Jennifer Shutt

Steering Panel to Meet Next Week on Next House Budget Chairman
Three candidates in the running as Diane Black steps aside

The House Republican Steering Committee plans to meet Jan. 9 to consider three candidates for the next Budget chairman, GOP aides said.

Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia, Steve Womack of Arkansas and Bill Johnson of Ohio are vying to succeed Diane Black, who is stepping down from the position to concentrate on her campaign for governor in Tennessee.

Another Year, Another Stopgap Likely Beyond Jan. 19
Even if they agree this week, lawmakers won’t be home free

Even if congressional leaders and top White House officials reach an agreement on new fiscal 2018 spending levels this week, lawmakers will still need to pass another temporary spending bill to keep the government open past Jan. 19.

Appropriators cannot rewrite all 12 appropriations bills and package them for floor votes before the third stopgap spending bill of fiscal 2018 expires in less than three weeks, aides in both parties said Tuesday.

Black to Give Up Top Budget Slot, Focus on Governor’s Race
Competition expected for House Budget gavel

Rep. Diane Black announced Wednesday that she plans to step aside as House Budget chairwoman to focus on her gubernatorial campaign.

The Tennessee Republican announced that she will remain in Congress, but will give up her gavel as soon as the GOP Steering Committee picks, and the Republican Conference ratifies, her successor.

Senate Votes to Avoid Shutdown, Funds Government Through January
With a day to spare Congress kicks can down road, once again

With just a day left until government funding would run out, Congress sent another temporary spending bill to the president’s desk Thursday.

After days of wrangling votes and changing plans, the House voted 231-188 and the Senate voted 66-32 to clear a continuing resolution that would fund the government through Jan. 19, provide funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and community health centers through March 31, appropriate $2.1 billion for a private care access program for veterans and temporarily extend Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act until Jan. 19.

Senators Go Their Own Way on Stopgap Funding
‘We can’t pass the House bill,’ GOP chairmen say

Senators are preparing to completely rework the temporary spending bill needed to keep much of government open past Dec. 22.

The legislation will be stripped of the House-passed Defense appropriations bill and a partisan measure reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which many expected. But its length will also likely change, and it may or may not carry new topline spending levels for appropriators to construct a final fiscal 2018 omnibus package.

Podcast: Defense, Domestic Budget Increases Crucial for Long-Term Spending Deal
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 41

CQ appropriations reporters Kellie Mejdrich and Jennifer Shutt discuss the two-week spending bill that averted a government shutdown and look at how lawmakers may keep the government funded beyond Dec. 22.

No Deal For Trump With ‘Chuck and Nancy’ This Time
‘We agreed to keep on talking,’ McConnell says

“Chuck and Nancy” finally went to the White House on Thursday. But there was no script-flipping deal to be had with President Donald Trump this time.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., signaled the sides are still too far apart to close a deal, saying at the start of the meeting he was “glad we’re here to resume conversations.”

Senators Unclear on Plan to Fund Government Days Before Funding Expires
Republican senators say second continuing resolution into January possible

Trump, ‘Big Four’ Set to Meet Amid Shutdown Showdown
Huddle on year-end spending comes after last week's misfire

More than two months into the fiscal year and with just days left before a temporary spending bill expires, congressional leaders and President Donald Trump are scheduled to sit down Thursday to discuss key spending issues.

The meeting comes a little more than a week after the two Democratic leaders, Charles E. Schumer in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the House, opted to skip a meeting on the same topic, after Trump tweeted that he didn’t see a deal happening. And it will occur a little more than a day before the current continuing resolution funding the government expires at the end of Dec. 8. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan went ahead without them to the White House last week. 

Podcast: GOP’s Band-Aid Deal to Avert a Shutdown
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 40

CQ budget reporter Jennifer Shutt explains the continuing resolution to fund the government through Dec. 22 and a temporary funding fix for the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Show Notes:

Some in Congress Still Have a Taste for Pork
For a Republican majority searching for wins, there may be no better time to bring back earmarks

In the year since Speaker Paul D. Ryan blocked his party’s effort to revive earmarks, a lot hasn’t happened.

