Rodney Frelinghuysen

Watershed Moment as Three Appropriations Bills Clear on Time
House voted 377-20, sending legislation to the president’s desk

The U.S. Capitol building as seen on Friday, June 15, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A batch of three spending bills is on its way to President Donald Trump’s desk following a 377-20 House vote Thursday, marking the first on-time delivery of a quarter of the annual appropriations measures in a decade.

The $147.5 billion package — which funds the departments of Energy and Veterans Affairs, the Army Corps of Engineers and the operations of Congress — is the first installment of what lawmakers hope will be nine bills becoming law before the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. 

Legislators Reach Government Funding Agreement Through December 7
Frelinghuysen announces a continuing resolution

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., arrives for the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Appropriators have cut a deal to keep all of the government funded through at least Dec. 7.

House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen announced at a meeting of House and Senate conferees on the combined spending bill for Defense, and Labor-Health and Human Services-Education, that the conference report will include a continuing resolution through that date, for departments and agencies not otherwise funded.

Electronic Campaign Filing and McCain Gratuity Included in Spending Package
First-time pay for interns, boost for Capitol Police are also included

Requirements for Senate candidate campaign filing and a payment to late Sen. John McCain's family are included in a spending deal struck Monday (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Appropriators are making a move to boost transparency for the historically opaque Senate with a provision to require candidates to file their campaign disclosures electronically.

House and Senate appropriators came to an agreement Monday on a roughly $147.4 billion fiscal 2019 three-bill spending package that includes a $4.8 billion Legislative Branch title to fund Congress, the Capitol Police and other Capitol Hill agencies. The package also includes the Energy-Water and Military Construction-VA titles.

House and Senate Interns Set to Receive Pay in Legislative Branch Spending Package
House to receive $8.8M, Senate $5M

An intern for House Administration Committee chairman Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., works a sign-in table outside of an Intern Lecture Series event in Russell Building on July 20, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Interns in both the House and Senate are on track to get paid as work wraps up on the fiscal 2019 Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA and Legislative Branch spending package.

The Legislative Branch portion of the package has been locked, according to an aide to Rep. Tim Ryan. The final version includes $8.8 million to pay interns in the House and $5 million for intern pay in the Senate. The Senate funding is included in the accounts that lawmakers use to pay staff salaries, official travel and office expenses. In the House the funds will exist in a newly created account for each member office, according to House Appropriations Committee staff. 

Just When You Least Expect It — A Congress That (Sort of) Works
Lawmakers have shown they are getting things done. They mustn’t stop.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, here with Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer in February, acknowledged the cooperation of Democrats in the progress made on fiscal 2019 spending bills. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — If you had to use one word to describe the last year in Washington, “stormy” might come to mind, for a whole host reasons. Or “trial.” Or “collusion.” You could also throw in “Twitter,” “tax cuts,” “fake news” and “resist” as the Washington words of the year.

The very last word anyone would use to describe Washington is “functional,” especially if Congress is a part of the conversation. And yet, while the country’s focus has been trained on Paul Manafort’s corruption trial or Omarosa’s secret White House tapes or what the president thinks about all of it, lawmakers have been making slow and steady progress toward their most basic, but often most difficult, job every year — funding the United States government.

House GOP Appropriators Facing Steep Turnover in 116th Congress
Both parties have endured upheaval in wave elections in the past

Two senior House GOP appropriators,  John Culberson, R-Texas, left, and Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., personify the challenged facing the Appropriations panel heading into the 2018 midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Democratic “wave” this November, should one materialize, could result in the departure of as many as five senior House Republican appropriators, which would mark the biggest wipeout of major players from one side of the dais in 26 years.

Three subcommittee “cardinals” are facing tough re-election fights this November: Commerce-Justice-Science Chairman John Culberson and Military Construction-VA Chairman John Carter, both of Texas, and Homeland Security Chairman Kevin Yoder of Kansas.

At the Races: O-H-I-O
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New Jersey House Race Becomes Ground Zero for Tax Debate
Unlike retiring GOP incumbent in 11th District, Jay Webber supports his party’s tax overhaul

Democrat Mikie Sherrill, who’s running for New Jersey’s 11th District, talks to volunteers at her Morristown office over the weekend. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call)

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — “Taxes!” 

“It’s always the most important issue,” said a middle-aged Republican who poked his head out of his front door on a muggy Saturday morning to greet state Assemblyman Jay Webber, the GOP nominee for New Jersey’s 11th District. 

For Once, Senate Set to Eclipse House in Appropriations Pace
But Congress has just 11 legislative days remaining with both chambers in session before Sept. 30

Kentucky Rep. Harold Rogers, left, here in June 2017 with House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, says the Senate’s actions “greatly enhance” the chances of getting the spending bills passed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Optimism is building that Congress may send a handful of spending bills to the White House in September — avoiding the need for the entire federal government to operate under a stopgap during the fall and lowering the odds that a lame-duck Congress will resort to a 12-bill omnibus.

That hope is tempered, however, by the uphill climb to negotiate compromise versions of several spending bills that either have passed both chambers already or seem likely to by the end of this week. And the two chambers look to be headed for an impasse over border wall funding that could dominate the post-midterm session.

Rodney Frelinghuysen’s Last Appropriations Markup Hurrah
Colleagues on both sides of the aisle pay tribute to retiring chairman

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., presided over his final markup as Appropriations chairman on Wednesday, and colleagues on both sides of the aisle praised his leadership and bid him farewell. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a session of Congress marked by bitter partisanship and high-stakes battles at seemingly every turn, the House Appropriations Committee stepped out of the maelstrom Wednesday to pay tribute to its erstwhile chairman, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, the retiring New Jersey Republican presiding over his last markup of the panel. 

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., joked that Frelinghuysen was getting an “advanced look” at how he would be remembered after he dies.