Budget battles begin (or maybe not so much), you must still demand DEFUND of RAP
Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 14, 2016
They are back, or just getting back as Congress is in full swing at least for a few days starting tomorrow! See a schedule here for the next few days.
BTW, I see no mention of the legally required hearing that Rep. Trey Gowdy (Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration) is supposed to have had in advance of the fiscal year (before October 1st!) on the US Refugee Admissions Program (RAP) for FY2017.
It is almost 13 minutes long and well worth listening to, but be sure to listen starting around the 1:50 mark where the Congressman says he plans to work hard and diligently to attach his DEFUND the RAP measure on the Continuing Resolution (or final budget plan) which ever they address in the lame duck session.
So what is happening now that Donald Trump has shocked the country with his victory and the House and Senate remain in Republican hands?
The Hill is reporting that there may be another CR that would continue funding the government at FY2016 levels into February of next year. This would give the incoming Trump team an opportunity to shape the budget for the remaining months of the year to their liking.
It would also have the benefit of cutting out Obama and the likes of Harry Reid from presiding over a contentious December budget fight.
Unless the Department of State, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, or the VOLAGs have money left over from last year, I am making the assumption that the FY2016 level is not adequate to get Obama’s 110,000 refugees in to the US by September 30th. They could try to do a rush job and bring them in at high levels now, but they will be gambling on whether they will have money in the second half of the year.
[An aside: I hope this is the last year of this shameful inattention to the federal budget and that Congress gets on the stick and completes the Appropriations bills BEFORE the fiscal year begins on October 1. Not finishing the bills is a sign of shoddy leadership in my opinion! See here.]
See the story in The Hill here (note some Republicans are on Obama’s team and want the budget finished in December):
GOP groups are seizing on Donald Trump’s victory in an attempt to avert the long-dreaded spending deal with President Obama in the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress.
Members of the Republican Study Committee are renewing their calls for leadership to hold off on negotiating this year’s spending bill process until after Obama leaves office.
RSC Chairman Bill Flores of Texas said in an interview that his members are backing a short-term spending bill that goes through Feb. 28. That would give the next Congress and the incoming president about five weeks to approve the budget for 2017, which was initially due in September.
It’s an idea that conservatives, led by groups such as Heritage Action and FreedomWorks, had first floated this summer, long before Trump’s surprise victory on Tuesday.
Calls to kick the appropriations process into next year received a lukewarm reception on Capitol Hill earlier this year, with the prospect of a Democratic-controlled White House and Senate looming.
That calculation has now drastically changed.
Much of the outcome will depend on Trump, who must quickly decide whether GOP leaders should clear the decks or let him get involved during the precious first 100 days of his presidency.
Your job remains, no matter when they finish the budget, to demand DEFUNDING of the RAP.
Appropriations are policy!
Tell them to defund it until Congress can seriously look at either reforming it or trashing it altogether! See my thoughts on what Trump should do on January 21st.
For all of our many posts on Congress and the budget process see our tag ‘Where is Congress.’