Continuing Resolution

Congress Could Split Payments to Broadcasters Over Two Years
Thune, Walden explore compensating spectrum moves over longer period of time

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., says members are exploring spreading out payments to broadcasters for spectrum moves from one year to two. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John Thune says authorizers and appropriators are exploring whether to compensate broadcasters for giving up spectrum over two years rather than one, a change that could make it a more palatable item in spending bills.

The South Dakota Republican, who is also chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., are trying to secure about $1 billion to compensate broadcasters for giving up one part of the spectrum and move to another. But appropriators are balking at the sum.

Sergeant-At-Arms Prepares for New Role as Advocate for Veterans
Frank Larkin set to work with wounded warriors after he leaves current role

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank Larkin escorts President Donald Trump into the House chamber for the State of the Union address in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of Congress love to talk about how important it is to care for military veterans. But in the view of Frank Larkin, there has been a lot of talk but little action. And he wants to change that.

Larkin, who has been Senate sergeant-at-arms for the past three years, will depart his post at the end of March. His decision to leave stems from the death of his son, an emotionally taxing experience for him and his family and one that gave Larkin a new mission in life.

When Allies Attack: Friction Between Democrats, Immigration Advocates
Hard feelings about groups pressuring minority party

Demonstrators with United We Dream and others rally in the atrium of the Hart Building in January to call on Congress to pass the so-called DREAM Act to protect young immigrants from deportation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Friction lingers between Senate Democrats and progressive advocacy groups after the chamber failed to advance a bipartisan bill in February to protect the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. 

Tensions came to a breaking point in the weeks before the Senate voted on several immigration-related proposals aimed at extending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, aides say. The rift was a long time in the making, as some Democratic lawmakers questioned the strategy that pro-immigration and progressive groups used to drive action over the past six months.

GOP Unlikely to Revisit Spending Ban on Gun Violence Research
Congress has restricted such endeavors for more than two decades

Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole says it was “just not helpful to turn a funding bill into a debate over gun control.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans, at least for now, appear unlikely to allow federal funds for research on gun violence after a nearly 22-year prohibition.

Following yet another mass shooting on Wednesday, at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 dead, two key Republican appropriators said Thursday they don’t anticipate removing or altering an amendment in the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill that bars the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using injury prevention research dollars “to advocate or promote gun control.”

Bipartisan Praise, and Questions, About Thad Cochran
Omnibus spending measure, future awaits veteran Mississippi Republican

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran has bipartisan support and respect, but also faces questions about how much longer he will be in office, even as he begins the task of moving an omnibus spending bill wrapping up the current fiscal year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An omnibus bill wrapping up fiscal 2018 spending could serve as a victory lap for Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran, who continues to battle questions over his health and stamina in the role.

Rumors have swirled quietly for months about the 80-year-old Mississippi Republican’s future. Those whispers became louder last year after Cochran took a prolonged absence from the Senate due to health issues.

More Funds Sought for Wall, Detention Beds
‘We’re asking for about $3 billion, I think, this year for the wall,’ Mulvaney says

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., talks with reporters in the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2019 budget proposal seeks $23 billion for border security and immigration enforcement funding, a sure sign that he will intensify his deportation agenda and clash again with Democrats during his second year in office. 

The administration will seek a total of $18 billion for fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019 to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall, the Office of Management and Budget said Sunday, a request tied to ongoing congressional negotiations over the fate of “Dreamers” enrolled in the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Opinion: Budget Deal Gives New Meaning to ‘March Madness’
Upcoming March deadlines point to a budget process in shambles

The Trump administration’s fiscal 2018 budget plan was effectively ignored by Congress, which adopted its own blueprint with the sole focus of getting a tax bill through, Hoagland writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Green shoots of bipartisanship are sprouting on Capitol Hill. A lengthy government shutdown or worse — a default on paying our debt — has been avoided with the two-year budget agreement.

Congress must now fill in the account-level details to fulfill the $1.2 trillion spending “agreement” before the current continuing resolution runs out on March 23. Combining this year’s final appropriation actions with the president’s March 5 deadline for the Deferred Arrivals for Childhood Arrivals program will give new meaning to “March Madness.”

Photos of the Week: A Budget Deal, a Leadership Talk-a-Thon and a Brief Shutdown
The week of Feb. 5 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., make their way to the Senate floor after announcing a two-year deal on the budget earlier in the day on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Another busy week in Washington and another partial government shutdown. 

The Senate leaders announced earlier this week that they had come to an agreement on a two-year budget deal as well as a continuing resolution to fund the government through March 23. But the week was not without drama. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., used the powers of leadership in the chamber to speak on the floor for eight hours and six minutes on Wednesday to ask the speaker to make a commitment to immigration legislation. 

House Passes Stopgap Spending Bill to End Government Shutdown
Enough Democrats voted ‘yes’ to offset Republican defections

The House followed the Senate in voting for a sweeping package that keeps the government open until at least March 23. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House early Friday morning passed a six-week stopgap spending bill carrying a massive budget deal, ending a less-than-six-hour government shutdown without Speaker Paul D. Ryan providing Democrats the exact commitment they were seeking on an immigration vote.

President Donald Trump will sign the measure Friday morning, spokesman Raj Shah said without specifying a time. 

Shutdown Begins After Midnight Deadline Passes
Senate has a vote on funding scheduled for 1 a.m. Friday

The latest government shutdown is the second in less than a month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s official: The federal government has entered yet another partial shutdown. 

The Senate reopened at 12:01 a.m. Friday after recessing just before 11 p.m. Thursday, as Sen. Rand Paul continued his objections to moving up the timetable for a procedural vote on legislation that would extend government funding past the midnight deadline. That vote is currently set for 1 a.m.