budget reconciliation

Trump's 3 Legislative Priorities Before the Midterm Vote
Penn Ave Report — connecting Congress and the White House at the intersection of politics

House Budget Being Drafted Despite Nearly Insurmountable Obstacles
Topline spending levels, no path to reconciliation among reasons lawmakers to oppose

House Budget Chairman Steve Womack is writing a fiscal 2019 budget resolution despite major obstacles to passing it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Obstacles to House Republicans passing a fiscal 2019 budget resolution appear insurmountable and have some members questioning why the Budget Committee is even planning to write one. 

Exactly half of the 22 Republicans on the Budget panel — more than enough to block a partisan budget resolution — voted against last week’s budget deal that set fiscal 2019 topline spending levels of $647 billion for defense and $597 billion for nondefense. Under the agreement, House and Senate leaders committed to those topline numbers if their chambers decide to advance fiscal 2019 budget resolutions.

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White House Talks Tax Outreach, but Senators Guarded
Legislative director outlines ambitious timetable

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short, left, here with Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso last week, has hopes for a bipartisan tax overhaul effort. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll)

The White House sees Democrats up for re-election in states President Donald Trump won as possible partners in their effort to overhaul the tax code, but Senate Republicans appear less optimistic about the chances of a bipartisan bill.

White House legislative director Marc Short said Monday the White House is not wed to using the often partisan reconciliation process to advance a tax overhaul, though senators were hesitant to rule out that procedural tool.

Analysis: Chances for Budget Through Regular Order Shaky
Shell budget may be needed to set up reconciliation process for tax overhaul

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has few viable paths to passing a budget resolution needed to set up the reconciliation process for a tax overhaul. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans are readying for a possible floor vote on a fiscal 2018 budget resolution as soon as next week, but with support for the plan currently shy of the 218 votes needed, action could be delayed weeks or even months.

After more than a month of negotiations, the House Budget Committee will mark up the fiscal blueprint on Wednesday. Floor action before the August recess appears to be the goal, and with several conservatives and moderates withholding support, that’s a target leaders will likely miss.

Budget Battle Opening Salvo Still Stalled
House GOP not focused on endgame as much as negotiating marker

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black is moving forward with a budget resolution that does not reflect what can be agreed to in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans have spent a month arguing over key pieces of a budget resolution that faces little chance of passage in the Senate. But they are focused less on the endgame than staking out their own position.

House members frequently view legislation they have passed as a marker for their position heading into bicameral negotiations.

Freedom Caucus May Push for More Than Tax Overhaul in Next Budget
Reconciliation instructions for overhauling welfare system among issues caucus plans to discuss, Meadows says

Rep. Mark Meadows signs pictures taken of him with constituents to send the constituents as a thank you for their time. (Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are considering a push for broader reconciliation authority in the upcoming fiscal 2018 budget resolution that would allow Republicans to pursue policies beyond a tax code overhaul.

“We believe that writing the instructions more broadly will give us greater flexibility not only to get tax reform but also to address other areas simultaneously,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said in an interview here Friday.

Podcast: Here's Why Congress Is Facing an Unprecedented Budget Puzzle
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 14

An unprecedented situation is developing in Congress as lawmakers are confronted with not only finishing the fiscal 2017 budget but beginning work on a fiscal 2018 budget, says CQ’s senior budget reporter Paul M. Krawzak. But adding uncertainty to the work are the so-called reconciliation instructions attached to the 2017 budget resolution that spell out how Republicans can repeal Obamacare. At what point do these instructions expire and it's game over for an easy health care repeal? Krawzak explains why this question has become so important, and offers a prediction on when President Trump will present his full budget to Congress.