Government Relations Report: August 2017

The Congress has recessed for the summer. Congress left Washington having failed to pass a  replacement for the Affordable Care Act, make noticeable headway on tax reform or an infrastructure package, or pass Congressional Budget Resolutions. It is months late on the appropriations process and must resolve FY 18 spending and confront a looming crisis over the debt ceiling.
 
You can tell it is recess because the Members have left town and the staff that was dressed conservatively the other day is now wearing jeans. Only the advocates are wearing business attire.

APPROPRIATIONS

There were important developments in the budget and appropriations worlds. On July 19th, the full House Appropriations Committee completed its consideration of the FY 2018 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill and sent the bill to the full House, which could vote on it after Labor Day. In reporting on the bill, Committee Members made clear that they do not support the kind of Draconian cuts assumed in the President's budget. Indeed Subcommittee Chair, Tom Cole (R-OK), talked about adding funds if Congress could reach a bi-partisan agreement on increasing spending.