Budget Process and Rules

Blue Dogs Seek to Take a Bite Out of Spending

The Blue Dog Democrats, fresh off of attaining long-sought statutory PAYGO rules, are now setting their sights on capping discretionary spending. They plan to offer a proposal that goes beyond the spending freeze called for in the president’s budget.

‘Line’ Items: Washington Activities Affecting the Bottom Line

No Limit to Ploys in House Rules – The House raised the debt limit to $14.3 trillion on Thursday using a procedure that allowed members to approve the increase without a direct roll call vote on it.

Still Budgeting Through Footnotes in FY 2011

A few months ago, we pointed out that the Administration was cheating in its Mid-Session Review budget baseline. Essentially it was taking policies which President Obama had signed into law as temporary, under the stimulus bill, and assuming them as permanent. The implication being that, if the policies were a part of the baseline, they wouldn't need to be paid for when enacted.

Well, the Administration is at it again in their FY 2011 budget submission, but this time they are doing a better job of hiding it.

House Rules Stack the Deck for Debt Ceiling Increase

The stakes are high and the House is raising the limit and calling the shots. No, we’re not talking Vegas – the casinos wish they were dealing with this kind of dough – this is Washington, baby and what happens in DC … affects us all. CQ reports (subscription required) that the House of Representatives will vote today on legislation passed by the Senate last week raising the debt limit to $14.3 trillion.

Freeze Leaves Some Cold, Some Toasty

Today, CRFB released our Analysis of the President's FY 2011 Budget. We will be following-up here at The Bottom Line with shorter analyses discussing specific aspects of the budget. This is the first:

President Obama's proposed freeze on non-security discretionary spending is leaving some agencies and programs feeling colder than others. In fact, some aren't chilly at all.

No Deficit of Politics in Debt Limit Vote

Like peanut butter and jelly, diet and exercise, and bourbon and bacon (or is that just us?) PAYGO and spending caps are best when together. You wouldn't know it from the votes surrounding the debt limit increase.

Broken Process: Authorizers Rely on Appropriators For Oversight

In yet another sign that the legislative process needs serious fixing, Congress last year appropriated $290.8 billion for programs that the House and Senate failed to reauthorize, the Congressional Budget Office says in a report released this month.

The State of the Union is...

Yesterday, President Obama gave his first official State of the Union address, outlining his agenda for the rest of the year. We watched the speech closely (and even tweeted on it), and were impressed overall. Although President Obama argued that "jobs must be our number one focus in 2010," he paid particular attention to the deficit. As the President explained:

[The deficit] is a challenge that makes all others that much harder to solve.

CRFB's MacGuineas Reacts to Obama's Spending Freeze

Yesterday, CRFB President Maya MacGuineas had an op-ed in CNN calling President Obama's proposed non-security freeze A Good First Step. Here are some highlights:

Ryan Releases Roadmap

Earlier today, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan released his update Roadmap for America's Future (and a nifty Website to go with it). Under this Roadmap, the Congressman proposes major changes to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, tax policy, and the budget process, and these changes would lead to significant long-term fiscal improvements.

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