Federal Budget

Did Ted Cruz just pave the way for confirming a wave of Obama nominees?

Featured image The Senate has approved the so-called Cromnibus bill. It did so in a rare Saturday session. According to the Washington Post, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee forced the Saturday session: Prolonged debate on the spending bill, which passed on a 56-to-40 bipartisan vote, came after Cruz and Lee late Friday night derailed a carefully crafted plan between party leaders to allow senators to go home for the weekend and return »

The Wall Street Rider: What’s It All About?

Featured image As we noted here, Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren and most of the left wing of the Democratic Party turned against the continuing resolution/omnibus spending bill that squeaked through the House, ostensibly on the ground that it contained a “giveaway” to Wall Street. This was one of Pelosi’s several demagogic tweets: .@SpeakerBoehner is stacking the deck for Big Banks & his lobbyist friends. RT if you oppose the #BoehnerBankBailout! pic.twitter.com/gEJpbnT9t8 — »

Go figure

Featured image In an attempt to salvage “Cromnibus,” President Obama sent his chief of staff to Capitol Hill to present House Democrats with the following argument: the budget deal under consideration today is better for liberals than what Democrats will be able to get next year, when Republicans control both chambers of Congress. From the Democrats’ point of view, the president’s message seems both indisputable and dispositive. Yet Democrats resoundingly rejected Obama’s »

Cromnibus Survives, 219-206 [Updated]

Featured image It took nearly 60 Democrats to get the job done, but John Boehner and Barack Obama combined to slide the continuing resolution/omnibus spending bill through Congress. Still no explanation of why it is better to fund the fiscal year now, rather than in a month or two when Republicans control both chambers. Many conservatives are upset about the bill because it doesn’t attempt to de-fund amnesty. That isn’t my main »

Cromnibus Nearly Fails on Procedural Vote [UPDATED]

Featured image It’s Keystone Kops in Washington, as John Boehner’s continuing resolution/omnibus spending bill nearly failed a procedural vote to bring it to the floor this morning. The tally was 214-212, and it took one Republican vote-switcher to avoid a colossal embarrassment for Speaker Boehner. The embarrassment is bad enough, as the vote on the rule is normally along party lines. All Democrats voted against the rule this morning, which I take »

Defeat the omnibus

Featured image So far as we can tell, just about everything appears to be wrong with the omnibus spending bill coming before Congress for passage this week. To the extent that we are able to do so, I would like to amplify the voice of the editors of National Review in their editorial “Defeat the omnibus.” They write: The federal government’s funding authorization expires tonight at midnight, and the Republican plan to »

Spending Bill Moves Toward Passage Tomorrow

Featured image One of the last significant acts of the lame duck Congress will be passage of a spending bill that funds the federal government to the tune of around $1.1 trillion on an annualized basis. The bill goes through next September for all government agencies except the Department of Homeland Security, which will only be funded until February 27. The contents of the bill, still largely unknown–it is 1,600 pages long–were »

Congressional leaders to push through a $1.01 trillion dollar budget this week

Featured image As expected, congressional leaders have reached a budget deal. The government will be funded to the tune of $1.01 trillion. This amount will keep all agencies running through September of next year, except for the Department of Homeland Security. It will be funded only through late February. Mitch McConnell says that the Senate will pass the bill before it leaves town this week. Unfortunately, this means that legislators, not to »

How should Congress combat executive amnesty?

Featured image The Republican congressional leadership has formulated its short-term strategy for responding to President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty. It wants to pass a continuing resolution that will fund most of the government for a full year, but will fund the Department of Homeland Security — which is responsible for implementing the amnesty — for only a few months. It’s not a terrible strategy, but neither is it optimal, for two reasons. »

As our military commitments expand, the military shrinks

Featured image President Obama has found uses for the U.S. military in spite of himself. Max Boot points out that he has just sent 3,000 troops to Liberia to “fight” Ebola; 1,500–and counting–to Iraq to counter ISIS; and hundreds, possibly thousands, more to Eastern Europe to deter Russia. In addition, Obama sent more than 150 troops to Africa to fight Joseph Kony. And he keeps sending troops to carry out various Special »

Dueling Budgets In the House: Which One Is Extreme?

Featured image Today the House of Representatives voted on the budget that came out of its Budget Committee–the Paul Ryan Budget, as it is often known in the press. The budget, which would put the United States on a path toward fiscal sustainability, passed by a vote of 219-205. No Democrats voted to move toward a balanced budget and start dealing with our $17 trillion debt. On the other hand, a few »

Where America Went Wrong, and How We Can Get Back on the Track

Featured image This morning, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew appeared at a Senate Budget Committee hearing on President Obama’s FY 2015 budget proposal. Not a lot of attention has been paid to Obama’s budget, probably because, to an even greater extent than usual, it is dead on arrival. There is zero chance of it being the basis for federal spending next year, let alone the next ten years. Still, it has significance as »

Obama Administration Can’t Describe Its Own Budget Honestly

Featured image This morning Cynthia Burwell, Director of the White House Office of Management And Budget, testified before the Senate Budget Committee on President Obama’s just-submitted FY 2015 budget. Currently, federal discretionary spending is capped by the Ryan-Murray compromise spending bill that Obama signed just 10 weeks ago. Yet Obama’s budget ignores that compromise entirely, and proposes to spend an additional $56 billion in the discretionary category, above and beyond the current »

Obama Delivers Dead-On-Arrival Budget, Lies About It

Featured image President Obama offered his FY 2015 budget proposal today. There were not a lot of surprises, as the key elements of the budget had been leaked over the last week or two. This is how Obama characterized the document in his appearance at an elementary school: [I]t enables us to meet our obligations to future generations without a mountain of debt. This is mystifying. Currently the federal government is more »

Obama Says: No More Austerity!

Featured image President Obama’s budget for the next fiscal year is slated to be released on March 4. While the budget is not yet public, the administration leaked a description of it to the Washington Post: “With 2015 budget request, Obama will call for an end to era of austerity:” President Obama’s forthcoming budget request will seek tens of billions of dollars in fresh spending for domestic priorities while abandoning a compromise »

The Galling Galston

Featured image I wonder sometimes how the reasonably sensible Bill Galston can remain in today’s Democratic Party, whose obsession with equality has elided into pure, envy-filled resentment of the successful.  There’s a reason why envy was long considered one of the seven deadly sins, and to give voice to this in punitive redistributive policy, as Democrats now so clearly wish to do, may well prove deadly to American society. Writing in the »

Now That Congress Has Passed the Omnibus Spending Bill, What’s In It?

Featured image The $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill that was rammed through Congress last week is the latest in a series of massive federal laws that are negotiated in secret, debated scarcely at all, and voted on without being read. Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee were studying the spending bill even as it was being enacted, and have published an excellent top-line analysis of the legislation here. If, like most voters, »