Congress’ current work pace, government funding and the confirmation backlog. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group of 16 Republican senators has announced a willingness to work through August if that’s what it takes to complete spending bills and confirm more of President Donald Trump’s nominees.

Sen. David Perdue of Georgia, who has led the effort, hinted Tuesday that a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky would be forthcoming.

Trump Preparing for Another Immigration Fight on Spending Bill
President’s speech to NRA frequently veers from guns

President Donald Trump addressed the press before departing for Dallas, Texas where he made an appearance at the National Rifle Association convention on May 4, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump signaled Friday he’s preparing for another immigration fight as part of the fiscal 2019 spending bill.

“We are going to demand Congress secure the border in the upcoming CR,” Trump said during a speech at the National Rifle Association Leadership Forum in Dallas, Texas. “It’s going to be very soon.”

Election Year History Belies Ambitious Talk on Appropriations
Lawmakers’ spending goals could run right into midterm hex

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby says he’s aligned with the president in not wanting another massive omnibus spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

November might seem far away, but the midterm elections’ impact on spending bills is already on display, amplified by internal Republican jockeying for leadership positions in the House.

Election years tend to chill swift movement on appropriations bills — especially when there’s potential turnover in leadership of one or both chambers. That’s in part because lawmakers want to focus on campaigning and are back home more than usual, and party leaders tend to want to shield vulnerable members from tough votes.

Opinion: Congress Needs to Hold On to Its Power of the Purse
Any rescission proposal from the White House should be acted upon quickly

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul D. Ryan at the Capitol in February. Congress should act quickly on any rescission proposal from the Trump administration to avoid relinquishing more control over the appropriations process to the executive branch, Hoagland writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sixteen words in the U.S. Constitution have governed the federal government’s budget process for over 230 years: “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law.” Presidents of all parties over the country’s long history, nonetheless, have sought to wrest from Congress more control over the Treasury than those 16 words allow.

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln spent millions of dollars without congressional approval. While this was otherwise an unconstitutional act, Lincoln felt his actions were guided by the greater responsibility of his oath to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Richard Shelby Officially in as Senate Appropriations Chairman
GOP colleagues ratify powerful committee's vote

Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., is the new chairman of the Appropriations Committee, replacing Thad Cochran. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Republicans officially chose Sen. Richard C. Shelby as Appropriations chairman on Tuesday after his fellow Republicans ratified the Committee’s Monday evening vote during a closed-door lunch.

David Popp, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., confirmed the Alabama Republican’s selection, as well as the approval of Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., as the new Rules chairman, replacing Shelby.

Republicans Need Another Legislative Success to Avoid Midterm Woes
Realistic expectations a plus in politically polarized environment

Members of Congress exit the Capitol down the House steps after the final vote of the week on Thursday. Lawmakers headed home for the two-week spring recess after passing the omnibus spending bill. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Last week was all about the Republican Congress finishing a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad assignment that is nonetheless essential to the nation’s sustenance, exemplifies minimal governing competence, and may even be genuinely rewarding for the people elected to set policy.

It will be good for only half a year, and it was born of dozens of compromises for each side to crow and cry about, but the Capitol has produced a solidly bipartisan agreement on the full measure of federal spending.

Trump Threatens to Veto Omnibus Over DACA and Border Wall
Much of Congress departed D.C. after votes, assuming Trump would sign bill as another shutdown looms at midnight

President Donald Trump surprised Washington by threatening to veto the omnibus spending bill passed by the Senate a few hours earlier. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump said Friday he is considering vetoing the omnibus spending bill passed overnight because it does not solve the DACA issue or fully fund his southern border wall.

Government funding expires at midnight.

Paul Ryan Says He’s Done ‘A Phenomenal Job’ Restoring Regular Order
Speaker blames rushed omnibus process on Democrats, deadlines and a funeral

Speaker Paul D. Ryan says Republicans have done a “phenomenal job” when it comes to restoring so-called regular order to the House. Also pictured, from left, Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan thinks he’s lived up to his promise to open up debate on legislation and restore so-called regular order in the House, blaming the rushed process of the fiscal 2018 omnibus on Democrats, deadlines and a funeral. 

“By and large, we’ve done a phenomenal job,” the Wisconsin Republican said when asked if he feels he’s delivered on the promises he made to House Republicans when taking over as speaker in 2015.

Read the Bill or Get Out of Town Quickly? On Omnibus, Congress Chooses the Latter
‘This is a Great Dane-sized whiz down the leg of every taxpayer in America,’ Sen. Kennedy says

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., compared the process of considering the omnibus appropriations package to a big dog urinating on taxpayers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Congress stares at a Friday deadline to fund the government, the reality that members will have scant time to actually read or process the $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus before voting on it is starting to sink in.

The Wednesday night filing of the more than 2,200-page measure was the starting pistol that sent lawmakers into a mad dash against the government funding clock. They were given 52 hours.

Mass House Democrat Defections Likely On Omnibus Without DACA Commitment
‘We believe this is a very, very critical issue to be resolved,’ Hoyer says

House Minority Whip Steny  H.Hoyer, D-Md., suggested Democrats may oppose the omnibus without a commitment to address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Dozens of House Democrats are likely to vote against the fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill if the final deal, which leaders hope to announce Wednesday afternoon, does not include a commitment to address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. 

House Democrats have been frustrated for months by Republicans’ refusal to allow a floor vote on legislation to protect so called-Dreamers — DACA recipients and other young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. They’ve voted against several stopgap spending bills because of congressional inaction to provide a permanent replacement for DACA, which President Donald Trump tried to end effective March 5 but federal court rulings have kept alive.