Legislative Activity

House Republicans Look for Mandatory Cuts to Make Passage of a Budget Resolution Possible

House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) and House Republican Leadership continue to look for cuts to mandatory spending to offset the $30 billion increase in discretionary spending for FY 2017 called for in last year’s bipartisan budget deal. However, the likelihood that House Republicans will pass a budget resolution is reduced each day it is delayed. While House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has argued that following the higher spending limits would provide Republicans the best opportunity to push conservative policy priorities during the appropriations process, the higher spending levels face significant opposition among House Republicans.

The Republican Study Committee (RSC), which includes around 170 House Republicans, followed the House Freedom Caucus’ lead and is pushing for a discretionary spending limit of $1.04 trillion, the level set in the Budget Control Act (sequestration) and $30 billion less than the levels set in last year’s budget deal. However, Republican Leadership is developing a workaround that they hope will appease the Freedom Caucus and the RSC while maintaining the higher discretionary spending levels called for in the budget deal.

Leadership’s current plan is to pursue separate legislation that would offset the $30 billion increase with an equivalent level of cuts to mandatory spending. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has asked chairmen of authorizing committees to find new cuts to mandatory programs to include in the standalone legislation, and one Chairman said they have a week to come up with the cuts.

Chairman Price has said he wants to pass a budget resolution out of the Budget Committee next week, but that timeline is looking increasingly unlikely. If House Republicans do not pass an FY 2017 budget resolution they will forego the opportunity to use the Budget Reconciliation process, which would allow Senate Republicans to pass legislation without reaching the typical 60 vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, March 1: The Senate Appropriations Committee Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the state of the farm economy.

Senate Appropriations Committee FY 2017 Budget Hearings

  • Tuesday, March 1: The Senate Appropriations Committee Legislative Branch Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget request and funding justification for the Senate Sergeant at Arms and the Capitol Police.
  • Tuesday, March 1: The Senate Appropriations Committee Homeland Security Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget request and funding justification for the Transportation Security Administration.
  • Wednesday, March 2: The Senate Appropriations Committee Energy and Water Development Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget request and funding justification for the Army Corps of Engineers and the Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation.
  • Wednesday, March 2: The Senate Appropriations Committee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget request and funding justification for the Interior Department.
  • Wednesday, March 2: The Senate Appropriations Committee Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget request and funding justification for the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Wednesday, March 2: The Senate Appropriations Committee Defense Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget request and funding justification for the Navy and Marine Corps.
  • Thursday, March 3: The Senate Appropriations Committee Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget request and funding justification for the Health and Human Services Department.
  • Thursday, March 3: The Senate Appropriations Committee Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget request and funding justification for the Veterans Health Administration and Veterans Benefits Administration.
  • Thursday, March 3: The Senate Appropriations Committee Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget request and funding justification for the Commerce Department.

House Appropriations Committee FY 2017 Budget Hearings

  • Monday, February 29: The House Appropriations Committee Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the General Services Administration.
  • Tuesday, March 1: The House Appropriations Committee Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Energy Department.
  • Tuesday, March 1: The House Appropriations Committee Defense Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Navy and Marine Corps.
  • Tuesday, March 1: The House Appropriations Committee Homeland Security Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
  • Tuesday, March 1: The House Appropriations Committee Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Energy Department, National Nuclear Security Administration, Weapons and Activities, and Nuclear Nonproliferation and Naval Reactors.
  • Tuesday, March 1: The House Appropriations Committee Legislative Branch Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Architect of the Capitol.
  • Tuesday, March 1: The House Appropriations Committee Legislative Branch Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the U.S. Capitol Police.
  • Tuesday, March 1: The House Appropriations Committee Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Corporation for National and Community Service.
  • Tuesday, March 1: The House Appropriations Committee Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Housing and Urban Development Department.
  • Wednesday, March 2: The House Appropriations Committee Defense Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Air Force.
  • Wednesday, March 2: The House Appropriations Committee Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for Energy Department science programs.
  • Wednesday, March 2: The House Appropriations Committee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Interior Department.
  • Wednesday, March 2: The House Appropriations Committee Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  • Wednesday, March 2: The House Appropriations Committee Legislative Branch Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the House of Representatives.
  • Wednesday, March 2: The House Appropriations Committee Legislative Branch Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Library of Congress and United States Copyright, Program Project, and Activity Review.
  • Wednesday, March 2: The House Appropriations Committee Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • Wednesday, March 2: The House Appropriations Committee Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Veterans Affairs Department.
  • Wednesday, March 2: The House Appropriations Committee Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Energy Department applied energy programs.
  • Wednesday, March 2: The House Appropriations Committee Homeland Security Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Transportation Security Administration.
  • Thursday, March 3: The House Appropriations Committee Defense Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the U.S. Army.
  • Thursday, March 3: The House Appropriations Committee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Bureau of Land Management.
  • Thursday, March 3: The House Appropriations Committee Homeland Security Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Thursday, March 3: The House Appropriations Committee Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Agriculture Department marketing and regulatory programs.
  • Thursday, March 3: The House Appropriations Committee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.
  • Thursday, March 3: The House Appropriations Committee Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the FY 2017 budget for Defense installations, environment, energy, and the Base Closure and Realignment Commission.