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…

Farm & Food Bill: $100 billion/year at Stake

Farm BillSince the 1930’s and the Great Depression about every 5-years the U.S. Congress adopts a Farm Bill.  The Farm Bill contains production agriculture & food policies under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Farm Bill titles include Commodity Programs, Conservation, Trade, Nutrition, Credit, Rural Development, Research & Extension, Forestry, Energy, Horticulture and Crop Insurance.

Similar to U.S. demographics, Members of Congress today are further removed from the farm than in previous decades.  Moreover, farm policy is complex as it includes public policies across varying sectors of the U.S. economy that impacts agriculture, the environment, international trade and social nutrition programs.  As we mentioned in our previous farm bill article , Congress has struggled to timely adopt farm bills since the 1990’s.

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.…

House Adopts FY 2015 Budget Resolution

U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI)

U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI)

By a vote of 219-205, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) spending proposal (H Con Res 96) achieving a balanced budget by fiscal 2024. Twelve Republicans voted with Democrats against the budget plan. Click here for the roll call vote.

The House adopted the FY 2015 budget resolution despite previous enactment of discretionary budget caps totaling $1.014 trillion that were agreed to under the budget agreement (PL 113-67) struck by Senate and House Budget Committee Chairs, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Paul Ryan (R-WI) in December of last year.…