Defense

Trump Budget Plan Requires Change in Law
Democrats unlikely to play ball in signing off on cuts to domestic spending

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said a more detailed budget plan would have to wait until May. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump will slice into nondefense spending to pay for a 10 percent increase in defense spending in his fiscal 2018 budget, a senior Office of Management and Budget official said Monday. In addition, officials said the so-called skinny budget, or budget outline, will be shipped to Congress on March 16.

Trump is proposing a $54 billion increase in defense, taking defense up to $603 billion in fiscal 2018. Nondefense accounts would be cut by a corresponding $54 billion, in part by cuts in foreign aid.

Schumer Touts Manchin Plan Tying Trade Rep to Miner Pensions
Nominee appears to need a waiver from Congress to take job

Manchin intends to push his plan to make miners’ benefits more permanent. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BY NIELS LESNIEWSKI AND LINDSEY MCPHERSON, CQ Roll Call

Sen. Joe Manchin III is making yet another pitch to get certainty regarding health care and pension benefits for retired coal miners, with the backing of Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer.

Schumer and Pelosi Prebuttal to Trump: We Disagree
Democratic leaders see no signs they can work with Republicans

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer speak at the National Press Club in Washington on Monday. NPC President Jeff Ballou appears at left. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress’ top two Democrats on Monday delivered their “prebuttal” to President Donald Trump’s upcoming first address to Congress, outlining reason after reason why Democrats cannot support anything they expect the president to propose. 

Speaking at the National Press Club, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Republicans’ early actions and rhetoric on health care, immigration, budget and taxes are out of step with the Democrats’ priorities and suggested there’s no room for the parties to work together.

Ep. 6: Spending Boost Possible For Veterans As Other Programs Face Cuts Under Trump’s First Budget Request
Budget Tracker Extra

CQ Roll Call appropriations reporter Kellie Mejdrich breaks down President Donald Trump’s first budget request and discusses how veterans could gain while other domestic programs brace for cuts.

Show Notes:

Nevada’s Hill Sway Sinks While Other Small States Surge
New Roll Call Clout Index reveals big disconnects between population and Capitol influence

With the retirement of former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada congressional delegation has lost much of its legislative leverage, Hawkings writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Harry Reid may have masterminded one of 2016’s biggest statewide Democratic sweeps as he headed toward retirement, but the Nevada congressional delegation he left behind has lost much of its legislative leverage as a result. 

In fact, only two delegations have less collective influence at the Capitol this year than the six lawmakers from the Silver State, the newest Roll Call Clout Index reveals.

McMaster Needs Senate Confirmation to Keep All Three Stars
New job would entail demotion unless Senate signs off

McMaster, left, was announced as the new national security adviser by President Donald Trump on Monday at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (Jenna Johnson/Washington Post/Print Pool)

National security advisers don’t need the consent of the Senate, but the decision by President Donald Trump to tap Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster for the assignment brings up an unusual question of military rank. Why? Without the Senate confirmation, McMaster would effectively be demoted as result of the new responsibilities, since three star generals generally have their rank tied to a particular function.

A National Security Council spokesman confirmed to Roll Call that McMaster is expected to face a Senate confirmation vote to maintain his three stars as a result of his new job, with the process already getting under way.

Ep. 5: Why Trump’s New Budget Director Should Prepare for a Fight
Budget Tracker Extra

President Donald Trump finally has his budget director Mick Mulvaney in place, but with a daunting agenda it’s unclear how much he can get accomplished, says CQ Budget Tracker Editor David Lerman. Mulvaney faces, among other challenges, an April deadline when government funding expires and the unknown costs of Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

New National Security Adviser: No Friend to Russia?
McMaster has warned against Russian military might, plans to disrupt Europe

Lt. Gen. Herbert Raymond “H.R.” McMaster, President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser. (Photo Courtesy of U.S. Army)

Lt. Gen. Herbert Raymond “H.R.” McMaster, President Donald Trump’s new pick as national security adviser, does not appear to be a friend of Russia. 

He’s warned that the Kremlin wants to disrupt the post-World War II security and political order in Europe. And he was behind the “Russia New Generation Warfare Study,” which was prompted by concerns over the country’s growing military might.

Mulvaney Confirmed as Budget Director
Arizona’s John McCain is only defector in party-line vote

South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney was confirmed as director of the Office of Management and Budget on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate confirmed Rep. Mick Mulvaney as the new director of the Office of Management and Budget on Thursday morning, allowing the budget process to move forward.

The South Carolina Republican was confirmed by a 51-49 vote, with Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain the only Republican defector. The Arizona senator announced on Wednesday that he could not support Mulvaney’s nomination because of the congressman’s work to cut defense spending. 

Take Five: Brian Mast
Florida Republican recalls waking up in Walter Reed after losing his legs

Florida Rep. Brian Mast finds the lack of truth in emotions the hardest thing to get used to in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Freshman Republican Rep. Brian Mast of Florida, 36, talks to HOH about how he lost his legs, why he decided to fight with the Israeli military, and advice he received from his father.

Q: Tell me about the day you got injured.