Continuing Resolution

The Senate at a Deliberative Crossroads
Health care debacle challenges unique traditions, process

Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune highlighted bipartisan work ongoing at the Commerce Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The release of the Senate Republicans’ draft health care measure, coming on the heels of the demise of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, provoked a spasm of hard feelings in the chamber and questions about whether senators could restore its now-quaint reputation as the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. 

“This is not the role model in my world, but I also understand that when the Democrats say, ‘We’re not going to vote for anything,’ that limits the options,” said Sen. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican. “But, I would love to see a Senate that functions, in which all hundred senators have the opportunity to present ideas, amendments and take votes.”

House GOP Undecided on Spending Path
Speaker says Republicans still having ‘family conversation’

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., says Republicans are still at the 'family conversation' level of figuring out the appropriations process. Also appearing are, from left, Reps. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Glenn Thompson, R-Pa.. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With a little more than seven legislative weeks before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, House Republicans still do not have a consensus on the process for funding the government, fueling some discontent in the conference. 

“We haven’t decided exactly how we’re going to go about our appropriations process in this first year, but we’re going to move together on consensus,” Speaker Paul D. Ryan told reporters after the Republican conference met Wednesday morning.

Senate Republicans Reject DeVos’ Proposed Education Cuts
‘The kinds of cuts that are proposed in this budget will not occur’

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos arrives to testify on the fiscal 2018 budget request for the Education Department on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate appropriators told Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday that the Education Department’s budget request was dead on arrival in Congress, with Republicans and Democrats alike defending programs the department proposes to slash or eliminate in fiscal 2018.

At the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, DeVos also clarified remarks she made in the House last month. She pledged Tuesday to ensure that federal school choice programs would require schools to follow laws for students with disabilities. She didn’t commit to any protections not in federal law.

House Appropriators Float 12-Bill Omnibus Before Recess
Package would likely be dead on arrival in the Senate

Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., has an ambitious Omnibus plan to address the already behind-schedule government funding process. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans are weighing an ambitious plan to pass a 12-bill appropriations package for fiscal 2018 ahead of the August recess, top GOP appropriators told CQ Roll Call on Thursday.

The package effectively would be an instant omnibus — one that consists of 12 spending bills written by the GOP-controlled House Appropriations Committee.

Word on the Hill: JFK and Memorial Day Weekend
Logistics for Saturday’s parade and spottings this week

The Kennedy Stamps. (©2017 USPS)

Happy Memorial Day weekend, which is also President John F. Kennedy’s Centennial weekend.

Kennedy was born 100 years ago Monday. To celebrate, the United States Postal Service released a commemorative “forever” stamp to honor the late president.

Hurricane Prep Tour Arrives Before FEMA Administrator Does
Trump wants a former Alabama emergency manager in the post

Bob Fenton is the acting FEMA administrator. (Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

ARLINGTON, Va. — When the hurricane hunters and other federal officials came together Tuesday to promote emergency preparedness, there was no Senate-confirmed director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be found.

The acting administrator is Bob Fenton, a longtime FEMA official who has been running the show since January and is the regional administrator for Region IX, based in the West.

Bigly Inning

Trump Wants September Shutdown to Kill Legislative Filibuster
President appears unconcerned with power he could hand future Democratic chief executive

President Donald Trump tweeted that “Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix this mess!” (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Updated 11:17 a.m. | President Donald Trump on Tuesday endorsed ending filibusters of legislation in the Senate and allowing bills to pass via a simple majority — while calling for a government shutdown in September seemingly to force such a momentous change.

Trump made the stunning call a day after his White House and congressional GOP leaders struggled to counter Democratic claims of victory over a $1 trillion fiscal 2017 spending measure that is expected to hit Trump’s desk late this week.

Omnibus Agreement Details $1 Trillion in FY 2017 Spending
Democrats say they blocked Trump agenda, Republicans tout defense, security spending

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the omnibus spending bill “does not fund President Trump’s immoral and unwise border wall or create a cruel new deportation force. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

By Ryan McCrimmon and Jennifer Shutt/CQ Roll Call

House and Senate appropriators early Monday morning unveiled the text of an omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, a more than $1 trillion package that funnels extra money to the military but rejects many of President Donald Trump’s other signature spending proposals.

Trump Signs CR Into Law, Avoiding Government Shutdown
Measure had easily cleared Senate and House

President Donald Trump on Friday signed the stopgap spending measure, which gives Congress an additional week to complete work on the fiscal 2017 omnibus spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:45 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Friday evening signed into law a one-week continuing resolution that gives Congress more time to work through disagreements in a massive fiscal 2017 wrapup.

The Senate earlier in the day had cleared the CR that will keep the government from a shutdown for another week.