Diane Black

Former CBO Directors Confront Assaults on Agency
Both Republicans and Democrats alike decry attacks

Douglas Elmendorf, as well as all his fellow former directors of the Congressional Budget Office, sent a letter to Congress protesting recent attacks on the nonpartisan budget scorekeeper. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

All eight former directors of the Congressional Budget Office — Democrats and Republicans alike — sent a letter to Congress on Friday protesting the ongoing attacks on the agency’s integrity and urging that Congress continue to rely on CBO estimates.

In the letter, the former directors registered what they said was their “strong objection to recent attacks on the integrity and professionalism of the agency and on the agency’s role in the legislative process.”

House Budget Panel Schedules Wednesday Markup of 2018 Resolution

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, R-Tenn., and ranking member John Yarmuth, D-Ky., will be marking up the 2018 budget resolution on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House Budget Committee has scheduled its markup of the fiscal 2018 budget resolution for Wednesday at 10 a.m. 

Last week, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., confirmed the markup would take place in his weekly colloquy on Friday with Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., saying, “The Budget Committee will be marking up in committee next week.”

House Explores Omnibus Spending Package
Members asked to take weekend to read through 12 bills

Former House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers expressed support for an omnibus, 12-bill approach. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans are building momentum for a plan to pass a 12-bill omnibus appropriations package before the August recess, even as they continue to struggle to coalesce around a budget resolution that would normally precede the spending bills.

During a GOP conference meeting Friday, House leaders (minus Speaker Paul D. Ryan who was in Wisconsin dealing with flooding issues in his district) asked their members to take the weekend to read through the 12 appropriations bills the House Appropriations Committee has drafted.

Budget Battle Opening Salvo Still Stalled
House GOP not focused on endgame as much as negotiating marker

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black is moving forward with a budget resolution that does not reflect what can be agreed to in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans have spent a month arguing over key pieces of a budget resolution that faces little chance of passage in the Senate. But they are focused less on the endgame than staking out their own position.

House members frequently view legislation they have passed as a marker for their position heading into bicameral negotiations.

Black Predicts Markup of FY 2018 Budget Next Week in House
‘If we can’t find a way to cut one penny on a dollar, shame on us’

Chairwoman Diane Black, R-Tenn., and ranking member John Yarmuth, D-Ky., listen to testimony by OMB Director Mick Mulvaney during a House Budget Committee hearing in Longworth Building titled "The President's FY2018 Budget" on May 24, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The House Budget Committee may mark up its fiscal 2018 budget resolution next week, according to Chairwoman Diane Black.

The Tennessee Republican told the Rotary Club in Jackson, Tenn., on Wednesday that she’s “hoping we’re going to bring [it] up this upcoming week, when we get back and pass it out of our committee.”

One Reason Why Republicans Don’t Have More Women in the Senate
GOP misses a rare opportunity in Missouri

Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner, left, and Tennessee Rep. Diane Black at a news conference on Capitol Hill in February. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Women make up less than 10 percent of the Republican senators in Congress, and the GOP’s most qualified (and only top-tier) female hopeful just walked off the Senate playing field with nary a protest from Republican leaders.

Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner’s challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has been one of the worst-kept secrets of the cycle. The third-term congresswoman, a former United States ambassador and onetime co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, had $2.8 million in her campaign account at the end of March. She had been doing everything a future Senate candidate was supposed to do, right up until Monday when she announced she was running for re-election to her 2nd District seat instead.

Budget Disagreements Bedevil House GOP

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, R-Tenn., continues to look for agreement amid GOP factions on the spending blueprint. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Budget Committee is unlikely to unveil a fiscal 2018 budget resolution until after the Independence Day recess as Chairwoman Diane Black continues to struggle to marry competing interests on using the reconciliation process to cut mandatory spending.

Conservatives are pushing for several hundred billion dollars in mandatory savings cuts through reconciliation, with House Freedom Caucus members saying the Budget Committee’s latest offer of $200 billion in cuts over 10 years is not enough to win their support. Meanwhile, committee chairmen are pushing back on a continually increasing target, saying they need to preserve some of those savings for other legislative negotiations.

House GOP Still Bickering Over Budget
Defense increase, mandatory spending cuts primary areas of disagreement

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent says Republicans should not waste time arguing over topline levels for nondefense discretionary spending since those will likely be raised in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican squabbling over a defense spending increase and mandatory spending cuts continues to put in danger a fiscal 2018 budget resolution, and subsequently, plans to overhaul the tax code.

After a Friday conference meeting to discuss the budget and appropriations process, their second “family conversation” of the week on the topic, the House GOP appeared no closer to consensus on a budget resolution that could get the 218 needed votes on the floor.

GOP Frets About Fiscal Restraint Progress
Conservatives pushing cuts to mandatory spending

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan says Republicans are still discussing options for the budget and appropriations process, even as conservatives are pushing for steep cuts to mandatory spending. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Fiscal restraint has long been part of the Republican Party’s brand, but GOP lawmakers have made little progress on reducing the amount of money the federal government spends. And frankly, they’re sick of it.

That’s the impetus for what has become a serious push by rank-and-file House Republicans to use the budget reconciliation process to enact mandatory spending cuts.

Prospect of Repeat Budget Failure Puts Pressure on Republicans
Budget needed for GOP to get to tax overhaul, possibly mandatory spending cuts

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, seen here at a committee hearing last month with ranking Democrat John Yarmuth, is confident Republicans will pass a budget this year, despite GOP divisions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans face the possibility of failing to pass a full budget resolution for the second year in a row, despite making progress on their goals for a fiscal 2018 budget resolution.

The stakes are much higher than last year as the budget, through the reconciliation process, has become a tool for Republicans to advance legislation without Democratic support, something they lack on nearly all of their top priorities.