Skip to main content

tv   CQ Roll Call Discusses Appropriations Process  CSPAN  July 14, 2021 7:40am-8:40am EDT

7:40 am
c-span 3 the senate foreign relations hold budget hearing at 10:30 with samantha power head of agency for international development. that's followed by a senate judiciary subcommittee hearing by voting rights at 2:30 p.m. eastern. next look at appropriation's process with journalists from cq roll call and talk about funding proposals for defense and u.s. capitol security and impact of earmarks this is just under an hour. >> welcome to webinar on appropriation 2021. where do we go from here? i'm your moderator sean, editor of magazine and joining our conversation today are two of top reporters, john donnelly, senior writer covering defense and jennifer, budget and
7:41 am
appropriation's reporter. with the most established press corps on capitol here, has been trust today deliver the right news at the right time to every congressional office, all 3 branches of government, the vast majority of the agencies and thousands of organizations for over 75 years. home too cq roll call, will empowers more than 5,000 worldwide and monitor, manage and act on the issues that mart most to them. to learn more about and family of brands, visit and follow at fiscal note. this conversation is recorded on the record and open to the press. we will share the recording with you viahe e-mail later this wee. and we highly encourage you to submit questions into the q&a
7:42 am
bar throughout the webinar. now i would like to begin our q&a, welcome, jen and welcome john. >> hi. >> thanks for having me. >> where do things stand for the appropriation's bill? more actioneen far this year than the senate. in the house appropriation committee they have spending bills and will complete subcommittee markups today with full committee, the senate has not gotten going yet and chairman pat leahy hopes to mark up some of the emails before the chamber levers for recess, we haven't seen official't schedule over there and that has to do
7:43 am
whether or not there can be bipartisan agreement on total spending levels. in the senate by bipartisanship to advance appropriation bill and typically start with the atotal spending level which we haven't gotten yet. >> she wants to use the government spending in fiscal 2022 to tackle gender inequality, how specifically would democrats allocate the money to achieve those goals? >> so we have seen from house democrats as they roll out the dozen annual spending bills. racial and gender equity as well as climate change, you can see those words and funding levels in almost all and we will be
7:44 am
here for days but just the highlight transportation bill would identify and support communities with barriers that prevent access to job schools and businesses, the bill causes thriving community's began and democrats would get millions in additional funding and the department of housing and urban developments through various housing assistance programs. the spending bill in the house, that the house panel has produced, voting rights and gun violence throughout several policy initiatives the democrats have put forward but to highlight a couple of those in the bill, democrats would appropriate 5 million for national police misconduct registry as well as 11 million for research on domestic violence including white
7:45 am
supremacist extremism and climate change is really something that we democrats talk about through most of the bill but particularly the interior environment spending bill and the energy water appropriations bill and while the energy appropriation's billpr doesn't include a specific line item to create advance research project agency addressing climate, there are various c funding initiativs in the energy water bill that would address budget request. we can be here for hours and days. >> jennifer, how much do the house bills track the proposal that president biden has put forward? >> yeah, when you have the same party in power in congress as you do in the white house, the spending bills tend to track
7:46 am
that budget request pretty closely. it is a bit challenging to do line by line, the budget request and hundreds of pages and the appropriation's bill with hundreds of pages as well. if you look at big initiatives and priorities that the biden administration and democrats in congress want to accomplish, they line up pretty well in terms of funding levels and funding policy. >> and, john, you're a defense expert. republicans are annoyed that president biden has supported only small increase for defense and they say it doesn't track inflation. how much of an issue is that going to be forward? >> a big issue that will slow and complicate the debate. in fact, i would say i would suggest it's the biggest issue on which the two water would disagree. so depending on how t you descre
7:47 am
defense spending, you can give different figures. the biggest figure is $753 billion, that encompasses all national defense programs and then the defense department is 100 billion versus on the left 10% decrease. they had a vote on that last year. 10% decrease and to the right people like oklahoma republican who chairs the armed services committee, he would like to see
7:48 am
3% increase and 3 to 5% is what he's advocating. biden has not gone the way the liberals want but not gone quite as high inhoff wants bute definitely a dispute. they still have to figure out the total amount of spending and underneath that, all of the subcommittee allocations in the senate. so definitely a big dispute there. i should point out, first of all, the amount of spending that biden is proposing for defense would be the largest amount since world war ii in inflation adjusted terms except for the height of the iraq and afghanistan wars. it's not a small budget, right. it's just grown so much since 9/11. the budget control gaps which by the way are gone as of this year, didn't much to say limited in their extent in which they restrained both defense and
