House Budget Fail?

It's been an action packed week in Congress as the House tries to put together a $1.06 trillion spending bill to fund the operations of the federal government for the remaining seven months of the 2011 fiscal year. A divided Republican House caucus may be on their way to a huge tactical blunder that could result in a government shutdown or the failure of staying true to their pledge to massively cut federal spending.

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Why Baselines Matter

If you were diligently reading the news yesterday about the new House budget proposal, you might have been a little confused. It seemed like news outlets couldn’t agree on how much the House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan for the FY 2011 budget actually cut:

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House GOP Learns Cutting Spending is Hard

Remember back in September of last year, when the House Republicans released the “Pledge to America,” stating their agenda should they win the House in coming election? If not, here was one line which stuck out to us: “we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone....” Now that they are in control of the House, Republicans are quickly working to make good on that promise. Today, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released their new spending plan for fiscal year 2011, which contains cuts of... $35 billion. Looks like it isn’t quite as easy to cut spending as the new House majority thought.

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'Constitution-Minded' Republicans to Introduce Budget Authoritarianism

This is not an ambiguous document!

When the new Republican-controlled House gavels in tomorrow, legislative business will begin with a reading of the Constitution, a stunt brought about by what the Washington Post dubbed "the tea party-ization of Congress." More importantly, the House will also adopt new rules to determine how the legislative body operates over the next two years. One of the rules changes, though, flies in the face of the GOP's championing of governmental transparency and fairness.

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Congress Once Again Punts on FY 2011 Budget

Surprising almost no one, on Tuesday Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR), funding government for another few months and delaying passing a budget for the 2011 fiscal year. Over the past week or two, it became obvious that Democrats did not have enough votes to pass a year-long budget of some kind, either as a CR or as an omnibus.

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Federal Employees: Doing More with Less...Already

President Obama has proposed freezing salaries of most federal employees for the next two years as part of his effort to address the federal budget deficit. Projected to save some $5 billion over the next two years, the freeze would shave 0.22 percent off the $2.3 trillion in deficit spending over that time, making it a largely token measure.

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Congress Debates Multitude of Options for FY 2011 Budget and Food Safety

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with the FY2011 budget, what with all the hullabaloo over deficit reports and the Bush tax cuts. But with the current continuing resolution (CR) set to expire on Saturday, Dec 18, and Congress planning to adjourn at the same time, we’re coming down to the wire. Almost three months after the start of the 2011 fiscal year, Congress is finally making some progress with passing a budget, but is faced with three options: an omnibus bill combining all twelve spending bills into one big bill, a full-year CR, or a short-term CR.

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International Comparison Ranks U.S. Well on Budget Transparency

A new international comparison of budget transparency ranks the U.S. among the world's leaders, but highlights some areas for improvement.

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Congress Votes Through Continuing Resolution, Stalls on OMB Nomination, and Leaves for the Election

It can't get much closer than this. In the early hours of the last day of fiscal year 2010, and the last legislative day before it adjourned for the midterm elections, Congress passed a basic continuing resolution, temporarily funding the government through December 3. That gives lawmakers from November 15, when they're scheduled to return, though December 3 to pass the entire FY 2011 budget. If they fail, which is entirely likely considering it only gives them three weeks to work, Congress will have to pass another continuing resolution.

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Friday Appropriations Update: Continuing Resolution Vote Must Happen Next Week

It's been an exciting few weeks on the Hill, with President Obama's OMB director nominee sitting before two Senate hearings before being blocked by a Democrat, House Republicans released their Pledge to America, and an effort to extendthe Bush tax cuts failed to move in the Senate. With all this excitement, I guess congressional appropriators couldn't find much time to work on their appropriations bills. In fact, the House Appropriations Committee made exactly zero progress on the fiscal year 2011 budget, meaning we're still waiting on the full committee to vote on ten appropriations bills. The Senate hasn't been much better, with its appropriations committee only approving two bills, and no floor votes. Which, as recent congressional witness Stephen Colbert might say, brings us to today's word: continuing resolution.

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