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Budget Archive

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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 isn’t accomplishing much legislatively these days. That’s not news. But in one area — annual appropriations — 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.

White House Boosts Response to Surge in Child Migrants

President Barack Obama ordered the creation of a high-level working group to respond to the recent surge in unaccompanied immigrant children, following congressional criticism that he has neglected to acknowledge the extra money and effort needed to handle the crisis.

Bringing Accountability and Transparency to the Federal Government's Financial Statements | Commentary

In Washington, we know that the federal government spends more than it takes in and that it borrows more than it should, but do we really know where our finances stand?

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Could This Be the Year for a House Reversal on Medical Marijuana?

The last time Rep. Dana Rohrabacher offered an amendment on the House floor to protect states rights when it came to legalization of medical marijuana, it was defeated 163–262.

House Will Push Back Votes on More Permanent Tax Credits

The House, which passed one permanent extension of an expired business tax break, will delay any action on other so-called extenders until at least June following the demise this week of the Senate’s two-year tax break patch.

C-J-S Bill Advances After Democratic Gun Provisions Turned Aside

House appropriators advanced a measure Thursday to fund the Justice and Commerce departments, along with science agencies, after endorsing a GOP gun proposal and sidelining a series of Democratic firearm policy amendments.

Permanent Policy Riders Represent 'New Twist' in Annual Spending Debates

A pair of firearms provisions buried deep within the chairman’s mark of the fiscal 2015 Commerce-Justice-Science funding bill highlight an emerging strategy in the annual debate over spending: Policy language that seeks to make permanent changes in the law.

Pentagon Must Follow Lengthy Process to Shutter Bases, Cut Excess Military Infrastructure

The process for shedding excess military infrastructure is unlike any other in government.

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House Bill Lays Foundation for Future Base Closings

The House Armed Services Committee is opening the door ever so slightly to the possibility of another Base Closure and Realignment Commission, laying the preliminary groundwork in its version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill for the Pentagon to begin the lengthy and painful process of shuttering unneeded installations.

Political Earmarking Is Unfair to Taxpayers | Commentary

If your boss handed you a to-do list that had projects to work on from 25 years ago, you’d be fairly concerned about the prospect of getting all of them done. It would be even worse if the boss kept giving you new projects that also needed to be completed. While it may be a bit of a stretch, this is essentially the problem the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee had to solve in writing the latest Water Resources Reform and Development Act.

Appropriators Set Brisk Pace for Bill Passage

The next three months are crunch time for appropriators hoping to pass as many of the 12 annual spending bills as possible before the August recess.

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Appropriators Still Hold Power Despite Austerity

Appropriators may not wield the clout they once did, but when it comes to lobbying for federal dollars, they’re still a top ticket in town.

Unemployment Extension Deal May Hinge on Job Training Compromise

A potential agreement on a long-stalled House GOP proposal to streamline federal job training programs is emerging as a possible linchpin for a deal on a five-month extension of expired unemployment benefits.

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GOP Considers Advancing Unemployment Extension With Jobs, Tax Provisions

House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions of Texas and other senior Republicans are pushing proposals to tie the extension of emergency unemployment insurance to jobs measures and the extension of some tax breaks in an attempt to bring the plan to the House floor.

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