David Lerman

Progressive power play: Pentagon-level spending for nondefense programs
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 107

CQ Roll Call’s appropriations reporter Kellie Mejdrich unpacks the demands — and their possible consequences — of the Democratic Party’s progressives, who last week derailed plans to vote on raising the spending caps to prevent across-the-board spending cuts next fiscal year. ...
Congress will probably leave town without voting on a disaster bill
Partisan deadlock over how much relief aid should go to Puerto Rico is showing no signs of easing

A partisan deadlock over a disaster relief package showed no signs of easing Tuesday, as the two camps traded barbs over aid for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

Senate Republicans made a new offer over the weekend that Democrats dismissed, weakening prospects for a deal before lawmakers leave town later this week for a two-week Easter recess. President Donald Trump has told Republicans he won’t support additional aid to Puerto Rico beyond an extra $600 million in food assistance that is already included in a GOP-written bill.

A House floor vote on spending caps could divide Democrats
As eager as Democrats are to raise spending caps, they don’t all agree on how much higher the new caps should be

The House might vote this week on a bill to raise discretionary spending limits for the next two fiscal years.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer was hedging his bets late last week, saying only that a floor vote was “possible.”

Divided Democrats may forgo a budget resolution
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 105

The House Budget Committee may punt on a fiscal 2020 budget resolution to avoid exposing Democratic caucus fissures over tax and spending policy. But an effort to reach a deal to raise spending limits for the coming fiscal year could prove just as dicey, as Lindsey McPherson explains.

The Crime Victims Fund is not just for victims
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 104

A fund designed to help crime victims is also used by lawmakers as an annual budgetary gimmick to help pay for other programs. But the victims fund is starting to run dry, making appropriations decisions tougher, as our tax and fiscal policy reporter Doug Sword explains.

Show Notes:

How Congress might rewrite Trump’s budget
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 103

The president has proposed deep cuts to planned spending in Medicare and Medicaid, while trying to uphold austere limits on nondefense discretionary spending. But Congress is already talking about a rewrite. CQ's Kellie Mejdrich explains what lawmakers might have in mind. ...
10 things to know about the $4.7 trillion Trump budget
The bottom line: Presidential budgets are called aspirational for good reason

Here are the top 10 things to know about President Donald Trump’s $4.7 trillion budget request for the coming fiscal year:

1. Military spending would go up. A deficit reduction law calls for a cut of 11 percent, or $71 billion, to regular national security spending, which doesn’t include war-related costs. But the Trump administration would skirt that law by pumping $165 billion into a war-related account that is exempt from spending limits, even though the money isn’t needed for overseas conflicts. The result would be a 5 percent increase to defense, which would total $750 billion in fiscal 2020.

Trump budget request triggers clash with Congress
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 102

Spending cuts, growth outpace tax cuts, military increases

President Donald Trump unveiled a $4.7 trillion budget request for fiscal 2020 that would boost military funding, cut non-defense programs and intensify the partisan fight over a southern border wall.

The tax and spending blueprint calls for saving $2.8 trillion over the coming decade by cutting non-defense discretionary programs, curbing health care costs, imposing tougher work requirements on welfare programs and restructuring federal student loans, among other things.

White House readies lean budget with fat nondefense cuts
Democrats have already rejected plan that even some Republicans say is unrealistic

BY PAUL M. KRAWZAK AND DAVID LERMAN

President Donald Trump will send a budget request to Capitol Hill on Monday seeking to eliminate deficits in 15 years, relying on rosy economic growth forecasts to boost revenue and tight limits on nondefense appropriations to counterbalance hefty increases for the military and his signature border wall project.

Spending deal at mercy of Trump budget, debt limit and border money
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 101

President Donald Trump's fiscal 2020 budget request, due out next week, is likely to skirt a defense spending cap to boost the military while proposing deep cuts to nondefense programs. CQ's Paul M. Krawzak explains how the White House blueprint is sure to trigger a new showdown over spending limits,  along with the need to increase the debt limit and the continuing battle over border wall funds.

Show Notes:

Breaking a trust to build the wall
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 100

CQ’s award-winning defense reporter John M. Donnelly revealed that a Pentagon fund that President Donald Trump wants to use to pay for his wall is nearly depleted, forcing him to look elsewhere in the Pentagon budget for the money. Trump appears poised to break tradition and bypass Congress in this money transfer, and Donnelly says that “would tear a hole in the fabric of cooperation between the White House and the Congress.”

Trump Ignites New Budget Fights by Targeting Pentagon Programs
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 99

 

CQ defense reporter John M. Donnelly spells out how President Donald Trump's emergency action to raid Pentagon accounts to pay for a border wall could affect military facilities and programs already stretched thin.

Down to the wire amid setback in government funding talks
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 98

A new snag over immigrant detention policy has thrown a monkey wrench into border security negotiations, as lawmakers look to prevent another government shutdown. CQ appropriations reporter Kellie Mejdrich explains what both sides are seeking and how the Trump administration is softening its demand on border wall funding.  

Show Notes:

Border security talks stalled over detentions, second shutdown possible
Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told ‘Meet the Press,’ ‘you absolutely cannot rule out’ a shutdown.

Negotiations on a border security deal have hit a snag in a dispute over immigrant detention policy, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby said Sunday.

House and Senate conferees were scrambling to reach a deal by Monday that would resolve the impasse over President Donald Trump’s demand for a border wall and avoid another partial government shutdown when current funding runs dry on Feb. 15. But Shelby put the odds of a deal at only “50-50,” citing a partisan rift over Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

Border, homeland security deal could come over weekend
Members said they would use the weekend to resolve remaining concerns and aim to have legislative text on Monday

House and Senate negotiators were planning to work through the weekend to reach a border security deal that would clear the way for a final fiscal 2019 spending package.

A House-Senate conference committee on a Homeland Security bill had been hoping to reach an agreement by Friday. But members said they would probably use the weekend to resolve all remaining concerns, with the goal of producing legislative text on Monday.

Assessing the bleak options for ending the shutdown
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 94

As the longest shutdown in modern history enters its fourth week, CQ’s fiscal policy reporter Doug Sword assesses the options for ending the spending impasse. But none appear promising, as President Donald Trump has rejected the latest proposals.

How shutdown will sting across the board
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 93

 

Within days of the government shutdown setting a record,  federal agencies, employees and the general public will begin to feel the pain, says CQ budget and appropriations reporter Kellie Mejdrich. She also gives the latest developments in what is turning out to be a prolonged political battle.

White House wants $7 billion more for DHS to fund wall
More than half of the request is for a ‘steel barrier’ along the southwest border

The White House formally asked lawmakers Sunday to provide an additional $7 billion beyond what Senate appropriators proposed in their bipartisan Homeland Security spending bill last year, with more than half earmarked for a “steel barrier” along the southwest border.

The request, outlined in a letter from Acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought, doesn’t seem likely to lead to an immediate breakthrough in reopening large portions of the federal government that have been closed since Dec. 22.