This Week in Congress

The Senate comes into session and is likely to spend the bulk of the week on nominations, including a new member of the Federal Communications Commission.

The House is in session Monday through Friday. The big bill on the schedule is the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, which should have been passed in the spring. The budget provides for the use of reconciliation for tax reform, which enables it to be passed with 51 votes in the Senate.

Because of the use of reconciliation for tax reform, many fiscal conservatives are under great pressure to put aside concerns and vote for the bill—and there are reasons to be concerned. The bill spends $621.5 billion in military spending, a $70 billion increase that does not count the $75 billion for the “global war on terrorism.”

The budget spends $511 billion in non-defense spending. While claims are that it will balance in ten years, it relies on optimistic forecasts of economic growth which are unlikely to come to pass. In fact, the economy is more likely to experience another Federal Reserve created economic downturn.

The House will also consider H.R. 36, which makes it a federal crime to preform an abortion after 22 weeks. You can read  Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul's thoughts on legislation making abortion a federal crime here.

The House will also consider a number of bills under suspension of the rules including:

  1. H.R. 2316— Allows development of oil and gas in certain parts of the Allegheny National Forest. Of course, when government controls the land, it is impossible to know what the best use of the land is, which is one reason the government should be selling off its land holdings.

  2. H.R. 1918– Makes it official U.S. policy to oppose loans by international financial institutions to Niagara until the country holds free and fair elections.

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