7:49 am
nondefense spending. my point is this is an epic level of spending and the second point is if you were to have a 3 to 5% increase per year, in roabout 10 years you would have about a trillion dollars. so it matters enormously what they do this year because it sets a baseline and it sets expectations and if it were to continue, would really have a serious fiscal impact. >> far largest of the 12. even a small percentage increase, we are talking about big dollars. >> right. >> senate minority leader mitch mcconnell discussed annoyance with biden's proposal pretty wregularly on the senate floor this year. could this get to the point where it delays progress on the bills, pushes them past the deadline at the end of september? >> i think it will, absolutely,
7:50 am
delay it. one of the safest bets in washington is that we will have a cr, continuing resolution every year and i'm guessing jennifer would agree that that's extremely likely again this year and that's one of the big reasons that republicans will dig in their heels on the total amount of money. >> and where do they want to spend more money, john? >> there are certain categories of defense spending that republicans tend to favor more aggressively than others. missile defense is one. shipbuilding to a larger extent, every year something that they push parred. but it's amazing how bipartisan the consensus is at least on the defense panels as to where the increases should go and, in fact, where the decreases should come to pay for them. the members of the appropriations and armed services committee tend to
7:51 am
hardware, bending metal, you see, those are the programs that have established constituencies that have people who have, you know, high-paying jobs, performing this work and so, you know, that's where you have a lot of political support and you see that in the house appropriation defense bill that we have just gotten in the last few days where they would increase biden's procurement request and make a similar decrease in research and development accounts. so overall, there's a lot of consensus of where they spend the money and i can give you a few examples if you'den like. things like medical research, every single year they add about a billion dollars for medical researching, every year not requested by the pentagon. that's done at the defense department facilities. national guard reserve and equipment account about a billion dollars every single year not requested by thegl defense department.
7:52 am
normally a lot of money for f35 fighter jets, $2 billion a year on average, that's a staggering amount of money above requested by the defense department but this year, the house appropriators did not add that. we will see if that changes as we go forward. >> there was a report and they'll be considering this week. what can you tell us about what was in that report? >> first of all, jennifer was talking about racial equity and gender equity and those sorts of things.r you see those hand prints of those issues all over the defense bill as well. it mainly comes in the form of demanding reports from the pentagon on things like the growth in extremism in the ranks or -- or whether it's grown or not is not clear but definitely
7:53 am
elements of extremism in the ranks and violent extremist groups seek to recruit from the military. they want to neglect about thatp racial equity and the fact that minorities make up such a large amount of the defense department's ranks but when you look at the seniors they are very difficult to find. climate change is another one. they say the defense department spent $8 billion, a figure i haven't seen before trying to deal with the impacts of climate change and they want to know more about this. they want to list the $ most vulnerable basis, for example, sexual assault is another issue that is a big concern, well, for both parties but democrats in particular betty, the chair of the defense spending panel in the house, it's a big concern for her. they're adding, i think, $54 million for sexual assault prevention and response, so that
7:54 am
is a big issue. afghanistan is another big issue and they expressed concerns about a couple of things. they don't come out and say it but they are concerned that they are not doing enough to deal with the interpreters and other afghans who have risked their life and lives might be in jeopardy now that we are almost completely out of there. they are concerned about what is going -- how the military is going to be able to monitor mithings if -- if they start to unreally, government falls and civil war, they are talking over the horizon capabilities but the committee says there's not much clarity on what that means. so they are o definitely reflecting a lot of concern about afghanistan. they also say, hey, you know, we are funding this at a certain level $3 billion this year for afghan security forces but this is not over. so there could be -- who knows
7:55 am
how it's going to turn out and what the effect will be on the defense budget. >> that's interesting, john. the afghanistan issue seems to cut across both parties. you have some on each side who think we are moving hastefully to withdraw and the ones that hastefully want to get out. we may now know how things are going in afghanistan after where we pulled t out. there may be big development in the taliban's move to take over the country and could that affect how the appropriation goes? could we see appropriators pushing back if we are seeing a humanitarian catastrophe? >> absolutely, yeah,e yeah. it's a politically very difficult thing. once you have extracted the troops which even september 11th is the official deadline, biden said they're basically going to be out by the end of august and
