| April 29, 2015, 1:50 p.m.
Recently the National Interagency Fire Center announced six new large wildfires have been reported across five states. This brings the year’s total wildfires to 14,213, and it’s only April. While wildfires are, in most cases, natural occurrences that can be good for forests when managed, the funding to manage large ones has gotten way out of control and deserves the immediate attention of Congress.
| April 22, 2015, 11:20 a.m.
Top House appropriators are crossing their fingers for another budget deal that would raise the tight sequester-level spending caps, but in the meantime they will consider a set of funding allocations that seek compromise with the budget limits they’ve got.
| April 14, 2015, 5:54 p.m.
The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill House appropriators planned to mark up Wednesday clearly illustrates the dilemma of Republican congressional leaders this year in trying to hold the line or reduce spending while not shortchanging their most sacrosanct areas of government — national defense and the care of veterans.
| April 8, 2015, 4:07 p.m.
Momentum is building among conservative senators to scrap an exemption from budget laws in the House-passed "doc fix" deal, a move that would pressure Congress to offset $141 billion of the package's cost not currently paid for later this year, outside groups say.
| March 24, 2015, 2:24 p.m.
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.
| March 4, 2015, 3:31 p.m.
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.
| March 3, 2015, 11:51 a.m.
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.
| Feb. 23, 2015, 5:22 p.m.
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.
| Feb. 10, 2015, 2:48 p.m.
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.
| Feb. 6, 2015, 4:11 p.m.
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.
| Feb. 5, 2015, 6:44 p.m.
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.
| Feb. 4, 2015, 6:45 p.m.
Add affordable housing to President Barack Obama’s list of unilateral actions on which he’s flexing his muscles at an unfriendly Congress.
| Feb. 4, 2015, 2:06 p.m.
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.
| Feb. 3, 2015, 1:56 p.m.
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.
| Feb. 2, 2015, 2:20 p.m.
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.
| Jan. 30, 2015, 1:13 p.m.
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.
| Jan. 28, 2015, 7:17 p.m.
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.
| Jan. 27, 2015, 2:04 p.m.
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.
| 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.