Congress Brief: House GOP Misses Budget Deadline Today

Today’s Washington Brief

  • House Republicans today will miss a deadline to adopt a budget for fiscal year 2017, a blow to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who promised to show that GOP lawmakers could handle the government-funding process. (The Washington Post)
  • Ryan’s foreign policy views break with those of President Obama and most of the GOP presidential field. Instead, they appear to align somewhat with Democratic presidential frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (The New York Times)
  • An obscure subcommittee hearing on House rules might seem an odd place to find Republicans grappling with their party’s identity, but in today’s House GOP, debates about process changes are how members politely butt heads over ideological divisions. (Morning Consult)

Today’s Campaign Brief

  • While Donald Trump still faces a stiff challenge in securing the GOP presidential nomination before the party’s nominating convention in Cleveland, a Morning Consult poll shows that the real estate mogul enjoys strong support in the contests that round out the primary schedule. (Morning Consult)
  • Sen. Richard Burr’s (R-N.C.) Democratic opponent, Deborah Ross, raised $1.3 million in the first quarter of 2016 to his $1.1 million haul. Still, Burr enjoys a significant cash-on-hand advantage. (The News & Observer)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) aggressively attacked Clinton’s judgment and her ties to wealthy donors in last night’s Democratic presidential debate. Clinton responded with criticisms of Sanders’ understanding of certain policy issues. (The New York Times)

Today’s Advocacy Brief

  • Many GOP lobbyists still plan on going to the party’s presidential convention in Cleveland, even if most initially backed candidates who have bowed out of the race. (The Washington Post)

Today’s Chart Review

Mark Your Calendars (All Times Eastern)

Friday
The House convenes 9 a.m.
House votes on H.R. 2666 10:30 a.m.
The Senate is not in session
President Obama is in Washington
Brookings Institution event on European Union neighboring countries 1:30 p.m.

 

General

The District is about to declare its independence — from Congress
Aaron C. Davis, The Washington Post 

For the first time since the Founding Fathers carved out the nation’s capital from swampland, the District will not ask the federal government for permission to spend its money. Instead, it will use local tax dollars as it sees fit, just as 50 states do.

Six years after BP spill, U.S. sets new offshore oil safety rules
Valerie Volcovici, Reuters 

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced the finalized regulations, which include more stringent design requirements and operational procedures for offshore oil and gas operations.

Oil Falls Before Doha as Global Markets Brace for Weekend Risk
James Regan and Stephen Kirkland, Bloomberg News 

U.S. crude trimmed its second weekly advance and shares in Europe halted a five-day advance. German bonds pared their first weekly drop in more than a month. South Korea’s won led gains in Asian currencies as a flood of Chinese data added to evidence that the world’s second-largest economy is stabilizing.

Senate

Senator Harry Reid on His Last Year in Congress
Todd Zwillich, WNYC 

Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich caught up with Senator Harry Reid this week to discuss his career, the election, and the Republicans holding up the Supreme Court nominee.

Energy Bill Sails Toward Vote Next Week; ‘Another Path’ on Tap for Flint
Jack Fitzpatrick, Morning Consult 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday on the Senate floor the chamber will “finish our work soon” on the energy bill. The Kentucky Republican’s spokesman Don Stewart said the remaining votes on amendments, a procedural cloture vote, and a final vote on the bill will “all be done in a day.” That is expected to happen Tuesday.

Correction
A previous version of this article misstated on which bill McConnell filed cloture.

Banking Chairman Defies McConnell, Obama, Boeing on Ex-Im Bank
Steven T. Dennis, Bloomberg News 

Even though the bank was reauthorized last October, only two of the five positions on the board of directors are currently filled, and three are needed for a quorum. That means that until new a board member is confirmed, the bank is limited to financing deals of less than $10 million — effectively blocking Boeing, Caterpillar Inc. and other large exporters from using it to finance major export deals.

House

House Republicans deadlocked over spending will miss budget deadline, dealing a blow to Ryan
Kelsey Snell, The Washington Post 

The House will miss a Friday deadline for adopting its annual budget resolution due to an intra-party fight, delivering a blow to Speaker Paul D. Ryan who pledged to show this year that Republicans could smoothly handle the basic job of funding the government.

House Republicans Mull Clever New Ways to Cut Spending
Will Dobbs-Allsopp, Morning Consult 

An obscure subcommittee that holds a rare hearing on tweaking House procedure might be an unexpected place to find Republicans grappling with the their party’s identity. But for the House Republican conference of the 114th Congress, debates about process are now the acceptable way for members to politely butt heads over the ideological fault lines that have rendered the GOP’s large majority fragmented.

Paul Ryan on Foreign Policy Is Closer to Hillary Clinton Than Donald Trump
David E. Sanger, The New York Times 

Mr. Ryan never mentioned Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner and former secretary of state. Perhaps that was because the policies he described, more hawkish than the current president’s but far more cautious than most of the prescriptions for bolstering American power heard in his own party, sounded almost Clintonesque.