7:56 am
in reality o they are basically almost out now. it is in fact, over. in fact, today the commander in afghanistan officially relinquished his command and turned it over to head of central command who will see things from tampa, florida, a milestone today. so, yeah, small to protect the embassy in kabul. contractors who helped maintain the aircraft in particular, the afghan military, they are almost out of there too. thee taliban has made extraordinary gains recently. they control now some 80% of the territory. they still don't have major capital like kabul in particular but, youe know, they are definitely moving. it seems like it's a matter of time and the question is not whether there will be a conflict and perhaps not whether the
7:57 am
government will fall but only when and whether the united states would then do something to return. like i said, it's pretty hard once you have pulled out to turn back around and go back in especially for president biden who has invested political capital in this decision. >> i would like to remind our listeners today to submit questions into the q&a box at ecthe bottom of the window. we will go through them at the end of the webinar. jen, let me go back to you, another sticking point is language related to federal funding for abortion. what do thela democrats want and how is that likely to affect the process of getting the bills enacted? >> this is going to be out there with figuring out how much defense in the upcoming fiscal year, this is going to be one of the bigger debates between republicans and democrats as this process unfolds particularly in the house appropriation's committee later this week and the house floor later this month.
7:58 am
democratsse left-leaning and progressive democrats for years have been pushing to remove amendment from the annual labor hhs and education funding bill and funding prohibition in some form or another has been a spending bill since 1976 and what it does, it prevents federal funding for abortion services with limited exceptions and this is something that left-leaning democrats have been needing to remove but last year presidential biden supported removing the height amendment. and so we know that that height amendment as well as several other provisions not just labor in hhs and education bill but
7:59 am
other appropriation bills as well that had various impacts helped democrats remove all of those from the spending bills that they existed and so that is going to be one of the really big policy and funding fights. we heard this morning in the subcommittee markup that republicans are planning to offer an amendment later this week and full committee markup and add permissions back into the bill and things will be successful with that, but it's most likely they will also try to get amendment on the house floor later this month if the bill goes to house floor for debate. we don't yet know what the senate appropriation committee may or may not do with the height amendment and the other provisions throughout their bills. we know that over there, subcommittee chairman, she has been vocal that she supports
8:00 am
removing the height amendment from thatup spending bill, but democratic joe manchin has indicated that he's not supportive of removing the height amendment and other provisions and it is evenly divided between republicans and democrats. knowing that the senate needs bipartisanship to advance appropriation bills on the floor and really unlikely that you get ten republicans or 11, i guess, in this case to support that bill if you remove. ..
8:01 am
this subcommittee chair in the house says she doesn't expect a bill to get to the floor. that contradicts what we are hearing from the majority leader steny hoyer who sayson he wantso move all the bills. >> house majority steuer goal was to move all bills to the house floor before the end of july but there's been no official change in that position but he did note to one of my colleagues before the house took their fourth of july break it could be both challenging to get all 12 12 appropriation billn the house floor. we don't expect much, if any, republican support for this bill from the house floor. house democratic leaders willing
8:02 am
to do make sure any spending bill or packages many bills to the house floor that they challenge of them very well and very constantly ahead of time and that's going to be particularly challenging on the whole security bill. during the trump administration with the border while funding bill and so they ran into a lot of conflicts there not just amongst democrats but some moderate republicans as well in texas republicans with eminent domain issues during the trump administration and so while biden is the president now and he's taken steps to roll back border barrier construction along the u.s.-mexico border the still all lot of provisions in here that are politically challenging and complicated from a policy standpoint as well for democrats not only in-house but in the senate. the biggest issue that like they get tripped up on is making sure provisions regarding immigrations and customs enforcement and customs and border protection are written in
8:03 am
