Saturday, October 16, 2021

In Context: The Intervening Election

The Senate often has an “intervening day” in between when intended action is filed and when votes are taken. Give the cooling saucer a chance to cool.

Going up an order of magnitude on the time scale, Congress is in a two-month intervening period between debt limit actions. While the two sides remain at heated odds, there is a factor that could have a cooling effect: Virginia.

Congress Update

Saturday, October 9, 2021

In Context: Strategic Pause

After rejecting a request for a strategic pause from a Senator from his own party a month ago, Majority Leader Schumer this week accepted an offer for a pause from Republican Leader McConnell. Wall Street was getting nervous and credit rating agencies were announcing intended changes if the debt ceiling was not raised.

While Republicans felt they had a strong case for having nothing to do with a debt limit increase, they gave a temporary reprieve to ensure their case was airtight. Make no mistake, if they are not taken seriously, if the U.S. hits a hard fiscal limit, and Members of Congress start taking incoming from all corners of the economy, the pressure to “do something” will be immense, unlike anything yet seen.

Congress Update

Daily Digests – House • Senate — Prayers — Committee Reports

Senate — Daily Leader Remarks • Actions begunpasseddeclinedsummarized

Related Headlines:

Senate

Executive Session

Lauren King confirmed to U.S. district court

Legislative Session

Congress sends 30-day highway funding patch to Biden after infrastructure stalls

S. 1301, the legislative vehicle to suspend the debt limit
Senate approves short-term debt ceiling increase

Schumer Gloats (Full Speech), Senate Democrats are still vowing not to act later via reconciliation

Biden Warned In Letter Ripping Schumer’s Speech: ‘Even Democratic Senators Were Visibly Embarrassed’

Why the Senate blinked — and stepped back from the brink of a federal default

Saturday, October 2, 2021

In Context: Legislative Rock Paper Scissors

There are three items at hand in Washington right now, each of which has similarities to items in the zero-sum game Rock Paper Scissors: the bipartisan infrastructure bill (rock), the partisan budget reconciliation option (paper), and the debt limit (scissors). Each one of these items is functioning as leverage over another.

Congress Update

Daily Digests – House • Senate — Prayers — Committee Reports

Related Headlines:

Senate

Executive Session

Schumer moves to break Cruz’s vise on diplomatic nominations

Parsing the drama in the Senate over Biden’s nominations

Senate votes to confirm Warren ally Rohit Chopra as CFPB chief

Tracy Stone-Manning, of Montana, to be Director of the Bureau of Land Management
Senate confirms eco-terrorist-linked Biden nominee who endorsed population control

Legislative Session

H.R. 5305, Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act
Senate Republicans thwart legislation pairing government funding with debt limit increase • Senate Votes Down Republican Amendment to Block Biden Vaccine Mandate (Still No Timeline for Implementing OSHA Vaccine Rule)

Unanimous Consent

Senate stalls borrowing limit increase


House of Representatives

Suspension of the Rules

US House passes Libya sanctions bill after blow to unity government

House passes bill to end crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparity

House passes legislation to strengthen federal cybersecurity workforce

Considered Pursuant to a Rule

NDAA Amendment (prior week)
House Votes to End Support for Long Entanglement in Yemen

S. 1301 (legislative vehicle)
House Passes Debt Ceiling Bill to Suspend Limit • Two Dems, one Republican vote against parties on debt ceiling

Saturday, September 25, 2021

In Context

Three issues of national importance are rising to a climax as September 2021 comes to an end: • how much innocent red blood will be shed, • how much red ink its finances can endure, and • how much of a red agenda it will pass.

Sometimes people say things that communicate more than they intend. This week, as part of his efforts to justify yet another increase, Senate Majority Leader Schumer noted Congress has previously raised the debt ceiling about 80 times. In other words, the debt limit has not done much limiting. Now, Republicans have found a use for the debt ceiling: stopping a $3.5 trillion spending bill full of a leftist, trajectory-changing agenda. Leader Schumer has filed cloture on H.R. 5305, the bill to fund the government and raise the debt limit (yes, as recorded on page S6666 of this year’s Congressional Record).

