John Yarmuth

With Expectations Low, Select Budget Panel Prepares to Meet
Committee has broad mission, but few hard deadlines

Rep. Steve Womack, the new House Budget Committee chairman, is head of the select budget panel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The select committee tasked with overhauling the budget and appropriations process is mandated by law to meet for the first time this week. But what they plan to talk about remains a mystery.

The law establishing the committee instructs the 16 members to provide “recommendations and legislative language that will significantly reform the budget and appropriations process” before Nov. 30, with an initial meeting to be held by March 11.

Senate Democrats Picked for Select Budget, Pension Committees

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer picked his choices for the bipartisan committees looking for solutions to budget and pension issues. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Monday named eight senators to the select committees tasked with overhauling the budget and appropriations process as well as providing recommendations for restoring the solvency of multiemployer pension plans.

The New York Democrat selected Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Michael Bennet of Colorado, and Brian Schatz and Mazie K. Hirono, both of Hawaii, for the budget panel.

When Is a Whip a Whip? House Democrats Might Not Be Best Ones to Ask Right Now
Mixed messages come from party critical of Trump for being inconsistent

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she and her leadership team would not whip the vote on the budget deal. Then they started whipping the vote. Sort of. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leaders have spent the past 48 hours opposing the bipartisan budget deal but saying they’re not whipping it, and then kind of, sort of whipping it.

The inconsistent messaging is all the more notable given Democrats’ frequent criticism of President Donald Trump for wavering in his own policy positions.

Democrats Look for Inroads in Trump-Friendly West Virginia
DCCC is targeting two of the state’s three House districts

West Virginia’s 2nd and 3rd districts voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump in 2016. (Map courtesy iStock, composition by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Few states have trended further away from Democrats over the last decade than West Virginia.

President Donald Trump carried the state by 42 points in 2016. Appearing at a rally with the president last year, the state’s governor, who was elected as a Democrat in 2016, switched to the Republican Party.

Senate Passes Three-Week CR to Reopen Federal Government

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leaves the Senate floor in the Capitol after the chamber passed a continuing resolution to reopen the government on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate voted 81-18 to pass a continuing resolution running through Feb. 8 on Monday afternoon, sending it back to the House as Day Three of the partial government shutdown dragged on.

The House is expected to clear the stopgap for President Donald Trump’s signature, ending the shutdown in time for federal workers to return to their offices Tuesday morning. A number of House Democrats appear likely to back the measure after opposing a previous version last week, and top Democrats predicted the CR would be passed this time.

Opinion: Raise the Caps to Raise Up American Communities
Congress needs to invest to keep America safe and prosperous

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is seen on a closed circuit television in the subway leading to the Rayburn Building in 2011, soon before the House voted on the Budget Control Act. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

As President Trump and congressional leaders negotiate a framework for federal spending, it is important to stop pitting “defense” and “nondefense” investments against one another, when both are so critical to our common security and prosperity.

Only by treating these investments with parity can Congress do its part to promote the shared future American families and communities deserve.

Trump, ‘Big Four’ Set to Meet Amid Shutdown Showdown
Huddle on year-end spending comes after last week's misfire

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other congressional leaders will meet with President Donald Trump one day before a shutdown showdown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

More than two months into the fiscal year and with just days left before a temporary spending bill expires, congressional leaders and President Donald Trump are scheduled to sit down Thursday to discuss key spending issues.

The meeting comes a little more than a week after the two Democratic leaders, Charles E. Schumer in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the House, opted to skip a meeting on the same topic, after Trump tweeted that he didn’t see a deal happening. And it will occur a little more than a day before the current continuing resolution funding the government expires at the end of Dec. 8. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan went ahead without them to the White House last week. 

The Newspaperman
Members share memories of Ben Bradlee as HBO biopic premieres in D.C.

Ben Bradlee speaks during a question and answer session at the 30th anniversary screening of “All The President’s Men” in New York in 2005. (Brad Barket/Getty Images file photo)

HBO’s “The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee” premieres on the network Dec. 4. Some VIPs in D.C. got a sneak peak Wednesday.

Bradlee guided the paper as it peeled away the layers of the Watergate scandal, which toppled the presidency of Richard Nixon. Reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward told the story in their book “All the President’s Men,” later adapted for the film of the same name. 

Word on the Hill: Dine With the Presidents
Cummings sends off grads, and honoring veterans

“Dads of Democracy.” (Courtesy District Winery)

This weekend, why not eat with all the presidents watching you? District Winery’s new restaurant, Ana, has unique artwork in its dining area featuring 44 presidents.

Ana is located in Navy Yard on Water Street SE.

Diane Black, Prepping Gubernatorial Bid, Takes Victory Lap
Tennessee Republican finally shepherded budget resolution through House last week

House Budget Chairwoman Diane Black has had an undeniable impact on this year’s budget process, thanks to her efforts to forge a compromise package. (Tom Williams/Roll Call)

The first woman to chair the House Budget Committee finally shepherded the fiscal 2018 resolution through her chamber Oct. 5, a traditionally thankless task that she took on after President Donald Trump tapped the former chairman, Tom Price, to be secretary of Health and Human Services.

Rep. Diane Black is now preparing to hand in her gavel after 10 months on the job, so she can focus on her campaign to become Tennessee’s next Republican governor, she announced in early August.