government funding

Republicans Mulling Budget Gambit to Avoid Spending Some Omnibus Funds
McCarthy, White House discussing rarely used impound procedure in 1974 budget law

President Donald Trump and his administration are discussing a process with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy that could allow Republicans to rescind some funds they recently approved in the bipartisan omnibus spending bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump and congressional Republican leaders, frustrated they had to work with Democrats to pass a fiscal 2018 omnibus spending measure, are mulling a way for their party to effectively cut some of the funds they just approved. 

The idea would be to deploy lesser-used provisions of the 1974 budget law to roll back spending by impounding some of the appropriated funds.

How House Members Voted on the Omnibus Versus the Budget Deal
More Democrats, including Pelosi, switch to ‘yes’ on omnibus from ‘no’ on budget deal

House Democratic leadership team was split on the omnibus. While Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi supported the bill, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, right, voted against it.. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More Democrats and fewer Republicans voted for the fiscal 2018 omnibus Thursday than voted for the budget deal that set the spending levels for it.

The House passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, 256-167, with 145 Republicans and 111 Democrats voting “yes.” The “no” votes came from 90 Republicans and 77 Democrats.

House Passes $1.3 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill, Starting Process to Avert Shutdown
Massive measure was released the night before the vote, so members didn’t have time to read it

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., walks through Statuary Hall on his way to his office after the House voted to proceed with the omnibus funding bill Thursday morning. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House on Thursday passed a $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill, starting the process for averting a government shutdown and ending government funding by stopgap. 

The vote was 256-167. The bill includes funding boosts for defense that Republicans sought, as well as for domestic programs on the nondefense side of the ledger that Democrats sought. 

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.

On Omnibus, Congressional Leaders Are All Feeling Good
Ryan, Schumer and Pelosi all say they feel negotiations are in a good place

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speak to reporters following a meeting of House and Senate leaders in Speaker Ryan’s office on the $1.3 trillion fiscal 2018 omnibus appropriations bill on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional leaders emerged just before 11 a.m. Wednesday from a meeting to negotiate outstanding issues on a fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill predicting a deal was forthcoming in a matter of hours. 

“We feel like we’re in a good place,” the Wisconsin Republican said upon exiting his office, where the meeting was held.

Omnibus Action Next Week Possible, but Obstacles Still Exist
‘For the moment we have a lot of work to do to iron these out,’ Pelosi said

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said much work remains to iron out issues on an omnibus spending bill that House GOP leaders hope to bring to the floor next week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The nearly six-month delayed fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill could be brought to the House floor next week, but appropriators are still encountering major obstacles in drafting a bipartisan bill — even with unrelated landmines cleared. 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said he would like to bring the omnibus to the floor next week, but during a week-end colloquy with House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, he did not announce it as a definite part of the upcoming floor schedule. Rather, he noted action on the spending package was “possible.”

House Cancels Votes for Billy Graham to Lie in Honor in Capitol Rotunda
Senate will remain in session Wednesday and Thursday

Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Inouye lies in state on Dec. 20, 2012, on Capitol Hill. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House is shortening its Feb. 26 work week, canceling votes that Wednesday and Thursday, for the late Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.

“As is traditional, votes are no longer expected in the House on Wednesday, February 28, or Thursday, March 1,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office announced. “Last votes next week will now occur during the evening hours of Tuesday, February 27.”

GOP Leaders Confident There Won’t Be a Second Shutdown
Optimism comes despite current opposition from House conservatives and defense hawks

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., talks with reporters at the media center during the House and Senate Republican retreat on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Republican leaders are confident they can avert another government shutdown next week but provided no clear update on whether a deal on the spending caps or immigration could be reached in the near-term.

Congress has yet to pass a long-term spending bill for fiscal year 2018, relying on a series of short-term continuing resolutions to keep the government open. House and Senate leaders from both parties are negotiating a possible two-year spending deal, but optimism about an agreement being close has degraded.

Congress Set for Horse-Trading Over Must-Pass Bills in September
“Clean” debt limit increase will likely require Democrats’ support

North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker said a clean debt ceiling increase appears unlikely to pass without “more more increased spending and must-pass legislation to attract the necessary votes.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress’ September agenda is packed with several must-pass bills that Republicans and Democrats are likely to look to as leverage for extracting concessions on other priorities.

With a short legislative calendar next month — only 12 days when both chambers are scheduled to be in session (the Senate has a few extra days on its timetable) — some measures could be packaged together, creating even more leverage and risk. 

David Hawkings’ Whiteboard: Trump’s Next Budget Battle Begins Soon

The whiteboard is back! Roll Call senior editor David Hawkings looks past the current battle to fund the government to sketch out President Donald Trump’s next budget task – funding the government for fiscal 2018. His ambitions are big, find out how likely they are to get accomplished.