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Billy House

Billy House Billy House is a Congressional Correspondent for National Journal. He joined CongressDaily in April 2009 as its House leadership reporter after two years as The Tampa Tribune's Washington reporter and before that, five years as The Arizona (Phoenix) Republic's Washington reporter.
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Picture This: Tax Dollars May Again Fund Official Portraits

May 20, 2014 It’s being called a more “responsible” use of federal dollars for commemorative portraits of government officials. At least, that’s the name of the bill. Turns out, the much-ballyhooed ban on taxpayer-funded portraits of the president and other public officials that passed earlier this year was not permanent. The omnibus fiscal ...

Congress Considers Hundreds of NDAA Amendments This Week

May 18, 2014 With millions of Americans set to commemorate Memorial Day weekend, the House is wrapping itself in military affairs this week, acting on legislation to boost accountability at the embattled Veterans Affairs Department and taking up the annual National Defense Authorization Act. In the Senate, the Armed Services Committee is expected ...

Technically It Isn't Pork, but It's Close

May 13, 2014 From the so-called "Great Wall of Louisiana" to Everglades-related needs to port-deepening in Oregon, a once-familiar type of bragging fever has returned to lawmakers this week as they seek credit for projects contained in a House-Senate deal on an $8.2 billion water-infrastructure bill. Legislative earmarks that for decades were placed ...

Auditor: Funding Shortfall Could Halt Transportation Projects

May 6, 2014 The nation's Highway Trust Fund is almost dried up, federal payments to states for transportation projects starting this summer will have to be delayed, and lawmakers face just three options to deal with the projected shortfalls, a top congressional auditor testified on Tuesday. Lawmakers could decide to cut promised spending ...

IRS Scandal, Defense Policy Bill on Tap for a Tense Week on Hill

May 5, 2014 The Senate may be heading for some tense moments this week as a proposal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline comes to the foreground and confirmation hearings begin for President Obama’s nominee to be the next Health and Human Services secretary. Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, ...

Boehner Pushes for Special Committee to Investigate Benghazi

May 2, 2014 Speaker John Boehner said Friday he will ask the House to vote on the creation of a special committee to "elevate" to a new level the congressional investigation into the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, has already ...

Congress Begins an Appropriations Process It May Not Finish

April 28, 2014 Lawmakers return from their spring break on Monday to a bevy of business, including two fiscal 2015 spending bills in the House as Congress begins the appropriations process. Yet there is little expectation that the House and Senate will fully hash out and pass all 12 annual spending measures by ...

House Republicans Are Stepping Up Efforts to Attach Special Policy Riders to Spending Bills

April 22, 2014 In a recent memo to lawmakers, House Republican leaders ticked off some of their lesser-known victories in the fiscal 2014 appropriations process. A prohibition on funding for the renovation of United Nations headquarters in New York made the list. So did a measure prohibiting the Energy Department from halting the ...

Are We Heading Back Toward $1 Trillion Budget Deficits?

April 15, 2014 The nation is doomed to return to trillion-dollar shortfalls by 2024 if lawmakers don't alter existing tax and spending policies, congressional auditors warned on Monday. The culprits? Rising health care costs, an aging population, growing interest payments on federal debt, and an expansion of federal subsidies for health insurance, according ...

Time Is Running Out for Real Action in Congress

April 14, 2014 Lawmakers are gone from Washington for their two-week spring break, having packed with them the chances for big-ticket legislation through the rest of the year. Already destined to be one of the least productive Congresses in recent decades, lawmakers seem to have no sense of urgency for anything, expect perhaps ...