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Battles Over the Pentagon's Budget Are Likely This Week

May 11, 2015 Congress is thinking globally this week. Fresh off of a Senate victory last week clearing the way for Congress to review a final Iran nuclear deal, lawmakers in both chambers will get to work authorizing the country's armed forces while the bulk of the week on the Senate floor will...

The High Stakes Test for the Iran Deal — and the 2016 Contenders

April 27, 2015 Mitch McConnell promised that when he became majority leader, the Senate would have an open amendment process. That's exactly what the chamber will get this week on a high-stakes Iran bill—a scary test for an already hard-fought deal between the administration, Republicans, and Democrats. Senators from both parties—including the quartet...

Senate Heavy Lifting Begins With Education and Iran; Budget Framework Still Under Negotiation

April 13, 2015 The most important legislative horse-trading this week will be happening in committee rooms, not on the House or Senate floor. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee will begin debating a major education overhaul this week that might actually thread the needle on rewriting the controversial No Child Left...

There's an IRS Investigation That's Bipartisan and Leak-Free

March 26, 2015 The Senate Finance Committee's investigations team is highly caffeinated. How else could it have gotten through more than a million pages of documents in the last two years? There is an art to the kind of mind-numbing digging that these sleuths do. They set weekly goals for the number of...

Congressional Outlook: A Week of Partisan Votes and Bad Blood

March 16, 2015 Even when senators don't intend to be controversial, they manage to find their way there anyway. No one can say quite how it happened, but legislation that was supposed to represent a Kumbaya moment in the Senate last week appears to be headed in the opposite direction. A bipartisan bill...

After Rough Week, Senate to Take Bipartisan Turn

March 9, 2015 It's been a rocky few weeks in Congress. Lawmakers need a break from brinksmanship and blaming. In that spirit, the Senate this week will vote on something everyone agrees on—combatting human trafficking. The House is taking a breather for a mid-winter recess and will reconvene on March 16. The week...

Another Week, Another Shutdown Deadline

March 2, 2015 What a difference a week doesn't make. On Friday, Congress faced a deadline to fund the Homeland Security Department before midnight. Democrats wanted a clean long-term funding bill, while Republicans wanted to block President Obama's executive action on immigration or—at least—force the Senate to go to conference on a measure...

Congress Delays Homeland Security Shutdown Through Friday

March 1, 2015 What a difference a week doesn't make. On Friday, Congress faced a deadline to fund the Homeland Security Department before midnight. Democrats wanted a clean long-term funding bill, while Republicans wanted to block President Obama's executive action on immigration or—at least—force the Senate to go to conference on a measure...

Senator Wants Commerce Committee to be Big Player in Cybersecurity Legislation

February 24, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In a partisan climate that spells doom for the vast majority of issues, there are at least two policy arenas left where Republicans, Democrats, and the White House can plausibly come together on important legislation this year—cybersecurity and infrastructure. It just so happens that the Senate Commerce Committee owns a...

Congress Returns With No Plan to Avoid Shutdown

February 23, 2015 In these final days before the Homeland Security Department is due to shut down, two things are certain: One, the Senate will hold its fourth vote Monday to start debate on a DHS funding bill that also would scrap President Obama's executive action to defer deportations for some 4 million...