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February 27, 2015

Posts in "Appropriations"

February 27, 2015

With Conservative Opposition, DHS Funding Vote Looks Tight

Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks with reporters after his presentations at the Heritage Action for America's Conservative Policy Summit in Washington on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Jordan’s House Freedom Caucus is leaning against the DHS funding bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Amid dissension in the conservative ranks, House GOP leaders are furiously whipping the Department of Homeland Security funding bill in an attempt to get it to the Senate with hardly any help from Democrats.

Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus emerged Friday afternoon from their second meeting in fewer than 24 hours with a seemingly unified front: They are going to vote no. Full story

February 26, 2015

House GOP Faces Another Whip Test on DHS Punt

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When in doubt, punt. That’s the latest plan from House Republicans, but even trying to pass a tried-and-true congressional maneuver might be a tall order for the GOP’s fractured conference.

They met again in the Capitol basement Thursday night and settled on a game plan: a three-week continuing resolution stripped of all provisions blocking President Barack Obama’s immigration action, as well as a separate motion to go to conference with the Senate.

It’s not a plan for victory, per se, but it keeps the game going — and it’s a chance to save face somewhere down the line.

But with House Democratic leaders planning to whip against it, Republican leaders will have to get their team to march in the same direction, and that’s never been an easy feat.

Full story

February 25, 2015

Wasserman Schultz Fillets House Counsel Over Cost of Boehner Lawsuit

Wasserman Schultz wanted an estimate of legal costs. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wasserman Schultz wanted an estimate of legal costs. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The top Democrat on the House Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee took advantage of a rare opportunity to grill the chamber’s top lawyer on the cost of Speaker John A. Boehner’s lawsuit against President Barack Obama.

House General Counsel Kerry W. Kircher was called to the witness table by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who wanted an estimate of how many billable hours taxpayers would be on the hook for in fiscal 2016, as the GOP challenges the legality of Obama’s executive actions and targeting implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Full story

January 13, 2015

Pelosi: GOP Effort to Defund Obama Immigration Moves ‘Frivolous’

 Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at a news conference at the House Triangle to call on House Republicans to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, December 4, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi called the attempts to defund the president’s immigration initiatives “frivolous.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats gathered on the steps of the Capitol Tuesday morning with a group of immigration activists to voice their opposition to a Republican tactic to defund the president’s executive actions on immigration.

Republicans plan to attach five amendments to a bill funding the Department of Homeland Security to target the president’s executive actions, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and other practices that loosen enforcement of some immigration laws. The House is expected to vote on the funding bill Wednesday. Full story

December 18, 2014

‘Do-Nothing Congress’ Rewrites Legacy With ‘Cromnibus’

 Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., speaks as House Democrats hold a news conference to call for presidential action on immigration on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Johnson called the 113th the “Do-Nothingest Congress,” but that label may not fit in the wake of a far-reaching “cromnibus.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 6:37 p.m. | They say numbers don’t lie. But in this case, numbers don’t tell the whole truth, either.

The 113th Congress wrapped up this week with 285 pieces of legislation signed into law by the president as of Thursday — one more than the 284 measures enacted in the 112th, which was previously the modern era’s least productive Congress. Both two-year terms end up well below the average from the preceding 20 Congresses, which typically produced 564 bills signed into law. (The median number of laws enacted for the past 20 Congresses is 604.) Full story

December 15, 2014

Defiant Pelosi Stands Firmly on Left

Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks with Roll Call in her office in the Capitol on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Pelosi signals she’d rather fight than move to the middle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Wide swaths of House Democrats have said they attribute Election Day losses to the caucus’s lack of a unified message, a strong pitch they can sell to voters and, above all else, a true sense their actions will match up with their rhetoric.

So when Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi broke with the White House last week and fought against a trillion-dollar spending package containing policy riders abhorred by her caucus, progressives cheered the return of their liberal champion. Full story

December 12, 2014

House Passes Second CR in Near-Empty Chamber

Messer, R-Ind., participates in the press conference announcing House GOP leadership for upcoming session of Congress on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With Messer presiding over a near-empty chamber, the House approved a continuing resolution to keep the government running. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House quietly passed another continuing resolution Friday that would fund the government through Wednesday, providing the Senate more time, if needed, to pass the longer-term “cromnibus” — but also raising questions about the procedure for a bill that was unexpectedly passed in a nearly empty House chamber.

With just three members on the floor — GOP Policy Chairman Luke Messer of Indiana in the presiding officer’s chair, senior Republican appropriator John Culberson of Texas making the motion, and Republican Study Committee Chairman Bill Flores of Texas standing by — the House passed a new continuing resolution Friday that would extend government funding through Dec. 17. Full story

December 11, 2014

Breaking Down the ‘Cromnibus’ Vote (Updated)

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 29:  Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., speaks at a news conference after the 113th Congress Democratic Caucus Organizational Meeting in Cannon Building. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Clyburn and 56 other Democrats backed the “cromnibus.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:18 p.m., Friday, Dec. 12: The House passed the cromnibus Thursday night 219-206, with 162 Republicans and 57 Democrats voting for the bill, and 67 Republicans and 139 Democrats voting against. While the vote was close, the breakdown split along familiar lines. But there were some interesting trends and deviations in the vote. Full story

Obama, Hoyer Split With Pelosi on ‘Cromnibus’ (Video)

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., speaks as House Democrats hold a news conference to call for presidential action on immigration on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hoyer could be the key to finding enough Democrats to pass the “cromnibus.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Just hours from a government shutdown that everyone once insisted would never happen, House Democrats emerged from an emergency caucus meeting Thursday night much the same way they walked in: without a unified strategy.

