Medicaid

How Congress might rewrite Trump’s budget
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 103

Copies of President Donald Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020 are prepared for distribution at the Government Publishing Office in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Utah bill would give primary voters less say on who appears on special election ballots
Measure is latest development in yearslong struggle over party nomination process

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, right, with his wife, Sue, and Speaker Paul D. Ryan at his mock swearing-in ceremony in November 2017. Curtis won his special election after successfully petitioning to get on the GOP primary ballot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah voters would have fewer opportunities to weigh in on candidates to fill certain congressional seats under legislation that quietly passed the state Legislature this week. 

The bill, which has yet to be signed by the governor and has so far received little attention from local media, would change the process by which candidates appear on primary ballots in special elections to replace House members who resign in the middle of their terms. For those elections, only candidates nominated by delegates from either party would be able to run. Candidates would not be able to make the ballot by petitioning voters. 

Trump’s latest self-inflicted wound: Medicare cuts
Attacking Medicare is about as popular as a national program to confiscate kittens

The president is devoted to his MAGA-hatted true believers, but his phantom budget may have cost him more than a few supporters in Rust Belt states, Shapiro writes. Above, people wave their caps at a Trump rally in Michigan in 2018. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

OPINION — Donald Trump’s political problems are almost all rooted in his personality.

The nonstop lying and boasting that have led to a credibility canyon seemingly flow from the president’s fragile ego. His vicious temperament when crossed produces the torrent of below-the-belt Twitter attacks. His apparent inability to trust anyone beyond his immediate family has produced outrages like Jared Kushner’s dubious security clearance. And Trump’s own tough-guy fantasies are probably connected to his hero worship of Vladimir Putin and his avuncular affection for the murderous Kim Jong Un.

Trump leaving budget salesmanship to others, again
Silence comes at time of heightened attention to issues concerning wall, military

For the second consecutive year, President Donald Trump mostly has left selling his budget request to others. This year, acting OMB Director Russell Vought, right, seen here with Government Publishing Office acting Deputy Director Herbert Jackson, has been doing the honors. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump often has a lot to say, but what he doesn’t say can be just as illuminating. Take his latest budget proposal. 

The administration is asking Congress to spend $4.7 trillion next year despite the president’s gripes that the federal government is too bloated and spends too much. But so far, Trump is showing zero interest in making the case for his request, which experts say resembles a campaign document as much as one about governing. Trump opted against a public event on Monday, leaving the budget rollout mostly to his acting budget chief, Russell Vought, and surrogates on Capitol Hill and cable news.

Budget plan tries to create new fees, revive rejected ones

Copies of President Donald Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020 run through the binding process at the Government Publishing Office in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Trump administration is proposing to raise about $60 billion over 10 years through new and expanded fees, including repeat proposals for eight fees rejected by appropriators last year.

The biggest of the bunch, by far, is a plan to raise $31.7 billion over 10 years by boosting the fees housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge to guarantee the mortgage market. The duo has been under federal conservatorship since 2008, when they required $187 billion in bailout funds to stay afloat.

2020 Trump budget reflects 2020 Trump re-election themes
White House hopeful Bernie Sanders blasts plan for ‘cruelty’ and ‘broken promises’

Copies of President Donald Trump’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020 are prepared for distribution at the Government Publishing Office in Washington on March 7. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The budget plan President Donald Trump sent to Congress on Monday reflects the messaging themes that are the early pillars of his re-election campaign.

The $4.7 trillion spending proposal includes increases for things the president uses to fire up his supporters, including a sizable military budget boost and $8.6 billion for his U.S.-Mexico border barrier that could trigger a new government shutdown fight in late September. It also calls for $2.8 trillion in cuts to non-Pentagon programs.

Puerto Rico aid among issues complicating disaster bill talks
The size and scope of a disaster aid package has become a flashpoint among Senate appropriators

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., talks with reporters before a meeting with Republican and Democratic negotiators on government spending on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The size and scope of a disaster aid package has become a flashpoint as Senate appropriators construct a supplemental spending bill they hope to move quickly.

The fight appears to be between Democrats who want additional aid for Puerto Rico and states ravaged by 2017 storms, while Republicans are attempting to keep the bill contained to rebuilding from disasters that struck last year.

After HR 1 vote, Democrats ready to move quickly on other top 10 bills
Pelosi has been steadily rolling out bills HR 1 through 10 to keep priorities advancing

Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Democrats are following through on their campaign promises with legislation. She’s designated bills HR 1 through HR 10 to reflect those top priorities. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 12:03 p.m. | House Democrats were in high spirits Friday after they passed the top item on their policy agenda — a package of voting, campaign finance and ethics overhauls dubbed HR 1 — but they’re not going to stop to celebrate for too long.

The new Democratic majority has been quickly, but steadily and deliberately, rolling out legislation to fulfill their 2018 midterm campaign promises and reintroducing bills that languished during the past eight years when Republicans controlled the House. 

Democrats vow Judge Chad Readler will be 2020 issue
Murray and Schumer among Democrats blasting his role in targeting health care law

The Senate confirmed Chad A. Readler, President Trump’s nominee to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the 6th Circuit, on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats say they will remember the Wednesday afternoon vote to confirm Chad A. Readler, one of President Donald Trump’s most contentious judicial nominees.

The 52-47 vote to install Readler on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio could easily be lumped in with many other Trump choices pushed through the Senate by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Will FDA keep cracking down on teen vaping, other initiatives, after Gottlieb leaves?
Scott Gottlieb, fought teen vaping and approved record numbers of generic drugs will resign next month

The outside of the Food and Drug Administration headquarters is seen in White Oak, Md.(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who launched a campaign against teen vaping and approved a record number of generic drugs, is resigning next month.

The departure raises questions about whether the agency would continue to vigorously seek to curb the exploding use of e-cigarettes among young people, among other Gottlieb initiatives. But the commissioner, in a resignation letter listing accomplishments on this and other issues, said he was “confident that the FDA will continue to advance all these efforts.”