There’s been no repeal of Obamacare and no border wall approval. Plans to fund the government are struggling to lift off.

Uncertainty Surrounds Avoiding Shutdown Showdown
House GOP wants to vote on stopgap funding in two steps

House Republican leaders are pursuing a two-step strategy to avoiding a government shutdown, but might have difficulty rounding up votes in the caucus for that approach.

Leaders want to vote on stopgap funding in two steps — one continuing resolution keeping government agencies operating through Dec. 22, and then another probably running into January, Rep. Charlie Dent said Friday.

House Likely to Vote on Stopgap Funding Through Dec. 22
Bill would buy more time for negotiations as shutdown deadline approaches

House Republicans are preparing a stopgap spending bill that could fund the government through Dec. 22, according to two House GOP sources.

The House Republican Conference is expected to discuss the stopgap spending bill, or continuing resolution, during a meeting Friday morning, according to a senior House GOP aide.

Lankford Report Critiques Funds for Trolley, Dating Study
‘Clearly, this is cutting-edge research with shocking results’

The federal government has spent billions of dollars since 2015 on items such as a study of refugee services in Iceland, virtual reality puppets, and expired body armor for law enforcement personnel, according to Sen. James Lankford’s third annual “waste report” released Monday.

The Oklahoma Republican used the 86-page report to criticize a variety of departments and agencies for how they used their annual appropriations during the last three fiscal years. 

New $44 Billion Disaster Aid Request Paltry, Lawmakers Say
Extensive offsets could also prove controversial

In its third emergency aid request since August, the White House on Friday asked Congress to approve $44 billion for ongoing hurricane recovery efforts, a figure seen as insufficient on both sides of the aisle. 

At the same time, the White House asked lawmakers to consider a lengthy list of offsets, noting in a letter that the administration “believes it is prudent to offset new spending.”

Podcast: Trump Kneecapping Obamacare Adds to Year-End Spending Hurdles
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 35

Health care, border wall funding and legislation for Dreamers and an assortment of other issues are piling up and likely to complicate efforts for a year-end spending deal to avert a partial government shutdown, says CQ Budget reporter Jennifer Shutt.

 

Thad Cochran, Still Ailing, Will Miss Senate Votes This Week
Urinary tract infection sidelines Mississippi Republican for extended time

Sen. Thad Cochran will not immediately return to Washington following a four-week absence, raising speculation about the 79-year-old Mississippi Republican’s ability to continue as Appropriations chairman during the remainder of the 115th Congress.

His absence could also have implications for the budget resolution vote this week, though debate was still on track as of Monday, even after Cochran’s office confirmed he would not be present.

Diane Black, Prepping Gubernatorial Bid, Takes Victory Lap
Tennessee Republican finally shepherded budget resolution through House last week

The first woman to chair the House Budget Committee finally shepherded the fiscal 2018 resolution through her chamber Oct. 5, a traditionally thankless task that she took on after President Donald Trump tapped the former chairman, Tom Price, to be secretary of Health and Human Services.

Rep. Diane Black is now preparing to hand in her gavel after 10 months on the job, so she can focus on her campaign to become Tennessee’s next Republican governor, she announced in early August.

House GOP Adopts Budget, One Step Closer to Tax Overhaul
Vote largely along party lines, with some Republican defections

The House adopted its fiscal 2018 budget resolution Thursday, five days after the fiscal year began Oct. 1.

The 219-206 vote, which moves Republicans one step closer to the reconciliation instructions they need to advance a tax bill through the Senate without Democratic support, was largely along party lines, although 18 Republicans defected and voted against the resolution. No Democrats voted for the GOP-drafted budget plan.

Budget Debate, Grievances Get Airing in Both Chambers

Floor action on the fiscal 2018 budget resolution — made possible by assuaging conservatives’ concerns over the emerging tax overhaul blueprint last week — officially got under way on Wednesday.

The House voted 232-188 to approve parameters for debate and moved on to formally debating the resolution. Once the House and Senate formally adopt a joint budget resolution, if they can get that far, the tax-writing committees will be able to produce filibuster-proof tax legislation through the fast-track reconciliation process.