Democrats are split on the “cromnibus” spending plan agreed upon by Republican House and Democratic Senate negotiators. The White House and House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland want the cromnibus to pass. But Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California is against it, and she has significant backing from her caucus. Those who might be inclined to vote “yes” are keeping quiet, dodging reporters or saying they are still undecided.

Full story

Lacking Sufficient Support, House GOP Leaders Delay ‘Cromnibus’ Vote (Video)

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:09 p.m. | Unsure whether they have the votes to pass a trillion-dollar federal spending package, House GOP leaders on Thursday afternoon delayed a final vote on the “cromnibus.”

They did so with mere hours to go until the government is set to run out of funding, and just before the House was scheduled to vote.

Full story

Nail-Biting Vote Moves ‘Cromnibus’ Closer to House Passage (Video)

Waters, D-Calif., speaks during the House Democrats' news conference to discuss Republican lawsuit against President Obama and the House Democrats' focus on the economy on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Waters and other Democrats slammed “last-minute” riders in the “cromnibus.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The product of hours and hours of hard-fought negotiations could be lost Thursday if House Democrats decide, just hours before the government is to due to shut down, to band together and rebuff a trillion-dollar federal spending bill over two so-called “poison pill” policy riders.

Judging by a nail-bitingly close vote on a procedural measure to bring the legislation to the floor for full consideration, Democrats could have leverage to get the riders scrapped, or at least kill the bill and force what could be a better or worse deal, depending who’s being asked: A three-month continuing resolution that would fund government operations into the new year.

“If we don’t get finished today, we’re going to be here until Christmas,” Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, warned. In a rare move for the House’s most senior lawmaker, Boehner voted on the rule to give his party another “yes.”

Full story

Boehner Backs Bill, Condemns ‘Cromnibus’ Process (Video)

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds his first press conference in the Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, following the Republican wave midterm elections. Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner acknowledged frustrations with “cromnibus” process. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The “cromnibus” came together with a last-minute backroom deal between Republicans and Democrats that forced the House to vote on the 1,603-page measure before anyone could reasonably read it, and plenty of lawmakers are upset — including Speaker John A. Boehner.

“This is exactly the way I don’t want to do business,” Boehner said Thursday, just hours before the House was slated to vote on the funding package.

The Ohio Republican campaigned for the speaker’s gavel by pledging to give lawmakers 72 hours before voting on pieces of legislation, and he’s previously been an opponent of pieces of thousand-page legislation.

Full story

December 10, 2014

Democrats’ Discontent on ‘Cromnibus’ Bubbles to Surface

Israel, D-N.Y., chairman of the DCCC, speaks at the National Press Club's Newsmaker series on how Rep. Paul Ryan's, R-Wis., budget will effect the midterm elections. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Israel characterized House Democrats’ reaction to the spending bill as grim. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As House Republican leaders try to shore up support for the “cromnibus” on their side of the aisle, it’s becoming less of a sure bet that House Democrats can be relied upon to make up for the shortfall if need be.

After taking a “wait-and-see” approach over the past week on the massive appropriations bill needed to fund the government past Thursday, Democrats on Wednesday began staking out positions — from consternation to flat-out opposition — to the 289,861-word, $1.013 trillion measure unveiled the night before. Full story

December 9, 2014

Lawmakers Release Massive ‘Cromnibus’ 2 Days Ahead of Shutdown

With roughly 51 hours left before the government runs out of cash, lawmakers released the text Tuesday night of a massive 289,861-word, $1.013 trillion bill to keep federal agencies running past Dec. 11.

The spending package, a carefully negotiated piece of legislation between the Republican House and Democratic Senate, would fund the vast majority of government operations through September with the notable exception of the Department of Homeland Security.

Republicans, frustrated by President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, want to tighten the purse strings on the DHS, which the bill funds only to Feb. 27. DHS is the agency charged with carrying out much of the president’s immigration orders. Full story

December 4, 2014

Boehner Suggests He Won’t Cave to Conservatives on ‘Cromnibus’ (Video)

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, attends a news conference after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol, December 2, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner . (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As conservatives push back against a bill to fund the government past Dec. 11, Speaker John A. Boehner signaled Thursday that he didn’t expect to make any sizable changes to the so-called “cromnibus” in order to placate voices to the right.

“I expect that we’ll have bipartisan support to pass the omnibus,” Boehner told reporters Thursday, in response to a question on whether the Ohio Republican anticipated needing some Democratic votes to pass the bill, and whether that would give Democrats leverage on negotiating riders in the appropriations bill.

Conservatives are bashing the cromnibus — which would fund all elements of government until October except the Department of Homeland Security, which would be funded until March or February — because it does not block President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.

Full story

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