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Stories by Tamar Hallerman:

Path Toward 'Clean' Spending Stopgap Bill Emerges

Sept. 24, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday began laying the groundwork for the chamber to advance a “clean” continuing resolution in the coming days after Democrats and some Republicans banded together to block consideration of a stopgap with Planned Parenthood defunding language.

Cruz and Paul Rally Against Planned Parenthood Funding

Sept. 10, 2015

With all eyes on the House of Representatives right now as the likely arena for a battle over Planned Parenthood, a small group of Senate Republicans who want to slash the organization’s funding aren’t bowing out of the fight.

McConnell Shuts Down Planned Parenthood Shutdown Talk (Video)

Aug. 6, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the growing talk that the fight over Planned Parenthood might result in a government shutdown come Oct. 1 — nor, he said, would he allow a default on the debt.

Fattah Says He's Innocent, Will Run Despite Indictment (Video)

July 29, 2015

Rep. Chaka Fattah, indicted Wednesday on 29 counts of racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud as part of an FBI and IRS probe, told reporters at the Capitol he’s innocent and will seek re-election to his Philadelphia seat.

House Appropriations' Rogers Likely to Give Up Gavel

July 24, 2015

House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers says he likely will give up his gavel rather than seek a waiver when his third two-year term expires next year, leaving an opening for the chairmanship of the spending panel.

Cuba Travel, Trade Would Be Allowed Under Senate Bill

July 23, 2015

Senate appropriators approved landmark language Thursday that would accelerate the Obama administration's initiative to thaw relations with Cuba.

House GOP Appropriators Prepare for Sequester Showdown

July 22, 2015

House Republican leaders don’t want to be the first to flinch at Democrats’ calls to repeal sequester-level spending caps, but senior GOP appropriators emerged from a closed-door meeting Wednesday in agreement: Congress has to do something.

Campaign Finance Loophole Inserted in Spending Bill

July 22, 2015

Senate appropriators folded into a draft spending bill a provision long sought by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that would relax campaign finance coordination rules between candidates and the political parties.

Confederate Flag Flap a Death Knell for Appropriations Work

July 10, 2015

The fiscal 2016 appropriations process effectively screeched to a halt Friday, the day after bitter divisions over a Republican Confederate flag provision sunk the Interior-Environment appropriations bill and apparently laid claim to the rest of the spending measures as well.

Uproar Over Confederate Flag Blocks Interior-Environment Bill

July 9, 2015

Republican leaders abruptly pulled the fiscal 2016 Interior-Environment spending bill from the floor Thursday in a highly embarrassing about-face after Democrats and moderate Republicans revolted against a planned vote to allow Confederate flag imagery to be displayed on cemeteries on federal land.

Republicans to Vote on Allowing Display of Confederate Flag

July 8, 2015

In a rapid and dramatic policy shift, Confederate flag imagery could be allowed to remain displayed on graves on federal land in some circumstances under a Republican-sponsored amendment that will be voted on in the House on Thursday.

Spending Bills Headed for Partisan Gridlock

June 16, 2015

Confrontations between the parties, and factions within the GOP conference over government spending levels will probably leave Congress in gridlock in the weeks ahead, dragging to a halt the unusually rapid pace House and Senate appropriators have managed to set with their fiscal 2016 bills.

Senate Appropriations Debates Floor Tactics

June 16, 2015

There’s been scant movement so far to begin talks that could lead to a budget agreement later this year, but robust debate has been playing out in the House and Senate Appropriations committees for several months.

A Long Summer of Spending Standoffs Is Coming

May 12, 2015

Partisan disputes over the sequester threaten to derail the appropriations process in the months ahead, as House and Senate appropriators trudge ahead with work on fiscal 2016 spending bills.

Members Sound Off on Budget Deal Chances

May 12, 2015

Here’s where congressional leaders stand on the prospect of another budget deal, which would presumably adhere to a similar framework to the December 2013 agreement negotiated by then-Budget Committee Chairmen Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., and Patty Murray, D-Wash. That agreement boosted defense and nondefense discretionary spending equally above the sequester level for two years, offset by fee increases and changes to mandatory programs.

Appropriators Hope for Budget-Deal Relief From Sequester-Level Spending Caps

April 22, 2015

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.

The Yucca 'Albatross'

April 9, 2015

The consequence of a congressional stalemate is clearly visible in the nearly 75,000 metric tons of spent radioactive fuel piling up in pools of water and steel casks that rest in the shadows of the nation’s nuclear power plants.

House Averts Shutdown of DHS for 1 Week

Feb. 27, 2015

Lawmakers managed Friday to avert a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security by clearing a one-week stopgap funding measure.

The move forestalls a funding lapse DHS, whose budget authority was set to expire at midnight.

With House Republicans in full disarray after failing to pass a three-week stopgap, the Senate moved a more modest one-week measure, bailing out House leaders who were unable to deliver the votes needed to advance their plan.

The House emphatically passed the stopgap, which would extend the DHS' budget authority through March 6, 357-60, just before 10 p.m., on Friday evening sending the patch to the president's desk.

Overheard: Kirk Says Give House GOP a Straw

Feb. 26, 2015

“I think the feeling of most people is it’s a fight that we should have not fought. As a governing party, we’ve got to fund DHS and say to the House, ‘Here’s a straw so you can suck it up.'”

McConnell Unveils Two-Part DHS Plan

Feb. 24, 2015

Senate GOP leaders announced a dual-track plan that would decouple fiscal 2015 Homeland Security funding from immigration, but it is unclear whether conservatives in the chamber, House Republicans and Senate Democrats will go along with the strategy.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is prepared to move a “clean” DHS funding bill — without any extraneous immigration language — as soon as Democrats are willing to agree to a vote. He added that the measure would include funding through fiscal 2015, which ends Sept. 30.

The Senate would then separately move on the bill he introduced Monday evening that would block spending on implementation of the president’s November 2014 immigration actions but leave untouched other orders from 2011 and 2012 impacting so-called dreamers and other immigrants.

"I do think we have a responsibility to act,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters Tuesday afternoon.

Senate Democrats Show Limits of GOP Spending Strategy

Feb. 23, 2015

When Republican leaders seized control of the Senate, they quickly targeted must-pass appropriations bills — not shutdown showdowns — as their best tool for reining in the Obama White House.

Democrats Rebuff DHS Bill Over Immigration Provisions

Feb. 3, 2015

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.

Cochran's Top Appropriations Goal: Regular Order

Jan. 27, 2015

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.

Boehner Plans to Authorize House Suit Against Obama Over Immigration

Jan. 27, 2015

House Republican leaders are finalizing a plan that would authorize the chamber to take legal actions against President Barack Obama over his executive actions on immigration.

House GOP Eyes Rescission Bill in Standoff Over Immigration

Nov. 18, 2014

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.

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