Congress Update

Daily Digests – House • Senate — Prayers — Committee Reports

Related Headlines:


Senate — Daily Leader Remarks • Actions begunpasseddeclinedsummarized

Executive Session

Senate confirmed nominee for top Treasury tax position


House — Weekly Leader Colloquy • Actions passeddeclinedsummarized

Suspension of the Rules

House clears bill to provide veterans with cost-of-living adjustment

House passes bill to compensate 'Havana syndrome' victimsof Likely Directed Energy Attacks

House passes standalone bill to provide $1B for Israel's Iron Dome

Considered Pursuant to a Rule

H.R. 5305, Government Funding, FY2022, debt ceiling limit suspension
House passes bill to fund government, suspend debt limit

H.R. 4350, NDAA, FY2022
House passes sweeping defense policy bill

H.R. 3755, Abortion codification
U.S. House Democrats advance abortion billmore accurately known as the Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act • bill would override all pro-life laws at both the federal state levels — Vote was 218-211

Saturday, September 18, 2021

In Context

Two months ago, Senate Republican Leader McConnell gave notice that Republicans would not be providing any votes to raise the U.S. Federal debt ceiling. With trillions in spending suddenly part of serious regular consideration, Republicans are marking a line.

Senate Majority Leader Schumer quickly rejected the assertion, and Democrats have dismissed any thought of raising the debt on a partisan basis while proceeding to maximize their partisan spending efforts. This week, Schumer cited an economist claiming their proposals “would actually ease inflation pressures, not raise them.” McConnell cited an economist claiming the opposite.

Republicans had already said last year that the $2 trillion Cares Act was a one-time-only-ever vote, and had no intention of spending at that scale ever again. With such high spending amounts somehow becoming the norm, the debt limit is the closest option to attempt to halt further astronomical levels of spending.

Leader Schumer has claimed the debt has been incurred by both sides. He is not wrong. Forcing the debt limit to put a hard stop to any money going out beyond what comes in would make for a sudden fiscal jolt. The Treasury would shift from extraordinary measures for paying the bills to triage of who gets paid and who doesn't. If that included not paying on our debt, it would indeed have “serious negative consequences.”

Schumer's claims fall short by implying that raising the debt limit amounts to meeting our “responsibility to pay our bills.” Debt, by definition, is when monetary amounts are not paid, but deferred until later. Incurring more debt does not pay our bills, it adds to our bills.

Congress Update

Saturday, September 11, 2021

In Context: The National Debt Limit

Of the many issues facing Congress this month, there's one that affects them all: the debt ceiling.

The United States debt limit has never been allowed to have its intended effect on Congress.

Every time U.S. Federal spending has come near the statutory limit, the limit has either been raised, suspended, or precipitated a crisis that led to the sequester. Spending increases have usually been gradual, relatively speaking, and the proverbial frog in the pot has not noticed the water is coming to a boil.

In a single year, in response to the coronavirus, federal spending increases are no longer gradual. The supplemental spending now proposed rivals the size of all annual federal spending, a noticeably significant portion of the entire U.S. economy.

Congress Update

Saturday, September 4, 2021

In Context

If you want to know people's priorities, look at their calendars.

Congress has a very full agenda for this month, and it may have to go to unusual lengths to make it all work. It should be a bit surprising, then, that a new issue could quickly insert itself into this mix of top legislative priorities.

While Democrats have talked about codifying the “right” to end the lives of unborn babies into the U.S. Code, the new Texas pro-life law—and judicial restraint from interference in it—has suddenly galvanized them to action.

Congress Update

Saturday, August 28, 2021

In Context

After an abbreviated 2-day work week for the House, Congress has returned to its August recess. The Senate returns in two weeks, the House in three weeks.

Upon returning to Washington, the Congressional agenda is quite full:

1. Fund the U.S. Federal government for a year within two weeks, or extend last year's funding levels while next year's funding is finalized.