a way that will protect house democrats and moderate -- house democrats can support and this is exactly the problem of the ran into the last two years on those separate homeland security funding bills. democrats and house -- more democrats support. it didn't have enough support from various members of the house democratic conference to advance homeland security bills to a floor vote based on issues, different issues amongst moderate and progressive democrats in the house, but around those funding issues predominantly oversight and funding barriers. whenever speaking with the chairwoman of house homeland affairs she indicated she has been talking a lot with house
8:04 am
democrats and that d she hopes that biden being in office have alleviated some concerns. there's been a lot of concerns of the last few months with immigration of the u.s.-mexico border as far as the treatment of ice and cbp of minors and others in their custody we've been hearing from republicans and democrats although different concerns there. . >> also it is a supplement appropriations bill for capital security. the house has passed a measure stemming from the january 6 right at the capital now we have heard the capital police are running out of funding. i think republicans have countered with a much smaller bill where does that stand
8:05 am
quick. >> these negotiations have been fraught from the beginning with one.$9 billion supplemental they did so without republican backing and had some issues with the democratic members as well. and with that link the amount of time and with the progressive democrats and then that's the only way the bill could clear the house floor the senate negotiations to advance the support so we heard criticism they have not found a willing partner and that seems to be countered a bit by the draft dated june 29
8:06 am
and mostly to reimburse the national guard and all the cost associated with that national guard troops to the capital. and then to hear from various defense officials like the secretary of defense as well as operational maintenance so republicans and democrats are outlined on so we also seem to be relatively aligned on some accounts but not all accounts but not officially capital police the democrats on the
8:07 am
house appropriations committee of course of a lot of continuing security concerns around the capital and that proposal at 15 million for the architect at the capital and a security throughout the complex so at the earliest with those agreements in the senate. we heard that the draft circulated of the proposal mentioning issues related to covid-19 and is also mentioning something earlier with afghan nationals to help
8:08 am
us military in the biden administration's effort to make sure they are securely outside afghanistan. that is something to be into the supplemental. we expect to see the lazy draft at some point this week he drafted a policy difference between a and the democrats with the senator lazy draft but the bill but that is that it's not the national guard funding that they need to readjust. >> another bill to watch is the legislative branch bill there has been on modernization committee at work in the house making
8:09 am
recommendations how to make the house function more effectively one of the recommendations for example is to increase the pay. there is a lot of staff turnover. it tends to be junior so the thinking is that members turn to lobbyists and experts for or businesses for expertise so it seems to make good sense the legislative branch would pay for that to be implemented. >> it is an interesting process to follow pretty much everything it does that what they produced is bipartisan. so those funding of the elements is that with any appropriations process so one of the areas that this is an
8:10 am
issue that both parties have been talking about for quite some time just walking the halls if most people are vaccinated. it is pretty obvious with the environment for the most part but it is the pay it is very costly in addition to just buying groceries. this is one area a lot of members need to work on. so the way that you were do this with the defense spending bill and with basic budgets for lawmakers so that was the
8:11 am
guarantee for each member of the house is in charge of how they break that down. but it is up to the individual house member to decide for that pay our with the workload issues. or potentially funding for other items that are allowed. with increase for staff but it would allow members some breathing room in the budget to do that. >> i want to ask you both for your predictions of how this moves forward. typically congress has not been able to get the bills passed in recent years or decades ending up in the
8:12 am
omnibus measure even with the continuing resolution. so what are the chances much gets done by the deadline in september will be see a continuing resolution? is there a chance of a government shutdown? >> i think we will have a continuing resolution it would be a surprise if we didn't and harmony broke out. all the conflicts that jen just outlined suggested it would be very difficult for them to resolve. even to get it out of the house let alone with them in the senate. i was wondering myself this it's difficult to get the nondefense bills to the floor and what does that mean for defense?
8:13 am
democrats could get it passed and check it off the list and with the defense fill in their back pocket. so since then i'm not sure this will play out that that could make the defense bill hostage to other nondefense issues. that we've already talked about the debate on the top line with the total amount of money defense versus nondefense. i forget how many years in a row we've had the cr so it is the norm. so is the omnibus. i think it's failsafe to defy a tradition if we broke with that pattern.
