Congressional leaders reached a deal to boost military and non-defense spending, paving the way for a comprehensive deal to fund government through the end of the fiscal year. To be clear, there is still a lot of work to do to finalize the 12 spending bills and the agreement can still fall apart at any time. In fact, the appropriators who cut the deal—Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy, Senate Ranker Richard Shelby, House Appropriations Chair Rose DeLauro, and House Ranker Kay Granger—will not even release the funding totals in the deal but it has the approval of leadership. “I am pleased that we have reached agreement on a framework, which will allow our subcommittees to get to work finalizing an omnibus,” DeLauro said, adding that appropriators will “now proceed with great intensity to enact legislation.” There is no word yet on which (or any) of the previously agreed to earmarks will make it into the final spending package.
After months of resistance, Congress also appears on the verge of an agreement to ban trading of individual stocks by Members of Congress with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer joining the chorus calling for the reform. Pelosi and Democratic leaders greenlighted a plan to draft legislation last week. The House Appropriations Committee will begin drafting legislation with the goal of bringing it to a vote this year, potentially before midterm elections. In the Senate, several versions of the bill have been introduced, with the most high profile proposal from Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Steve Daines of Montana. The deal to bring legislation to the floor represents an about face for Speaker Pelosi who last December opposed a ban, saying “We’re a free market economy. [Members of Congress] should be able to participate in that.”
Back in New York State…
The budget train continues down the tracks this week with additional hearings on Mental Hygiene, Transportation, Economic Development, and Taxes. Last week, lawmakers held Joint Legislative Budget Hearings on Local Government, Higher Education, and Health. There was also some legislative action with the Senate Consumer Protection Committee advancing comprehensive data privacy legislation—the New York Privacy Act—and confirmations on the floor for a few of Hochul’s outstanding nominees. Governor Hochul also took action on masks, adding New York to the list of states ending their mandates. They continue in effect in schools for the foreseeable future.
Report: Andrew Cuomo Looking For Perfect Moment To Make You Forget He Left Office In Total Disgrace
Andrew Cuomo, who resigned in August amid cascading sexual harassment accusations against him, has apparently had enough of political exile. The ex-governor of New York and his aides are said to be ramping up an attempt to revive his image, an undertaking that may soon give way to his first public appearance since he left office in disgrace. [Read more.]
How Hochul Has Won Over New York’s Fractious Political World
If all goes as expected, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul will get the lion’s share of support from New York state Democrats at the party’s convention Thursday. It’s the culmination of the first six months in office for Hochul governing a vast and complicated state. [Read more.]
What is Critical Race Theory?
Black History Month 2022 is being marked as American society grapples with the significance of Black history, with discussions around the relevance and necessity of critical race theory taking center stage. This reckoning with racism was brought to the forefront of American consciousness in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers in May 2020. [Read more.]