Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 26, 2015

Posts in "Budget"

November 12, 2015

Does Obamacare Repeal Have a Senate Path Without the Mandates?

Cruz and Rubio are among those o. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cruz, Lee and Rubio have previously expressed concerns about a reconciliation bill that doesn’t fully repeal Obamacare. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The search is on for 51 Senate votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, raising questions about whether the House’s attempt to use the budget reconciliation process to do so will succeed.

Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both presidential candidates, and Sen. Mike Lee are on record that they “cannot support” a bill that doesn’t “fully repeal” the health care law. The offices of Cruz and Rubio referred CQ Roll Call back to a joint statement from three weeks ago when asked for a response to Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough’s ruling this week that Obamacare’s employer and individual mandates fail the test for inclusion in a reconciliation bill. Full story

November 9, 2015

Enzi, Sanders Mourn Passing of Budget Panel’s Top Clerk

Kamp, seen here distributing the president's fiscal 2015 budget request. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kamp, seen here during distribution of the president’s budget request. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Budget Committee is mourning the untimely death of one of its staffers, Adam Kamp.

Kamp, 30, had been the committee’s chief clerk since February 2014, and he was recognized by Chairman Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming for his contributions to shepherding the new GOP majority’s budget resolution through the legislative process.

Full story

November 5, 2015

McCain to Democrats: Do You ‘Give a Damn’ About Servicemembers?

McCain ripped reports of a possible extension in the Iran nuclear deal deadline. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McCain gave a biting floor speech about the blockade of the defense spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican defense policy leader in the Senate wondered aloud Thursday if Democrats “don’t give a damn” about military personnel.

During a stem-winding floor speech, Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., asked if his Democratic counterparts were blocking the defense spending bill debate not for procedural reasons — but because they don’t care. Full story

October 30, 2015

Reid: Democrats Would Stop a Rider-Riddled Omnibus

Harry Reid

Reid was interviewed in his Capitol office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:24 a.m. | Democrats on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are prepared to unite again and protect the Obama administration’s agenda in the December spending debate.

That was the message from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid as the bipartisan budget deal heads to the White House. The Nevada Democrat told CQ Roll Call he has some advice for House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., and other appropriators about how to draft an omnibus.

Full story

October 29, 2015

Senate Sends Budget Deal to Obama’s Desk (Video)

budget deal

Reid and Pelosi held an impromptu news conference after the House budget vote Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 5:22 a.m., Oct. 30 | The Senate sent to President Barack Obama a massive fiscal package early Friday morning that averts a U.S. debt default and raises spending caps.

The chamber worked into the wee hours of the morning as senators cleared a key procedural hurdle, 63-35, and then passed the sweeping budget deal in a 64-35 vote that also suspends the debt limit into 2017. Full story

Budget Deal’s Fate Looks Good in Senate

budget deal

Republican leaders, including Cornyn, right, walk Tuesday to meet the press. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:26 p.m. | Senators feel confident a two-year budget deal that also lifts the debt limit before the Nov. 3 deadline has the necessary support.

Leaders are looking at 1 a.m. early Friday for a cloture vote, but the exact time is still up in the air as senators negotiate a final agreement. Full story

Roberts, McConnell Announce Crop Insurance Fix

UNITED STATES - MAY 7: Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., listens to testimony during the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hearing on child nutrition programs on Thursday, May 7, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roberts joined GOP leaders on the floor to discuss crop insurance. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:57 p.m. | Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts has assurances from his leadership to reverse crop insurance cutbacks in the budget and debt limit deal that’s currently on the Senate floor.

“This commitment is in reference to the obvious need to remedy the language adversely affected our nation’s farmers and ranchers now included in the bipartisan budget act,” the Kansas Republican said Thursday.

Full story

October 28, 2015

With Little Suspense, Budget Deal Heads to the Senate

budget deal

McConnell has insisted the government won’t shut down. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:48 p.m. | The 2015 debt limit standoff is on track to end with a whimper.

