Now that the Senate passed the conference agreement on the budget resolution, the congressional leadership now has at its disposal the ability to pass legislation under reconciliation.
The Senate will soon pass the House-Senate “conference agreement” on the budget for fiscal year 2016 (which runs from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016). This is the final step in the budget resolution process that began with the House and Senate, respectively, passing separate budget resolutions; a conference committee meeting to hammer out a single compromise budget (the conference agreement); and the House passing this conference agreement. Among other things, the resolution shows the budget coming to balance after 10 years; does this mean that this will really happen?
The Fed has been engaged in extraordinary monetary policy, including a near-zero policy (“federal funds”) interest rate, for eight years. It has openly signaled its desire to normalize monetary policy and to begin raising rates in 2015. Unemployment continues to fall toward levels considered consistent with full employment, but so far no rate increase has been announced. Why not?
President Obama has signed into law recently passed bipartisan legislation to enhance energy efficiency. The bill’s authors Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, have been working on energy efficiency issues for a number of years.
Biologics are complex-molecule pharmaceuticals (as compared to the simpler, small-molecule drugs familiar to patients). Biologic drugs are living organisms and therefore cannot be copied in the same way that generic versions of traditional drugs can.
The Conference Board released its consumer confidence index which fell to 95.2 in April from 101. 4 in March. Confidence in both the current economic conditions and the outlook for the future both fell. The decline comes on the heels of other weak economy data recently and in advance of tomorrow’s release of the initial estimate of growth in Gross Domestic Product for the 1st quarter. First quarter growth will likely fall short of one percent.
One reservation conservatives have voiced about Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) is that it would further empower a president already guilty of serial executive overreach. Independent of how one views his "I've got a pen, and I've got a phone” approach to governance, this simply gets TPA wrong.
Under the process set up by the Budget Act of 1974, both the House and Senate must pass budget resolutions. However, to fully comply with the law they must agree on a single, compromise version (known as the conference agreement) and pass it through both houses of Congress.
Senator Jeff Sessions has a long history of opposition to legislation that would provide a path to legal status for undocumented immigrations. But he caused an even bigger stir recently with an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for choking back legal immigration.
The Obama Administration is seeking authority to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to manage spikes in global oil prices. This is fundamentally wrong-headed. Price controls explicitly or by “managing” supply are always a bad idea open to political manipulation. The administration should rely more on market forces, including allowing oil exports, not less.