Budget

Fiscal 2018 Deficit Clocks In at $779 Billion, White House Reports
Largest hole in six years, executive branch finds

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney testifies before a House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing in Rayburn Building on the FY2019 Budget for OMB on April 18, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The federal government ran a $779 billion deficit in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the largest budget shortfall in six years, the White House reported Monday.

The official deficit tally for fiscal 2018 marked a $113 billion increase from the previous year and accounted for 3.9 percent of gross domestic product, an increase of 0.4 percentage points. The report confirms the third consecutive fiscal year of rising deficits despite a strong economy. 

McCarthy Bill Would Fund Border Wall, Boost Speaker Bid
Legislation not likely to move this year, but raises issue profile

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has introduced legislation to fund a border wall, something that could boost his bid to lead the House Republican Conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has introduced legislation that includes more than $23 billion for President Donald Trump’s border security agenda and numerous enforcement provisions aimed at cracking down on sanctuary cities and undocumented criminals, a proposal that could boost his bid to lead the House GOP after next month’s elections.

The California Republican introduced the bill on Friday after visiting the El Paso, Texas, sector of the southern border on Thursday.

Behind the Interest Rate Increases
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 82

FED Chairman Jerome Powell. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

You’d Think Samuel Beckett Was In Charge of Our Health Care
Finding a path forward for the Affordable Care Act has been like waiting for Godot

Estragon and Vladimir — above as portrayed in a 1978 French production of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” — were stuck in limbo. After waiting on Congress to act on health care, we all know how they feel, Hoagland writes. (Fernand Michaud/Gallica Digital Library)

OPINION — Finding bipartisan agreement in Congress on a path forward for the Affordable Care Act has been like waiting for Godot. Polls tracking Americans’ views have consistently shown an evenly divided public. No single public policy issue captures the country’s polarization better than the debate that has surrounded this law.

That doesn’t mean we have to settle for “nothing to be done.” Improving health insurance markets is a goal worth pursuing, and Republicans and Democrats at the state level are already showing us the way.

GOP-Held Illinois District Pounded with Outside Money as Election Nears
Six-term incumbent Roskam facing Democratic environmental entrepreneur Sean Casten

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., faces Democrat Sean Casten in Illinois’ 6th District on Nov. 6. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Outside groups are descending on Illinois’ 6th District just weeks before the midterm elections — and bringing their money with them —  as six-term GOP Rep. Peter Roskam tries to stave off a bid from Democratic environmental entrepreneur Sean Casten.

The Chicago Tribune first reported these figures.

Tax Break for Electric Vehicles in the Crosshairs
Barrasso: ‘Wealthiest Americans’ benefit at the expense of taxpayers

Tesla vehicles stand outside of a Brooklyn showroom and service center in August. Legislation unveiled Tuesday would end a tax incentive for electric vehicles. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images file photo)

The chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unveiled legislation Tuesday to end the $7,500 tax incentive for electric vehicles.

The yet-unnumbered bill comes as a United Nations report on climate change, released over the weekend, outlined dire consequences for the planet in the absence of global action to drastically reduce carbon output over the next decade.

Outgoing Haley Vows to Not Run for President in 2020
Ambassador can have any job if she wants to return, Trump says

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley arrives to testify before a House Appropriations State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee hearing in Rayburn Building on the "United Nations and International Organizations FY2018 Budget" on June 27, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Departing UN Ambassador Nikki Haley denied she is stepping down later this year to prepare for a 2020 bid for the White House.

“I don’t have anything set on where I’m going to go,” she told reporters in the Oval Office. “I’m a believer in term limits.

Office of Personnel Management Director Out, White House Says
Jeff Pon latest in long line of Trump Cabinet exits

The south side of the White House as seen from the Ellipse on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Office of Personnel Management Director Jeff Pon resigned on Friday, according to a White House official who declined to describe his reasoning.

The White House announced Friday afternoon that Margaret Weichert has been appointed as the acting OPM director. The official was unsure if the president intends to nominate a permanent director, but a White House statement noted that Weichert was confirmed by the Senate to her current post as deputy OPM director for budget.

New York Race Spotlights National Clash Over Health Care
Issue has shaped 19th District race between Faso and Delgado

Protesters stand outside of GOP Rep. John Faso’s Kingston, N.Y. office on Sept. 21. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

KINGSTON, N.Y. — When Republicans tried to repeal the 2010 health care law last year, Democrats knew they had an issue that would define this election cycle. A year and a half later, health care is still dominating Democratic messaging.

Take New York’s 19th District, which stretches  where GOP freshman John J. Faso faces Democratic lawyer Antonio Delgado. 

Trump Mocks Kavanaugh Accuser, Takes Ownership of Midterms
President ostensibly in Mississippi to stump for Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., talks with Vice President Mike Pence at her swearing-in ceremony in April. President Trump was in Mississippi Tuesday night to campaign for her. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump mocked Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser and took ownership of whatever happens to Republican control of the House and Senate after November’s midterm elections Tuesday night.

Trump defended the federal appellate judge amid sexual assault allegations and questions about whether he lied under oath last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his drinking habits and other actions as a younger man.