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Budget Archive

The Congressional Earmark Ban: the Real Bridge to Nowhere | Commentary

In 2005, a $223 million earmark to fund the construction of a bridge from Ketchikan, Alaska, to the tiny island of Gravina, Alaska, captured national attention. The earmark, which was included in a bill to provide funding for reconstruction efforts after Hurricane Katrina, rightfully drew scorn and ridicule from across the country. In 2007, Congress stripped the earmark.

Congressional Partisanship May Delay Funding for Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense System

It would be tough to find anybody in Congress, from either party, opposed to sending Israel more money for its Iron Dome air defense system, which has been instrumental in protecting the country from rockets fired by Hamas. But the additional $225 million Israel has requested for the anti-rocket system could be held up until September, as the parties spar over how Congress should distribute the money.

Road Closed to Investor Cash for Infrastructure Funding

Pension funds are slowly starting to take a look at investing in infrastructure projects, raising hopes among transportation advocates and lawmakers that the countryís roads and bridges could see an infusion of private cash.

The Two Budgeteers: All for One in Effort to Update Budget Act | Commentary

Since ratification of the constitutional authority given to Congress to tax and spend in 1788, our government has struggled to manage the federal budget. After numerous failed budget concepts and commissions, the Budget Act was finally enacted in 1974 to establish the modern-day budget process. Almost exactly 40 years since the Budget Act was signed into law, there is growing consensus among policymakers and budget observers that the system no longer functions as intended.

Emergency Supplemental Distracts From Regular Order

The Obama administrationís emergency supplemental appropriations request is further complicating efforts to move fiscal 2015 spending bills, soaking up time and energy during a critical work period with an already long to-do list.

With Senate Action Stalled, Continuing Resolution Looks Likely for Fall

With the Senateís regular appropriations work all but dead and an unexpected supplemental spending request for child migrants consuming time and energy on Capitol Hill, a government-wide continuing resolution now appears to be a near certainty for the fall.

Deal Could Trim Aircraft's Skyrocketing Price Tag

As officials grapple with the fallout from the recent grounding of the F-35 fleet, the Defense Department is working to get the troubled fighter programís escalating costs under control.

Trouble-Plagued F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Appears Too Expensive to Fail

Despite a history punctuated by cost hikes, schedule delays and technological problems, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter appears to be too big ó and too important ó to fail.

Child Migrant Supplemental to Be Sought by White House

The Obama administration plans to request a supplemental appropriations package in the coming weeks in order to manage an unprecedented surge of unaccompanied minors at the southwest border, according to a White House official.

Affordable Housing Credit May Be Heading to Floor

A loose alliance of banks, state officials and business groups is pushing for a permanent extension of a low-income housing tax credit enacted during the financial crisis.

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Tax Writers Hope to Stabilize Housing Industry

A housing recovery moving in fits and starts is fueling new efforts on Capitol Hill to protect tax incentives for home ownership and oppose any reductions in the tax breaks that might be part of a broad tax overhaul.

Pentagon's Budget Projections Ignore Long-Term Caps

Even as Pentagon officials call on Congress to accept painful cuts outlined in their spending proposal for next year, their own budget projections ignore the long-term caps currently in place for fiscal 2016 and beyond.

House Vote to Preserve A-10 Warthogs Leaves Air Force Holding Multimillion-Dollar Tab

A bipartisan group of 300 House members last week defied the wishes of both the Obama administration and Appropriations Committee leaders by voting to keep the Air Forceís venerable fleet of A-10 Warthog close-air support planes.

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Conservatives See Highway Trust Fund Fight as Road to State Control of Transportation Spending

Conservative groups and Republican lawmakers want to revive a policy debate over the federal role in transportation policy as Congress gets ready to debate a long-term reauthorization of highway and transit programs.

Want to Fix America's Old Infrastruture? Fix Old Budget Rules | Commentary

Congress isnít accomplishing much legislatively these days. Thatís not news. But in one area ó annual appropriations ó bills are being marked up and moved to the floor. With diminishing discretionary dollars, appropriators are making tough choices about which programs to fund and which to cut. And all too often they are faced with the choice of balancing current mission-critical programs against an ever growing backlog of infrastructure demands.

The Postal Service Is Not a Congressional Piggy Bank | Commentary

There is a shell game currently underway on Capitol Hill. The House Republican Leadership are trying to use the elimination of essential postal services as a means to pay for temporarily extending the exhausted Highway Trust Fund. Unfortunately for taxpayers and postal customers, the game is rigged. The reality is that all the shells are empty.

House Work on Spending Bills Slows Amid Leadership Turmoil

As Senate floor action on appropriations begins to pick up, House consideration may be slowing down.

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Bipartisan Work on Spending Bills Faces Senate Test

With the first cluster of appropriations bills due on the Senate floor next week, Republicans must decide whether to fight now or later over spending and policy priorities.

Pediatric Research Bill Offers Guidance, No Clear Funding Guarantees

A pediatric research bill Congress cleared this week is winning praise for boosting efforts to combat childhood diseases, but the measure will not change any spending levels unless appropriators allocate money for the work to the National Institutes of Health.

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Solutions to Highway Fund Shortfall in the Slow Lane

Congress is once more setting itself up for a last-minute funding crisis, set to hit right before lawmakers take off for their August recess.

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