Other than the days of speeches, it’s probably over. The Senate might not even have to work over the weekend. Full story

Crop Insurance Fix Likely Coming Down the Road

Cornyn says senators working to address crop insurance concerns.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cornyn says senators working to address crop insurance concerns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)


Updated 5:07 p.m. | Farm-state lawmakers have been assured by leaders that a provision in the bipartisan budget deal that would trim the federal crop insurance subsidy program will be replaced down the road, Senate Republican Caucus Chairman John Thune confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

“There’s an understanding that we will try and find a different offset. In the House, I think this thing is now pretty well put together, pretty well baked,” said Thune, also chair of the Congressional Farmer Cooperative Caucus. “So, I think what they send us is what we’ll vote on. But we do have another opportunity coming up, with the omnibus bill, to find another offset.”

Full story

Paul Pledges Budget Deal Filibuster Ahead of Debate

Rand Paul arrives at the U.S. Capitol to block any Patriot Act extension Sunday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul said he would filibuster the deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The two-year budget deal heading to the House floor will make prime Republican presidential debate fodder Wednesday evening in Colorado.

Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday that he intended to filibuster the bipartisan budget agreement that would also provide for a suspension of the debt limit.

Full story

October 27, 2015

Defense Hawks Fine With Boost in War Account

McCain talks to reporters on Capitol Hill.  (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

McCain talks to reporters on Capitol Hill. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Top Senate defense hawks are satisfied with the increased Pentagon spending in the new budget deal, and several Democrats doubt that section will mean trouble for the sweeping package.

The spending plan, which many senators on Tuesday said they are still reviewing, would boost discretionary spending caps by $50 billion in fiscal 2016 and $30 billion in 2017, with those hikes divided evenly between defense and domestic spending. But it also proposes something Democrats and the Obama administration for months have opposed: About $16 billion more than the $58 billion the White House had requested in 2016 for a Pentagon war account.

Full story

GOP Senators Concerned by ‘Gimmicks’ in Budget Deal

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Scott says he will vote against the deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Republican leaders have more work to do to sell their members on a two-year budget deal unveiled late Monday night.

GOP senators highlighted parts of the package meant to offset increased defense and domestic spending as their chief concerns. Their comments were followed by a blistering critique of the deal from the conservative groups Heritage Action for America and the Club for Growth. Full story

October 26, 2015

Emerging Budget Deal Keeps Senate Democrats Guessing

Reid gestures at a news conference with Senate Democratic leadership team. (Al Drago, CQ Roll Call file photo)

Reid gestures at a news conference with Senate Democratic leadership team. (Al Drago, CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senior Senate Democrats are optimistic that a sweeping fiscal pact soon could be finalized, but their concerns about the emerging plan show it’s not a done deal just yet.

Congressional leaders are preparing to unveil a fiscal package that would raise the debt ceiling until March 2017, while also raising defense and domestic spending caps known colloquially as sequestration. The package also would address Medicare Part B by shielding millions of seniors from significant increases to their health insurance premiums and deductibles.

Full story

It’s Crunch Time Again in Congress

Thune answers a question after the Oct. 20 weekly Republican Senate news conference. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Thune answers a question after the Oct. 20 weekly Republican Senate news conference. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

On deadline: That’s the theme of the next two weeks on Capitol Hill.

The current stopgap highway funding expires Thursday, and the Treasury Department said Congress must raise the debt limit by Nov. 3. Upholding the full faith and credit of the United States is trickier. Full story

October 22, 2015

Cruz: Senate Umpire Works for Us

Cruz speaks to reporters. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Cruz speaks to reporters. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:54 p.m. | GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz signaled the Senate parliamentarian should be ousted or ignored if a full repeal of Obamacare is deemed to violate budget rules.

The budget reconciliation rules allow legislation through the Senate without the customary filibuster threats and need for 60 votes, but impose severe restrictions on content not related to budgeting, under a rule named for former Sen. Robert C. Byrd. Full story

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