| Jan. 27, 2015, 1:09 p.m.
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.
| Jan. 22, 2015, 2:48 p.m.
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.
| Jan. 19, 2015, 4:27 p.m.
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.
| Jan. 14, 2015, 6:01 p.m.
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.
| Jan. 14, 2015, 12:30 p.m.
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.
| Jan. 9, 2015, 7:36 p.m.
Congress has employed budget reconciliation to enact dozens of laws, addressing issues that range from tax cuts to student loans.
| Jan. 5, 2015, 7:16 p.m.
When the 114th Congress convenes, it will find it has lost something of significance: much of its institutional memory about science and technology. And with the rest of the world making a strong play to topple America from its perch atop the innovation pyramid, that’s very troubling.
| Dec. 24, 2014, 1:12 p.m.
House Republicans are moving to increase the use of dynamic scoring through a rules change that would require long-term estimates of the economic effects of major legislation.
| Dec. 12, 2014, 4:04 p.m.
Congress is in the process of allowing the Pentagon to spend nearly $721 million to recruit, train and equip a rebel army in Syria, and lawmakers have set strict limits on how the money can be spent, according to officials and documents.
| Dec. 12, 2014, 2:52 p.m.
Maintaining a tradition that has lasted more than half a century, the Senate is poised to clear for President Barack Obama’s signature Friday afternoon the annual defense authorization bill.
| Dec. 9, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
The Ebola virus, which has now touched our shores and taken the lives of two victims in the U.S., is a threat lethal enough to demand full mobilization of our health care resources, which is what federal officials have urged. Consequently, hospitals in recent weeks have been arming themselves with the necessary knowledge, supplies and resources to confront the danger and ensure it is contained and managed skillfully.
| Dec. 8, 2014, 3:17 p.m.
It seems cynical or pointless to kill a medical advisory board that doesn’t have any members and hasn’t issued a single recommendation. But in the caustic battle over President Barack Obama’s health law, Republicans are now asking the Supreme Court to do just that.
| Dec. 5, 2014, 5:13 p.m.
Lawmakers are using the Ebola outbreak to call for a broader investment in biomedical research and public health funding to avoid scrambling to respond to a specific disease.
| Dec. 5, 2014, 5:10 p.m.
Appropriators are expected to include significant extra funding in an omnibus spending package to help agencies continue responding to the Ebola outbreak, but the final number will be less than President Barack Obama requested.
| Dec. 2, 2014, 2:34 p.m.
One option lawmakers are considering to pay for new missile submarines to replace the current Ohio-class fleet is to create a separate fund for the program outside the Navy’s main shipbuilding budget.
| Nov. 25, 2014, 2:42 p.m.
House GOP leaders are likely to float a proposal in their conference next week to fund most government agencies through September 2015, while providing a shorter-term stopgap component for immigration-related programs and initiatives.
| Nov. 18, 2014, 11:58 a.m.
House Republicans are casting around for some kind of spending compromise that would avoid a government shutdown, while still addressing the White House’s expected executive actions on immigration.
| Nov. 17, 2014, 1:56 p.m.
“Elections have consequences” is an oft-used phrase following a watershed election, and given the large Republican gains in the Senate, House and in states across the country, this year has clearly been no exception. I believe a major “consequence” of this election is a loud and clear mandate from the American people for Washington to stop the gridlock, work together across ideological lines and start producing real accomplishments on their behalf.
| Nov. 14, 2014, 7:03 p.m.
White House emergency spending requests are taking a back seat to a debate about whether to use a wrap-up fiscal 2015 spending package to block executive actions on immigration.
| Nov. 14, 2014, 6:59 p.m.
House GOP leaders are taking a wait-and-see approach as their conference has begun splitting into factions over how to fund the federal government and whether to bring immigration into the mix.