Farm Bill

Government Reorg Plan Greeted Without Fanfare
Key members of Congress seemed unaware of details as White House plan was released

The Office of Management and Budget, led by Director Mick Mulvaney, released a sweeping reorganization proposal on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration’s proposal to reorganize the federal government won’t likely be moving to the top of the Senate agenda anytime soon.

“This effort, along with the recent executive orders on federal unions, are the biggest pieces so far of our plan to drain the swamp,” OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said of the proposals. “I am eager to work with my colleagues across the executive branch and in Congress to deliver a more trusted and efficient government that puts the American taxpayer first.”

Senators Keeping Hope — and ‘Regular Order’ — Alive
That immigration debate hasn’t derailed spending may be cause for optimism

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby and Sen. Roy Blunt are among the lawmakers trying to keep the Senate’s productive streak alive. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Does the Senate’s sudden appetite for “regular order” have any chance of continuing through the summer, particularly when it comes to writing spending bills?

“One only hopes,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said. “Appropriators seem to be able to get along better than other people.”

GOP Chaos, Confusion Ahead of Thursday Immigration Votes
Prospects for passage appeared poor amid haphazard whip effort

Attorney General Jeff Sessions went to the House to ask Republicans to support the immigration bills the chamber will consider Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Confusion and chaos ensued Wednesday as House Republican leaders conducted a haphazard whip effort on a compromise immigration bill they planned to bring to the floor the next day. The prospects for the bill passing were clearly poor.

The frenetic feel of the day was similar to March 23, 2017. House GOP leaders spent that day engulfed in conversations with members as they tried to whip support for their bill to partially repeal and replace the 2010 health care law in an effort to vote on the law’s anniversary.

House Immigration Compromise Faces Dim Prospects Amid Conservative Opposition
No compelling case for Freedom Caucus members to vote for it, Meadows says

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is among the conservatives opposed to a compromise immigration bill that President Donald Trump has endorsed and that the House is expected to vote on this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Republican immigration bill negotiated in recent weeks by cross sections of the House GOP Conference faces dim prospects for passage after several conservatives indicated opposition to the measure Tuesday.

House Republican leaders invited President Donald Trump to the Capitol on Tuesday evening to try to sell the legislation to the conference. And while Trump said he supports the compromise measure — along with one by House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte that most conservatives in the conference prefer — it does not appear to have swayed enough conservatives to ensure the bill’s passage.

Fight Over Food Stamps Among Big Hurdles Facing Farm Bill
As a fall deadline looms, Congress keeps stewing and squabbling

A sprinkler irrigates farmland in Palmdale, Calif., on May 26. Lawmakers have two options as the farm bill nears expiration: reach a compromise or extend current law through an expected lame-duck session in late fall or into 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If everything goes according to plan this month, House leaders will round up the necessary Republican votes to pass the chamber’s 2018 farm bill after an unexpected defeat on the floor put the legislation on hold.

The failed May 18 vote marked the second time in five years that a farm bill ran into obstacles in the House. In the Senate, meanwhile, leaders have indicated they want to pass the bipartisan legislation by the July Fourth recess.

Time Running Out in Ryan’s Quest to Overhaul Welfare Programs
Speaker returns to Jack Kemp roots as he targets SNAP and TANF

In his remaining months as speaker, Paul D. Ryan is making one last push on poverty. Above, Bishop Shirley Holloway helps Ryan unveil his plan for “A Better Way” in Anacostia in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has spent his 20-year congressional career primarily focused on two issues, taxes and poverty. The Wisconsin Republican led a major rewrite of the tax code last year, but when he retires at the end of this term he won’t have many accomplishments to tout on poverty.

The last big win for conservatives in the so-called War on Poverty was the 1996 welfare overhaul, Ryan acknowledged on PBS’ “Firing Line” earlier this month.

House Budget Resolution May Have Short Lifespan
Republicans are already downplaying its chances on the House floor

House Budget Chairman Steve Womack is expected to being markup of the fiscal 2019 budget resolution this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid virtually no interest from the Senate, Democrats in either chamber, and even other House Republicans, Budget Chairman Steve Womack is apparently pushing forward with a fiscal 2019 budget resolution this week.

The Arkansas Republican plans to begin the markup Wednesday and continue on Thursday, according to sources. The not-yet-introduced budget plan is even likely to get out of committee, based on discussions with panel members — but as to where it goes from there, prospects don’t look bright.

Opinion: Work Requirements Don’t Actually Work
They do nothing to reduce poverty or address the underlying economic inequality

Demonstrators at a news conference with faith leaders on Capitol Hill on May 7. A growing body of social science research shows that work requirements do nothing to reduce poverty, DeLauro and Sánchez write. (Sarah Silbiger /CQ Roll Call file photo)

Under the guise of “promoting work” and “reform,” the Trump administration and congressional Republicans are seeking radical changes to the way we fight poverty in America.

Let us not be fooled, Republican proposals that tie strict so-called work requirements to anti-poverty programs are designed to make it harder for people to access basic services such as health care, nutrition and housing.

Opinion: Ignore the Hyperbole, Encouraging Work Is a Worthy Goal
Work requirements and other reforms offer a pathway out of poverty for many

Job seekers fill out registration forms at a career fair in San Francisco in 2015. The House Republican farm bill directs a significant portion of existing SNAP funds into job training programs for eligible adults, Thompson writes. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

The economy is soaring and unemployment is at its lowest point in more than a decade. Despite this good news, far too many Americans find themselves out of the workforce or lacking the skills needed to land a good-paying job.

Yet there are more than six million job openings throughout the country.

Moderates Punt on Immigration Petition as GOP Goals Drift
House plans to vote on 2 proposals next week, but compromise remains elusive

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., arrives at the office of Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday for a meeting on immigration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In the month since moderate Republicans launched a discharge petition to force the House to take up immigration legislation to protect so-called Dreamers, they’ve continuously moved the goal posts on what it is they want to achieve. On Tuesday, they shifted the target again.

The moderates have effectively agreed to drop their discharge petition on the “queen of the hill” rule — which would set up votes on four immigration measures, with the one getting the most votes above a majority prevailing — even though there’s not yet agreement on alternative legislation that can pass the House.