March 28, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Budget Archive

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Spending Caps Are Fraying in the Face of Republicans' New Budget Reality

Budget maneuvers congressional Republicans are undertaking suggest the statutory discretionary spending caps, which some lawmakers consider a major party accomplishment, may not survive a GOP-controlled Congress.

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Ahead of Highway Bill Deadline, One Republican's Evolution on the Road to Transport Devolution

Supporters of a strong federal role in transportation have what seems like an unlikely ally in their effort to shift the direction of highway spending from Washington to the states.

Budget Panels Attempt to Please Caucus Factions

Republicans on the House and Senate Budget committees are striving to craft fiscal 2016 budget resolutions tailored to win the support of their divergent GOP caucuses, but still similar enough to allow for compromise.

Voters Need to Tell Presidential Candidates That Responsible Budgeting Is a Priority | Commentary

As former — and maybe reformed — elected officials, we know how much politicians like to talk about good news: tax breaks, infrastructure improvements, job growth announcements.

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Hurdles Exist for the Prospects of Any 'Grand Bargain' on Sequester, Defense Spending

President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats would like to get rid of the sequester. Many Republicans want more money for defense. That would seem to offer a potential formula for a budget agreement.

Nuclear Visions and Nuclear Budgets | Commentary

President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget request continues the political gamesmanship that has plagued the U.S. government for five years. Exceeding legislated budget caps on both defense and non-defense discretionary spending by $75 billion, the president is show- boating for his core domestic constituencies while trying to undermine Republican claims he is weak on defense. The primary victims of these political games, of course, are the citizens of this country, who once again will be deprived of a government that can plan rationally for the nation’s well-being.

Senate Democrats' Unity Strategy Will Face Tough Tests

The opening gambit by Senate Democrats on a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security gives a strong signal about how the party intends to handle its position as the minority on the Senate floor.

Republicans Pressed to Block Obama Housing Actions

Add affordable housing to President Barack Obama’s list of unilateral actions on which he’s flexing his muscles at an unfriendly Congress.

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Heritage to Offer Conservative Budget Blueprint

More than 100 cost-savings proposals, due out from the Heritage Foundation on Thursday, could provide ammunition for conservative lawmakers in coming debates over restructuring entitlement programs, addressing the post-sequester discretionary spending caps, reauthorizing the Highway Trust Fund and raising the debt limit.

Democrats Rebuff DHS Bill Over Immigration Provisions

Democrats banded together Tuesday to block the Senate from considering a Homeland Security spending bill, leaving GOP leaders scrambling to find another path forward to challenge the president over immigration.

Legislative Branch: Eyeing 10 Percent Boost

Lawmakers and congressional agencies are eyeing small jumps in fiscal 2016 legislative branch funding, even though President Barack Obama’s proposed budget includes billions in spending increases and a rollback of sequester cuts.

Congress Should Pass the President's 'Kill List' | Commentary

President Barack Obama’s penultimate budget will be delivered to Congress Monday. Per the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, the president’s budget will enumerate recommended spending levels for nearly every federal program, project and activity.

It's Time to Pass the Lee Balanced Budget Amendment | Commentary

With the president’s recent lawlessness on executive amnesty and GOP efforts to beat it back, it’s easy to forget that just three and a half years ago, we were on the cusp of a grand bargain. President Barack Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner would tackle a range of ever-present fiscal crises, everyone would make tough concessions, and the nation would be on sound fiscal footing for a generation.

Border Surveillance Follies | Commentary

For more than a decade, the Department of Homeland Security has employed some of the same kinds of drones used by our military. The ostensible purpose of having unarmed Predator drones was to give U.S. Customs and Border Protection additional aerial surveillance capabilities along the Southern border. Homeland Security officials argued the drones were cost-effective and needed. As a cost-savings measure, the Obama administration proposed major cuts to the DHS drone program in 2010, but House Appropriations Committee leaders, who supported the program and felt the expansion should continue, shot that proposal down. They should’ve thought through that decision far more carefully.

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Cochran's Top Appropriations Goal: Regular Order

Kicking off his second tour as Senate Appropriations chairman, Thad Cochran says one of his top priorities is to ensure spending bills are open to amendments on the floor. Ever the institutionalist, the seven-term Mississippi Republican puts a premium on so-called regular order: moving each of the 12 annual spending bills through committee and on the floor, with unlimited debate and input from all senators before the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year. But restoring more orderly consideration of appropriations bills will be a tall order after years of Senate dysfunction, particularly given tight fiscal 2016 spending caps.

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Obama's Capital Gains Tax Plan Would Hit Hill's Richest, Spare 2016 Aspirants

President Barack Obama pitched his proposal to increase the top capital gains and dividend tax rate to 28 percent from 23.8 percent as part of a simpler, fairer tax code that would favor the middle class. The proposed tax increase is designed to fall on the wealthy.

Five Lessons as the 114th Congress Gets Started | Commentary

As the 114th Congress settles in and President Barack Obama finalizes his State of the Union address, the consequences of the midterm elections are becoming real in Washington. New leaders have taken control of every Senate committee and subcommittee and the chamber itself, and the dynamic is changing.

Republicans' Challenges Start With Economic News

In his inaugural speech as Senate majority leader, Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell said he could see “a glimmer of hope” in new economic data showing a 5 percent annual growth rate in the third quarter of last year. This uptick, he said, coincided with “the expectation of a new Republican Congress” just before the November election.

GOP Heads to Joint Retreat With Coordination, Realism on Agenda

With hopes high for the new era of GOP majority control, House and Senate Republicans are headed off the Hill to plot a course for the party’s stymied legislative agenda.

Budget Reconciliation Through the Years

Congress has employed budget reconciliation to enact dozens of laws, addressing issues that range from tax cuts to student loans.

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