Budget

Podcast: Reading Is Fundamental, Just Not Always In Congress
The Big Story, Episode 76

The House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol is seen before lawmakers arrive in 2015. (By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Do lawmakers read or understand the legislation they pass? They are about to pass a budget resolution they say isn't about the budget and passed legislation last year that defanged the DEA during an opioid epidemic. Roll Call Senior Senate Reporter Niels Lesniewski walks through what's going on. 

 

Senators Ready to Confront Sessions at Oversight Hearing
Attorney General likely to face contentious questions about his leadership

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions returns to face his former Senate Judiciary Committee colleagues Wednesday in an oversight hearing likely to include contentious questions about Justice Department actions since he took on the role eight months ago.

“The attorney general will earn his money that day,” said committee member John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican.

Opinion: The Short Life Span of the Trump-McConnell Buddy Movie
Quest for lower taxes brings unlikely pair together

President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talk to reporters in the Rose Garden following a lunch meeting at the White House on Monday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Dating back to the days of Walter Winchell, there was a standard photo display that newspapers used when celebrity couples headed to Splitsville. Tabloids would feature an earlier picture of the couple frolicking on a beach or walking down the aisle with the caption, “In Happier Days.”

The odds are high that Monday’s buddy-movie Rose Garden press conference with the odd couple of Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell will soon invite similar “In Happier Days” nostalgia. For did anyone believe Trump’s hyperbolic claims that the two men are “closer than ever” and that “the Republican Party is very, very unified”?

Contrary to Rhetoric, Military Mishaps Have Been Declining
The Pentagon’s deadly accident-filled summer bucked a larger trend

The destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a chemical tanker in August, one of several deadly military accidents this year. Such incidents are on the decline, according to a Roll Call analysis. (Courtesy U.S. Navy)

Hawks in Congress have said military mishaps are up because the defense budget is down, but the data says otherwise.

The summer of 2017 saw a rash of fatal military accidents — ships colliding at sea, planes crashing and vehicles catching fire — that were deadlier than attacks from America’s enemies.

Johnson to Press OPM on Congressional Health Care Benefits
Homeland Security chairman wants documents on how Obama-era ruling came to be

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is chairman of the committee that oversees the federal workforce. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Lawmakers and congressional staff might want to pay attention Wednesday morning when President Donald Trump’s nominees for the top two spots at the government’s personnel office face a Senate committee.

Most of the day’s attention will be on the Senate Judiciary hearing featuring Attorney General Jeff Sessions. But Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson is focused on the Office of Personnel Management, and the agency’s treatment of health insurance benefits for lawmakers and congressional aides.

Rob Woodall Doubles Down in Budget Chairmanship Race
Georgia Republican vying with two others for gavel

Georgia Rep. Rob Woodall hopes to succeed Tennessee Rep. Diane Black as chairman of the House Budget Committee. (Al Drago/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Rob Woodall is all-in in the race to succeed House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black, if and when she steps down.

“Absolutely,” the George Republican said when asked if he will compete for the top spot when Black leaves the chairmanship. Black is running for governor of Tennessee next year, though she has not yet said when she plans to leave her position at the Budget panel.

Opinion: The Women in Washington Staying for the Fight
Collins, Feinstein and Pelosi want to keep fighting for their causes

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is among the women in Congress planning to stick around and keep fighting for their causes. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Bob Corker’s leaving the Senate, and who can blame him? At a certain point, life’s just too short to get called “Liddle Bob” on Twitter by anyone, especially by the president of the United States.

But even as Corker announced that he’d retire at the end of his term, two of the Tennessee Republican’s female colleagues decided last week they’re not going anywhere, at least not if they can help it. Both women said while they had considered leaving Washington, the job in the Capitol was too important to walk away from.

Trump, McConnell All Smiles, All the Time
President, majority leader say they are on the same page, despite tension

President Donald Trump, left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., say their relationship is A-OK. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is ready to cancel Christmas recess to get a tax bill done, but President Donald Trump and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled the effort could slip into next year.

Trump on Monday called his relationship with McConnell “very good” amid reports of tension between the two leaders. During a remarkable and rowdy midday joint press conference in the Rose Garden, Trump declared he and McConnell “are probably now … closer than ever before.

Podcast: Trump Kneecapping Obamacare Adds to Year-End Spending Hurdles
Budget Tracker Extra, Episode 35

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks back to his office after speaking to reporters on Oct. 3, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Health care, border wall funding and legislation for Dreamers and an assortment of other issues are piling up and likely to complicate efforts for a year-end spending deal to avert a partial government shutdown, says CQ Budget reporter Jennifer Shutt.

 

Thad Cochran, Still Ailing, Will Miss Senate Votes This Week
Urinary tract infection sidelines Mississippi Republican for extended time

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran has been absent from the Capitol since September and will continue to be away while he recuperates. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Thad Cochran will not immediately return to Washington following a four-week absence, raising speculation about the 79-year-old Mississippi Republican’s ability to continue as Appropriations chairman during the remainder of the 115th Congress.

His absence could also have implications for the budget resolution vote this week, though debate was still on track as of Monday, even after Cochran’s office confirmed he would not be present.