NARC Federal Budget Call Recap: Where We Are Now and What to Expect in the Fall

Senators and representatives may be home for recess, but the issues they left in Washington will be here when they return on September 5. Not only will the issues be here, but the urgency to address them will have increased significantly. Top issues that await them include: the adoption of a federal budget, 12 appropriations bills, legislation to raise the debt ceiling, and tax reform. It is also possible that health care legislation may come up for consideration again. This is why NARC felt it was important to host a conference call last Wednesday on the current status of the federal budget with Deborah Cox, legislative director at the National Association of Counties (NACo); Michael Wallace, program director of federal advocacy at the National League of Cities (NLC); and NARC staff. We wanted to provide you, our members, with an update on where these urgent issues stand so that you… Read More NARC Federal Budget Call Recap: Where We Are Now and What to Expect in the Fall

The Federal Budget and Appropriations Process: in Limbo

It’s stuck because neither the House nor Senate has passed a budget plan that outlines spending for fiscal year (FY) 2018. Why is it stuck? Because the majorities in both chambers cannot agree on how much to spend on defense and non-defense programs. Moderate Republicans are concerned that a budget plan similar to the ones proposed by the president or the House speaker would make it very difficult for the House or Senate to maintain spending at current levels, let alone increase spending where consensus to increase spending existed. Conservative Republicans are pushing hard to substantially reduce spending for non-defense discretionary programs and substantially increase spending for defense discretionary programs, and want to break down the current spending caps that ensure that whatever gains or losses in spending occur are equally shared by defense and non-defense programs. What does this mean? It means that as we get closer to the… Read More The Federal Budget and Appropriations Process: in Limbo