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Flush from their capture of the Senate, Republicans in both chambers are reviewing more than a dozen potential candidates to succeed Douglas W. Elmendorf as director of the Congressional Budget Office after his term expires Jan. 3.
A failure to account properly can lead a business to fail. Our government’s failure to count properly is costing taxpayers billions. The federal budget is one area where our counting system has gotten way off track. There are simple policy solutions — such as replacing the dollar bill with the dollar coin — that could make government work better and more efficiently, but outdated one-size-fits-all rules are masking the true, long-term savings of the switch to the dollar coin.
Away from the din of the campaign, House and Senate appropriations staffers are quietly laying the groundwork for an ambitious wrap-up spending package in the lame duck.
From time to time, we seem briefly aware of our skyrocketing national debt, but usually we forget we’ve been on the largest spending spree in American history. And without a strong economy to help generate tax revenues to pay the bills, our national debt has grown by trillions of dollars in only a few short years.
Standard & Poor’s says income inequality is becoming a problem for state governments.
As is typical in the defense authorization process, House and Senate lawmakers made differing choices over key policy and military hardware issues. Both bills, however, would adhere to the $514 billion discretionary cap for fiscal 2015 Pentagon base spending established by the Ryan-Murray budget.
It was probably wishful thinking on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s part when he added floor action on the annual defense policy bill to his crowded to-do list for the abbreviated September session.
Democrats and the Obama administration will continue to push for more border funding when Congress returns from recess, but a short legislative calendar and a growing rift between the parties on immigration may leave the upcoming continuing resolution as perhaps their only shot for securing additional dollars before the elections.
Before summer recess, the Senate roundly rejected the White House’s attempt to kill off one of this country’s most storied missile technologies.
House Republican leaders are aiming to move a “clean” stopgap spending bill next week with as little drama as possible.
Days after Congress skipped out of Washington for recess last month, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced plans to shift some $400 million in funding from other agency programs to manage the Southwest border crisis.
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.
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.
Pension funds are slowly starting to take a look at investing in infrastructure projects, raising hopes among transportation advocates and lawmakers that the country’s roads and bridges could see an infusion of private cash.
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.
The Obama administration’s 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 the Senate’s 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.
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 program’s escalating costs under control.
Despite a history punctuated by cost hikes, schedule delays and technological problems, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter appears to be too big — and too important — to fail.
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.