August 14, 2014
Newly elected House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) released a memo to House Republicans last Friday titled “Initial September Outlook” .
McCarthy’s memo focuses on three items which, he says, members might “wish to factor into your district events” over this summer recess—including a package that deals with the Keystone XL pipeline and other energy matters.
January 2, 2014
While still opposed to a comprehensive immigration reform package like the one passed in the Senate last year, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has signaled that he is willing to work on the issue on a piecemeal basis this year.
Boehner recently hired Rebecca Tallent, a longtime immigration advisor to Senator John McCain (R-AZ). The hire, coupled with Boehner’s recent willingness to criticize Tea Party groups, has given immigration reform advocates hope that the House will tackle the issue this year in a meaningful way despite opposition from his conservative colleagues.
November 7, 2013
Rollout of President’s healthcare law continues to face problems
The rollout of the President’s healthcare law – the Affordable Care Act – continues to face problems. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was once again on the Hill this week being grilled by lawmakers about the problems that have plagued the government’s Healthcare.gov website.
Sebelius admitted in her testimony that there were hundreds of functionality problems with the Healthcare.gov website that needed to be fixed, but rejected calls to delay implementation of the law. Sebelius described the first five weeks of the rollout as “miserable” and said the enrollment numbers, when released, were likely to be very low.
October 31, 2013
This week, members of the bipartisan and bicameral Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Budget Conference Committee came together in the hopes of coming to an agreement on federal funding for the remainder of FY14. The budget group is led by House Budget Chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Senate Budget Chairwoman, Patty Murray (D-WA), and was established as part of the agreement Congress reached earlier this month to end the government shutdown and raise the debt limit. Under that agreement, budget conferees must reconcile their differences for FY14 by December 13th.
October 24, 2013
A critical piece of last week’s agreement to reopen the federal government and avoid defaulting on our debts was the commitment by both parties in Congress to pursue a larger deficit reduction plan by December 13.
The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 requires the House and Senate to adopt an annual budget resolution that is a blueprint around which Congress sets its spending and revenue policies for the subsequent year. Though the budget resolution itself does not carry the force of law, it sets in place parliamentary procedures to expedite the adoption of laws that fulfill the budget’s goals. To achieve this, however, both chambers must go to a “conference committee” to resolve their differences. Then both chambers must adopt the same version of the budget by majority vote. As one would expect, this task can be difficult with a Republican-controlled House and a Democratic-controlled Senate.
August 29, 2013
Top Issues From This Week — August 30, 2013
With Congress out of session, we bring you an abbreviated This Week in Washington
Debt ceiling fight on the horizon
As Congress prepares to return to work, another fight over raising the debt ceiling appears on the horizon. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wrote a letter to Congress saying his department would exhaust the “extraordinary measures” it holds to keep the U.S. from breaching the limit in mid-October:
August 8, 2013
Comprehensive tax reform has always been a Herculean legislative lift for proponents in both chambers, but the effort could get even more difficult. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) is considering a run for the Senate seat being left open by the retirement of long-time Senator Carl Levin (D-MI).
From his perch atop the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Camp has been a tireless and vocal leader of the efforts to overhaul our nation’s tax code for years. A Senate bid by Camp would force the Michigan Republican to shift his emphasis from tax reform to a Senate run.
July 31, 2013
Cleveland, Ohio (August 1, 2013) – Today former U.S. Rep. Steve LaTourette, the current President of McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies, was the featured speaker at the Cleveland office of McDonald Hopkins law firm.
Former Representative LaTourette, a nine-term member of Congress from northeast Ohio, spoke for an hour about the current political and policy landscape in Washington, D.C. In a wide-ranging discussion before a packed house, Congressman LaTourette spoke frankly about the challenges to governing that exist in Washington today.
June 20, 2013
The prospects for immigration reform in the Senate got a big boost this week when negotiators led by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) reached an agreement this week with “Gang of Eight” members on a border security provision that should result in the bill drawing greater Republican support.
Border security has been the flashpoint in recent weeks for comprehensive immigration reform. Efforts by conservative immigration reform opponents, like Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), to add provisions that would require border security benchmarks be met before any pathway to citizenship, were defeated. Instead of a border security benchmark, the Corker-Hoeven agreement calls for $30 billion in new border security funding, something being referred to as a “border surge.”