Congressional Budget Deal For FY 2020 Will Require Compromise

When Congress reconvenes after the Easter recess on April 29, job #1 will be to reach a deal on the top-dollar amount of federal discretionary spending for the federal government for FY 2020 beginning on October 1.  Discretionary spending is the portion of the federal budget totaling just over $1 trillion that Congress controls each…

Federal Budget & Economic Forecast (p.2)

Budget Revenues 2016

Budget Revenues 2016

To give you some perspective, since 1966 the U.S. has maintained an annual deficit, where federal spending surpassed federal income, in all but 5 years (1969, 1998-2001). Over this 50-year period the U.S. deficit has averaged 2.8 percent of U.S Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to the World Bank estimated 2014 GDP for the U.S. was $17. 4 trillion, #1 in world followed by China with a GDP of $10.4 trillion.…

Federal Budget & Economic Forecast (p.1)

President Obama announces his annual budget

President Obama announces his FY 2017 budget

As in each year preceding, on February 9, President Obama released his annual budget for the U.S. that tops $4 trillion.  The budget outlines the current Administration’s policy proposals, budgetary projections, and economic forecasts for the next decade. This will be the last annual budget report for his administration.

The Obama Administration can be commended for controlling the federal budget deficit as the deficit has improved over the last 6 years.  But, prior to the budget announcement, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their annual Budget and Economic Outlook report saying the U.S. will be unable to sustain improving deficits in the next decade (2016-2026).  CBO’s analysis is conducted assuming current federal policies remain in place. Congressional leaders and others use the data to assess recent policy decisions and to guide future policy decisions for federal programs.…

Omnibus Package to White House

The FY 2016 omnibus spending package H.R. 2029, now heads to the White House after the 65-33 Senate and 316-113Shutdown Avoided iStock_000028362162_Medium House votes.

The $1.15 trillion omnibus spending bill funds federal government agencies for the remaining ten months of FY 2016 ending September 30, 2016. The bill includes funding for all 12 annual appropriations bills and reflects the increased domestic discretionary funding provided by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, enacted on November 2.…

FY 2016 NDAA Heads To POTUS For Likely Signature

FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act Heads To POTUS For Likely SignatureLast week the U.S. Senate passed the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by an overwhelming margin, 91-3.

The NDAA was amended into an unrelated Senate-passed bill, S 1356, the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014. Since the Senate had adopted S. 1356 previously on May 14, only one, simple majority vote was required for passage.

The U.S. House adopted the NDAA on November 5 by a vote of 370-58.…

FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act Set for Final Passage

F 22 Raptor iStock_000014803758_MediumProcedural action in the House and Senate on November 3 has cleared the path for final passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  On October 22, the President vetoed the previously adopted NDAA, H.R. 1735 stating, “While there are provisions in this bill that I support, including the codification of key interrogation-related reforms from Executive Order 13491 and positive changes to the military retirement system, the bill would, among other things, constrain the ability of the Department of Defense to conduct multi-year defense planning and align military capabilities and force structure with our national defense strategy, impede the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and prevent the implementation of essential defense reforms.“…

Defense Procurement Continues Evolving

While President Obama decides on whether or not to veto the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), it remains certain that more changes in defense procurement practices are on the way. The House and Senate Armed Services Committees are focused on improving the structure and process of the military acquisition systems by providing business reforms that reduce overhead and achieve needed efficiency.…

Government Shutdown: Could It Diminish Republican’s Chance @ Re-taking the White House?

White HouseOne of the main items hindering agreement in Washington’s budge battles is Planned Parenthood. The questions:

  • Are Republicans so locked on to this item that they will risk a government shutdown? and
  • Will a government shutdown diminish Republican’s chances to re-take the White House next year?

Talk about penny wise and pound foolish….With the best chances in years to take control of the White House, a few Republicans in Congress are contemplating actions that could diminish their party’s chance to win in 2016.

Government Management by Continuing Resolution

Continuing-ResolutionIn the last 38 years, there have only been 4 years where there wasn’t a Continuing Resolution at the end of the Fiscal Year. That means 90% of the time, we have an extension to the budget.

According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS) since 1977 there have only been four years in which Congress did not need to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government funded beyond the end of the federal fiscal year (September 30). Those years were 1977, 1989, 1995 and 1997.

While that is an interesting fact, the CRS statistic most hard to believe is that “Since FY1997, …, continuing resolutions have been enacted on average about six times per fiscal year.”…

Follow the Leader…

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

As disclosure for this blog post: I have known, supported and learned a lot from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) since the late 1980’s. He is emphatically one of the most astute and cunning politicians of the modern era.  He’s been re-elected five times in Kentucky, a Commonwealth where the number of registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. This last election cycle (2014) McConnell carried 110 of 120 counties.

This is How You Do It

Our Dollar Sign Road iStock_000000985949XSmallhats are off to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), US Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL), US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) and EPW Ranking Member Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for their leadership and bipartisan work on the much-needed long term (6-year) extension of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization (highway bill) that funds the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).  The HTF is a dedicated source of federal funding for highways.  It is the primary funding source for federal highways and transit programs for state, local, and national projects across the U.S. The Senate adopted HR 22, the long-term highway bill by a vote of 65-34.…

2014: The Year in Review

2014 was a year of changes and we wanted to remind you of just a few of the highlights of the year that was 2014.

Cuba: Normalizing Relations

The Administration announced that it would begin normalizing trade relations with Cuba. This will have a huge impact on American businesses, especially a boost to U.S. agriculture.


Cansler Consulting Oversees IT Project

Cansler Consulting has been acting Project Director for a new $6 million statewide information management system for the state of California. The web-based system has been deployed and is functioning well in all California counties.…

Wyoming’s Senator Mike Enzi Likely To Head Budget Committee

It is widely believed by many in Washington that U.S Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) will exercise his seniority over current ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) Mike_Enzi,_official_portrait,_111th_Congress and take the gavel of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee in the upcoming 114th Congress.

The chairman of the US Senate Budget Committee will have an important role in the new Congress as it will be his responsibility to develop and navigate a budget resolution on the Senate floor by the end of Spring.  Incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made it a priority to return the federal budget process to normal order under the republicans new majority.  The Budget Committee is important in the majority because it has the responsibility for outlining priorities and laying the groundwork for both consideration of spending bills and the reconciliation process. …

Preliminary Rosters For US Senate Agriculture & Appropriations Committees

The U.S. Senate has announced the preliminary rosters for Committee assignments in the upcoming 114th Congress. 06507_StabenowHearingRoom05142013 Below is the membership list for the Agriculture Committee and the Appropriations Committee.  The rosters for the U.S. House remain only partially complete.  The Senate committee chairmen will be officially named in January after the 114th Congress is sworn in however it is widely believed that the chairmen of these two committees are set.  These rosters are preliminary and are subject to change.…

CRomnibus Spending Plan P3

The CRomnibus, HR 83, cuts the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by $60 million below the fiscal year 2014 level, providing a total of $8.1 billion for the agency. Environmental Protection Agency Overall, EPA funding has been reduced by $2.2 billion – or 21% – since 2010.  The bill continues reductions to EPA staff, bringing staffing…