8:14 am
i think it will happen. the government shutdown? i don't know the odds of that. and with the defendants total i give a prediction. there will be a compromise that will go up a little bit more think he would be slightly higher i would be very surprised if he gets up to that level. but over the years that the strength of the industry to get what they want on capitol hill. i would not that against them. >> with that political dynamic what strikes me is that we are operating on spending levels enacted during the trump presidency in a continuing resolution and democrats i
8:15 am
think want to refine from that. >> the concern for the most part so that is something that the vice-chairman. but to listen on spending issues or how they will play out throughout the year and then make those comments to reporters and interviews and then those markups and house appropriations with that discretionary spending level and then to put all of that
8:16 am
other restrictions and provisions back into the spending bill so republicans are pretty early on in the process at least they have been very clear about the areas they went to deal on so i don't necessarily see a whole lot challenges with the party getting to that bipartisan level i think the one thing i'm happy to hear with the shutdown are not is and not to be in annual spending bills so there is compromising or middleground there is to protect the
8:17 am
decades-old agreements so then to get going those are the big issues i will be watching i absolutely think all the discretionary budget and up in a continuing resolution with the friday before things giving before they leave for the december break and then it motivates people little bit so i think whether or not if that is the last cr for the year? i think there is a lot of other issues that the party is focused on right now so with the infrastructure and then
8:18 am
that will determine congressional leaders and the administration officials to negotiate. >> please enter in the box at the bottom of the screen. and then to interplay the fiscal 22 budget resolution which is the key to the reconciliation process that democrats are planning to pass the biden agenda for infrastructure of childcare or pre- community college efforts to combat climate change and
8:19 am
all of these things that was laid out earlier this year part of the 4 trillion-dollar agenda but that you have the interplay with big money so what is your assessment of that? will we know soon what can be included in reconciliation? >> yes and no. so when we see the democratic budget resolution over the next week or two for the committees to have various proposals so we can get a sense of what they spend on the reconciliation bill but we
8:20 am
really cannot get a good sense of the policy in the reconciliation bill access based on what we have already heard from the biden administration from their legislative priorities. but to know exactly what that casework is until the bill is reported and marked up by the committee that would be early september. >> and my listeners have to do with supply chain issue the senate passed a bill earlier this year dealing with competition in china with the national science foundation
8:21 am
with some conductor research and production. but has the on that so how much does covid and the aftermath way over the appropriation password? people continue to have getting goods it's very easy to get now there are months long delays because errors difficulty to get products to the united states is that coming up bad all quick. >> this did not jump out at me from the house appropriations defense report but definitely it jumped out from a recent
8:22 am
reprogramming that was sent over at four.$3 billion for the prior-year appropriations and covid was sprinkled throughout that. and in interesting ways you didn't just cost them money but say that many in a lot of ways. they spend less money on some training exercises to fly people over a far-flung place for an operation because nobody got on an airplane. so they saved many but then there are scores of different places that has had an effect and just new programming request going forward, the
8:23 am
obvious way with the enormous impact on the macro budget situation because of the effect of the economy. so much of biden spending proposals are related or reacting to the effects of covid have been. that is not a defense issue but has downstream effects from every federal program. >> we are tracking earmarks after a long hiatus. what is going on? do you think the house will become law and local projects would be funded? >> both the house has put out specific guidelines were
8:24 am
committee project funding or whatever lawmaker you are talking to at the time feels like using. 's we have seen a lot of information come out in terms of funding and how that works its way to the appropriations bill not all are eligible for earmarks. and the senate appropriations committee do the same thing to be eligible for earmarks and in the earmarks of the for-profit entities with some of the's projects that they make their way for the
8:25 am
for-profit entities so there is a difference between the house and the senate. also the difference because each house member is no such feeling for senators and the earmarks funding with the appropriations bill. that those are two different ways. so so far they do feel it has been very transparent. has spoken to any republican appropriators the past couple of weeks. they have said in the first year they have to have learning experiences in the
8:26 am
house appropriations committee is much further along so at this point in time so what it may get into like a said earlier it has not released any official markup schedule yet so we don't know if we will see bills in the back channel before the august recess. >> one interesting thing we reported is that it doesn't seem to be affecting the way republicans vote on the house side. republicans have gotten the earmark approved. that's one of the major selling points with the passage of legislation.
