A pair of Democratic senators introduced legislation Thursday that would offer subsidies to employers who hire longtime unemployed workers.
The draft bill, sponsored by Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and backed by Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, aims to assist an estimated 1.3 million people who have been out of work for at least six months. The government would offer one-year subsidies to cover two-thirds of the cost of a new hire’s wages and benefits, although the subsidy could be increased in times of high unemployment.
White House officials plan to meet with congressional leaders Wednesday — for the second time in as many months — to reach a deal on spending limits that would prevent another government shutdown this fall.
The first meeting, on May 21, produced some initial hopes that a bipartisan deal could be reached relatively quickly, avoiding a breakdown in the appropriations process when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
Senior lawmakers are increasingly considering a scaled-back plan to raise discretionary spending limits for just the upcoming fiscal year, in what would be a departure from the two-year deals enacted in 2013, 2015 and again last year.
A decision to limit a deal to only fiscal 2020 appropriations might simplify negotiations that have been stalled for months. But it would also set the stage for another difficult showdown over spending levels next year, just before the presidential election.
A day after comedian Jon Stewart chastised lawmakers for their sparse attendance at a hearing on legislation to help victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the House Judiciary Committee approved the bill without even calling a roll call vote, extending a victims fund for decades while offering whatever funding is needed.
Stewart and lawmakers representing the victims have expressed frustration with Congress’ pace in moving the legislation, even after the overseer of the victims fund, Rupa Bhattacharyya, announced in February that she would have to cut payouts to victims for lack of money.
The Senate Appropriations Committee plans to take up a supplemental spending bill next week to address the surge of migrants at the U.S. southern border, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday.
The decision marked the first sign of movement on a stand-alone border funding bill, which President Donald Trump first requested on May 1. Republican leaders had tried to include the money in a $19.1 billion aid package for victims of natural disasters that cleared Congress last week, but Democrats objected, citing various concerns over family detention policies and information sharing about undocumented immigrants among federal agencies.
House Democrats would make whole federal contractors who didn't get paid during the 35-day partial government shutdown that ended in January as part of a $383 billion fiscal 2020 spending bill set to hit the floor next week.
The package combines five bills: Commerce-Justice-Science will be the vehicle, carrying the Agriculture, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-VA and Transportation-HUD measures as well.
House Democrats are packaging spending bills with the aim of completing all 12 by the end of the month, a goal that is likely to generate a lot of policy debates and amendments, explains Jennifer Shutt in this episode of the CQ Budget podcast. The first package contains five bills including the two largest, Defense and Labor-HHS-Education.
The Senate blocked consideration Monday of a bill by Sen. Rand Paul that would require trillions of dollars in spending cuts over the coming decade to bring about a balanced budget.
On a procedural vote of 22-69, the Senate refused to advance a budget plan that the Kentucky Republican said would reverse a trajectory of ever-rising deficits in coming years. “Today, the U.S. Senate can vote to put a stop to it and change course,” Paul said in a statement.
In an usually candid interview with CQ Roll Call's budget reporter Paul Krawzak, the recently departed Congressional Budget Office director Keith Hall said the often secretive process the Republicans followed defeated their effort to repeal Obamacare. He also urged Congress to deal with the rising deficits that will fall on the backs of younger Americans, saying that in the coming decade 50 percent of federal funding will be spent on just 20 percent of the population -- people who are 65 and older.
It’s been more than a year and a half since Hurricane Maria laid waste to Puerto Rico in September 2017, killing roughly 3,000 people and causing an estimated $90 billion in damages.
But federal money for any long-term rebuilding has yet to reach those in need in the U.S. territory, which was also battered by Hurricane Irma that same month.
House appropriators this week will take up the biggest of the 12 annual spending bills, the $690 billion Pentagon measure that includes some prickly issues such as funding for Taliban expenses for peace talks with the U.S. and money to give the Pentagon more F-35 fighter jets than it requested, says CQ Roll Call's senior defense reporter John M. Donnelly. He lays out what is likely to happen to the measure that assumes higher spending levels for fiscal 2020.
A delay in the delivery of previously approved disaster aid money to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico could complicate negotiations on a new aid package just as a bipartisan compromise appears close at hand.
Puerto Rico has been awaiting $8.3 billion in mitigation funds designed to help protect against future disasters. But the money can’t be awarded until the Department of Housing and Urban Development drafts new regulations for the funding, which is part of $16 billion provided nationwide under the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program Congress approved last year.
The Trump administration on Wednesday requested an extra $4.5 billion to address the surge of migrants at the U.S. southern border, in a move that could trigger a fresh round of criticism over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
The supplemental request stops short of seeking additional money for a border wall, which Democrats have staunchly opposed. But Democrats are sure to press for changes to immigration policy they consider too harsh.
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