2. Manage the national debt which is expected to be at its limit in October or November.

3. The Biden/Democratic agenda: elections, infrastructure, union support.

4. Taliban response. Even before the Afghanistan government collapse and  subsequent terrorist attacks, Congressional leadership has been in discussions about war authorization repeal votes.


Senate Majority Leader Schumer has announced his intention to bring election-related legislation to the Senate floor as soon as the Senate returns

Congress Update

Saturday, August 21, 2021

In Context

The Senate is out until mid-September.
The House has a 2-day week scheduled.

The FDA is expected to announce injection approval on Monday.
The end of 5 years needed for studying long-term effects is still 4 years away.

The new fiscal year is set to start October 1.
The debt ceiling is set to limit borrowing in October.

Many public and corporate conditions of employment over injections are set to take effect over the next few weeks.


The next few weeks and months could shape America for a long time to come.

Congress Update

Daily Digests HouseSenatePrayers

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Congress Update

Daily Digests – House • Senate — Prayers — Committee Reports

Related Headlines:

Senate — Daily Leader Remarks • Actions begunpasseddeclinedsummarized

Executive Session

Senate Confirms Navy SecretaryBiden's first ambassador

Legislative Session

H.R. 3684 — A bill to authorize funds for Federal-aid highways
• Senate passes $1T bipartisan infrastructure bill • crypto worries loom

S.Con.Res. 14: Budget Reconciliation Resolution
• Senate Democrats approve budget resolution, teeing up $3.5T spending plan • Democrats recommend $45 trillion in debt within 10 years • Senate Republicans force Dems to vote on CRT, fracking, abortion and more in marathon 'vote-a-rama' • US Senate passes budget amendment to prevent taxpayer funding of abortions (S.Amdt. 3792) • Democrats Defeat Amendment to Stop Tax-Funded Abortions on Babies With Down Syndrome (S.Amdt. 3331) • Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth (S.Amdt. 3758) • Senate Unanimously Votes Against Defunding The Police (S.Amdt. 3113) • 'This is a gift': Cory Booker enthusiastically endorses • Senate Democrats Vote To Keep Anti-Science School Closures (S.Amdt. 3073) • Senate Democrats show their support for critical race theory (S.Amdt. 3680) • Gun Control in Bernie Sanders’ Budget Resolution

Senate Advances Sweeping Election Reform Bill in Partisan Vote

Unanimous Consent

Senate agrees to award Congressional Gold Medal to Harlem HellfightersH.R. 3642

Cruz blocks Biden's State Department nominees over Nordstream 2 pipeline, compares pipeline policy to “giving away the Panama Canal” — Floor Debate

Sen. Ted Cruz blocks election legislation during all-nighter in U.S. SenateFloor Debate

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Congress Update

Daily Digests House Senate Prayers Committee Reports
M 7/26 PDF T 7/27 PDF W 7/28 PDF Th 7/29 PDF F 7/30 PDF

Related Headlines:

House of Representatives Weekly Leader Colloquy • Actions passed, declined

The House declined to consider H.R. 18, No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2021, 12 times this week.

H.R. 4502 — Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Agriculture, Rural Development, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2022
• Pro-Life report on House passage of H.R. 4502, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act, FY2022 Appropriations Omnibus
House passes sprawling spending bill ahead of fall shutdown fight
Not a single Democrat voted against forcing Americans to fund abortionsRep. Clark celebrates

H.R. 4346 — Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2022
House passes spending bill to boost Capitol Police and Hill staffer pay
House OK’s hiring illegal migrants on staff, fattens budget 21%

H.R. 4373 — Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2022
Pro-Life report on H.R. 4373, the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2022
House Democrats Pass Bill To Pay For Abortions Overseas Using American Tax Dollars
Greek Americans call on Congress to stop U.S. arms and aid to Azerbaijan

H.R. 3237 — Emergency Spending
House clears $2.1 billion Capitol security bill, sending to Biden

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