8:27 am
is that now a dead letter? >> so to get this going why they are appreciative and with the spending bills and to vote for these bills in the current committee based on the bigger issues like the defense spending for abortion and as we are hearing from republican so far this will cause a little bit of frustration among democrats to say that the republican votes against the spending bills and then
8:28 am
the top democrat and then to say that she believes they come to their senses. so the spending bills even working in good faith that that being said the houses in control and it does tend to go against so that in itself isn't worthy. >> we had questions on to other pending bills and just the question being what is the prognosis are there any serious hangups? >> that it tends to be less
8:29 am
controversial i have not heard about any big controversies either. there will be the overall questions as part of the defense department so it is part of the debate on the total amount of money versus nondefense so that will definitely be impacted by that. a quick thought on the earmarks they don't call the earmarks but they still exist. the committee wants to add $10 million for a certain number of helicopters in a members district effectively it is an earmark even if it
8:30 am
doesn't meet the definition congress has set forth. so you have to step back and recognize the practice has never really stopped it has just been redefined. >> and to make the policy changes in healthcare like drug pricing or changes to obama care is that likely to be something appropriators would deal with or is that part of the broader reconciliation site? >> and those that a large level but it does sound like there is a lie the discretion with that reconciliation
8:31 am
process but i believe it will coalesce that coming off of the pandemic and through the public health issues they had billions in additional funding. and then they need democrats in that bill for additional funding to the nih but those of really come to the forefront before the pandemic but that only works on certain issues. so going forward, i am curious to see what they think others
8:32 am
can be on funding level particularly with public health going forward or the possibility with the covid-19 and to the economy so particularly in the past and with that nih and with that umbrella. and that is something we can see on with to work its way to the process and looking forward to what happens that is identical. >> that that affects the
8:33 am
pentagon for preparedness? is that the appropriations type quick. >> yes. what is interesting and it is mind-boggling about the administration's request they cut funding for a pentagon program that funds biological surveillance networks around the world. it is self-interest at work because they want to make sure that they know what diseases the troops may be exposed to around the world. but has also helped everyone in particular pentagon funded lab in thailand to detect the first case in china january of last year. the biden administration proposed cutting the program
8:34 am
and the report from the defense appropriations subcommittee said no. not a good idea. that is one interesting element. the defense department has been involved in every step of the effort to have the medical research facilities to be extremely involved. it's horrible to think about but this is not the last pandemic. experts have warned there will be more going forward but because human beings are in closer proximity to animal diseases because of the spread of human civilization. not a nice thought but what people are thinking about. >> so when is it expiring?
8:35 am
when does congress have to deal with it? is it part of the appropriations package? >> that expires the end of july after that the treasury department can use extraordinary measures for the delivery day so either congress takes action or they have a date of default so that option of treasury which has never happened in american history the impact not just the domestic economy but the
8:36 am
global economy and congress figures out a way. but one of the things the covid-19 funding and uncertainty about going forward and that remains a very wide window we heard from the policy center last week and typically defended by this point when the country just a few weeks out from the expiration and that they would have not to be a default. so they encourage congress to act as soon as possible and to get secretary ellen on as well along with the appropriations
8:37 am
subcommittee and also urge congress to act as soon as possible. one thing that happened when the house a doctor the budget reginald one - - resolution that lucrative spinoff a bill through the senate but it has to take its own legislation. but then i would be a little bit scared with how much certainty there is going to extraordinary measures into the >> got jennifer and john thank you so much for taking the time today. thank you to our listeners joining us. thank you to those who posed questions, and apologies because
8:38 am
we did not get to them all. this is been a great conversation. unfortunately we're out of time. i would like to thank everyone for participating today. we know your time is valuable and we appreciate you spend it with us. if you enjoyed our discussion today i wanted to let you know about our next webinar on july 21, best practices following the appropriations process. please note that this webinar is for current clients only. we will include this information in our follow-up email as well. have a great rest of your day. thanks so much. >> federal reserve chair jerome powell testifies today on monetary policy in the economy before the house financial services committee. live coverage begins at noon eastern on c-span, online or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> next, legal expert testified before the house administration committee on the elections
8:39 am
clause and the role congress plays in regulating federal elections. witnesses answered questions about the founders views on the elections, the history of the elections clause, and federal versus state jurisdiction in constructing laws around voting. this is about an hour and a half. >> are hearing today will examine the broad constitutional authority provided to congress to regulate federal elections under article one, section four clause one of the u.s. constitution c known as the elections clause. the clause reads as follows, quote, times, places and manner of holding elections, for senators and representativesor shall be described in each state by the legislature thereof. but the congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations except as to the places of choosing senators. the text is clearre


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on