Puerto Rico debt bill in House limbo as pressure mounts from all sides
Mike DeBonis, The Washington Post 

Still, Ryan is facing a dynamic virtually identical to the right-wing revolts that bedeviled his predecessor, John A. Boehner, on more prominent issues such as passing annual spending bills and increasing the federal debt limit. The conservative opposition has compelled Ryan and Bishop to negotiate closely with Democrats, giving them leverage to demand significant changes.

Campaign

Trump Has a Late-State Advantage
Reid Wilson, Morning Consult 

While Trump’s path to the Republican nomination remains precarious at best, he is well-positioned to end the primary process with a string of victories likely to hand him momentum heading into what is likely to be a contested convention in Cleveland: A new Morning Consult poll shows Trump has a larger advantage in states that have yet to vote than in states where the ballots have already been counted.

Deborah Ross leads Richard Burr in US Senate race fundraising
Colin Campbell, The News & Observer 

The numbers show the race is already attracting serious cash, with Ross raising $1.3 million and Burr bringing in $1.1 million in the first three months of the year.

In Democratic Debate, Clinton and Sanders Spar Over Judgment
Patrick Healy and Amy Chozick, The New York Times 

Senator Bernie Sanders, seizing on potential vulnerabilities for Hillary Clinton in the coming New York primary, repeatedly savaged her ties to wealthy donors and Wall Street banks during their debate on Thursday night, delivering a ferocious performance that Mrs. Clinton countered with steely confidence and her own sharp elbows.

Republican leaders consider rewriting convention rules
Alex Isenstadt and Shane Goldmacher, Politico 

The Republican National Committee is expected to debate a proposal next week that would dramatically shift the balance of power at this summer’s convention — and impose a new rulebook for selecting the party’s nominee.

Republican whip posts $1.1M fundraising haul
Megan R. Wilson, The Hill 

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) is on a fundraising tear for members during an election year in which Republicans are looking to solidify their majority in the House. The Louisiana lawmaker raised $1.1 million in the first quarter of 2016 in all of his fundraising vehicles, according to a person familiar with Scalise’s efforts.

In Indiana, a Marine and a Farmer Duel for the Future of the GOP
Simone Pathé, Roll Call 

Voting in Indiana’s May 3 primary is already under way, and the Senate primary is turning into a battle between two factions of the party that will play out the same day Hoosiers cast presidential ballots. Although this primary shares many elements with the top-of-the-ticket, the Senate candidates are in some ways more complicated than the establishment-versus-outsider dichotomy that’s animated so much of the GOP presidential race.

Democrats to sue Arizona officials over primary voting problems
David Schwartz, Reuters 

The Democratic National Committee will file a federal lawsuit over the actions of Arizona election officials during the presidential primary that caused long waits at the polls and critics said disenfranchised voters, especially minorities.

Advocacy

Many GOP lobbyists will go to Cleveland but the thrill is gone
Catherine Ho, The Washington Post 

Despite their reservations, top GOP lobbyists are still planning to decamp to Cleveland this summer, if only to watch possibly the first contested convention the party has seen since 1976.

A Message from PhRMA:

Innovative treatments and cures can help solve our nation’s health care cost challenges. For example, a new medicine that delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by five years would avoid $367 billion annually in health care services by 2050. With the U.S. projected to spend $13.5 trillion on hospital care over the next decade, it is critical that new medicines continue to be developed that keep patients healthier and out of the hospital. Learn more here.

Opinions, Editorials & Perspectives

On Zika, Congress Is Failing to Do Its Job
The Editorial Board, The New York Times 

Having learned from its slow response to Ebola, the Obama administration is trying to move faster against Zika. But if Congress doesn’t do its job, the public will be put at needless risk.

California’s Water Injustice
The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal 

El Niño has doused northern California, but farmers in the state’s Central Valley won’t see much benefit. The Obama Administration is again indulging its progressive friends at the expense of low-income communities.

Clintonism, RIP
Charles Krauthammer, National Review 

For the man who changed the image of the Democratic Party 25 years ago by daring to challenge the reverse racism of Sister Souljah to have to bow to this new — false — orthodoxy, symbolizes perfectly how far the Democratic Party has traveled since the Clinton era.

The Stories We Tell About Politics
Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker 

The story is oft told that the entire country is angry: enraged at politics and politicians alike, and moved by economic insecurity toward characters like Donald Trump. Good evidence to show this is much scanter than one might think judged by how often you hear it.

A Message from PhRMA:

Innovative treatments and cures can help solve our nation’s health care cost challenges. For example, a new medicine that delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by five years would avoid $367 billion annually in health care services by 2050. With the U.S. projected to spend $13.5 trillion on hospital care over the next decade, it is critical that new medicines continue to be developed that keep patients healthier and out of the hospital. Learn more here.

Research Reports, Issue Briefs & Case Studies

The Better Budget Process Iniative: Strengthening the Budget Resolution
Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget 

Currently, the budget resolution mechanism has not been an effective tool in providing a framework for legislative action or imposing fiscal discipline. Congress has repeatedly failed to pass budget resolutions in recent years, and when it does adopt a budget resolution it fails to follow through and enforce the budget. As part of our Better Budget Process Initiative, we have identified several potential changes to the budget resolution mechanism to make it a more meaningful and effective tool.