April 18, 2018 / by Charles S. Konigsberg
- Link here to Real-Time Market and Economic Data
- See Our New Blog: TheAMERICABLOG.com
- International Trade Webpage
- FY 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act
- Link to Budget Process Reform Tracker [first hearing held April 17]
- Click & Print: 2018 House-Senate Calendar
- Treasury: Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the U.S.
- CRS: nonpartisan legal analysis re: Special Counsels, Oversight, and Removal
- Reuters graphic on industries impacted by proposed US-China tariffs
- CBO Projects Trillion-Dollar Deficits, Trillion-Dollar Interest Payment, Debt Ballooning to 100% of GDP
- Testimony of Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and CEO, Facebook - April 11 2018
- Treasury and State Department Announce New Russia Sanctions
- President instructs USTR to “consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate”
- CRS: China’s Retaliatory Tariffs on U.S. Agricultural Products
- USTR announces $50 billion in proposed tariffs
- CRS: Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: "Data, Social Media, and Users..."
- Marshall Project: The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant
- CRS: China-U.S. Trade Issues
Legislative and Regulatory Watch List:
- 2018 Farm Bill: House Agriculture Committee will markup Chairman Conaway's Farm Bill on April 18:
- H.R. 2, Agriculture & Nutrition Act of 2018 Bill Text
- Section By Section and Fact Sheets
- CBO Cost Estimate for H.R. 2
- CBPP Analysis: SNAP (food stamp) proposals would cause 2 million people — particularly low-income working families with children — to lose benefits or have them reduced.
- CRS: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - Primer (Dec 2016)
- FY 2019 Budget Resolution: Contrary to previous comments, House Budget Chairman Steve Womack said his committee will write a 2019 Budget Resolution.
- Womack indicated the Resolution will focus on entitlement cuts -- which is likely a non-starter in the Senate where Majority Leader McConnell has downplayed the need for a filibuster-proof Budget Reconciliation bill this year. The Budget Resolution requires House-Senate concurrence.
- Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform holds first hearing:
- Notable comment from co-chair Nita Lowey (D-NY): “The root cause of our current situation has much more to do with deep policy disagreements, often over issues that shouldn’t be part of appropriations bills and a lack of political will,” Lowey said. “Procedural reforms alone are insufficient, but perhaps an improved process could facilitate reaching and implementing agreements when there is the will to do so.”
- Process reforms discussed at the hearing included changes to the debt ceiling, moving the fiscal year to a calendar year, prohibiting filibuster-proof Budget Reconciliation measures from raising deficits, biennial budgeting, and a Joint Budget Resolution requiring the President's signature. Click here for further details of the hearing.
- Medicaid work requirements:
- Health care rule changes - impact on consumers:
- FY'18 Rescission Bill Unlikely: White House officials and House GOP leaders have discussed "rescinding" some of the non-defense discretionary funding in the just-passed omnibus spending bill for FY'18, but such a measure would be unlikely to pass the Senate. Rescission bills are filibuster-proof, but bringing a rescission bill to the Senate Floor would be certain to scuttle negotiations on FY 2019 appropriations, where bipartisan support is required. Background on rescission bills.
- DACA remains an urgent issue, with 700,000 young people protected from deportation only by Federal District Court injunctions temporarily halting the Trump Administration's termination of the program. The political impasse over a legislative solution continues. Background on DACA.
- Financial Regulation - House and Senate remain on separate tracks:
- The financial regulation bill passed by the Senate with bipartisan support raises the SIFI threshold (regulation of systemically important financial institutions) and provides some regulatory relief for small community banks and credit unions, but leaves most of Dodd-Frank (including the CFPB) intact.
- The House legislation would repeal Dodd-Frank -- an approach that has no chance of passing the Senate.
- Major action on infrastructure has dropped off the 2018 agenda.
- The White House plan, claiming that $200 billion in federal funds would leverage $1.5 trillion in spending by assuming State, local, and private sector investments that would not otherwise occur, gained little traction on Capitol Hill and the Administration's point person on infrastructure left the White House in early April.
- Senate Democrats’ "Jobs & Infrastructure Plan" to invest $1 trillion of federal resources in infrastructure -- paid for by rolling back parts of the 2017 tax cuts -- has no support among Republicans.
- More on Infrastructure...
Omnibus Appropriations Act:
- Link to Bill Text, Explanatory Statements, Highlights, and Committee Summaries
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