Notice & Comment

Author: Sam Wice

Notice & Comment

Two Suggested Additions to the Proposed Balanced Budget Amendment

The House of Representatives plans to vote this Thursday on a constitutional amendment to require a balanced budget. To ensure that a future Congress does not use budgetary gimmicks to avoid balancing the budget, I suggest including two additional provisions: (i) prevent the shifting of costs into future fiscal years and (ii) enshrine the independence of […]

Notice & Comment

Eliminating the Filibuster on Appropriations Bills Would Not Prevent a Shutdown

The federal government recently shut down for three days because the Senate could not pass an appropriations bill with a filibuster-proof majority.  In response, President Trump and House Republicans suggested eliminating the filibuster for appropriations bills.  However, eliminating such a filibuster would likely have prevented the Senate from considering the failed continuing resolution that Republicans […]

Notice & Comment

Why Some of President Trump’s Efforts to Mitigate the Shutdown Were Likely Illegal

With the government reopening soon, I thought now would be a good time to examine some of President Trump’s actions regarding the shutdown.  To mitigate the immediate impact of the shutdown, the Trump administration did not shut down agencies that still had unused funds.  However, this decision likely violated appropriations law. The Constitution specifies that “[n]o […]

Notice & Comment

Recess Appointments Revisited

In January, I wrote that recess appointments would likely return this year because the same party controls the presidency, Senate, and House of Representatives.   With an upcoming recess, I thought now would be a good time to revisit the subject and figure out why I was wrong. The Constitution gives “[t]he President [the] Power to fill up […]

Notice & Comment

Congress Just Allowed President Trump to Estimate the Official Costs of Tax Reform

Republicans plan to pass a deficit increasing tax-reform proposal, but the Pay-As-You-Go Act (PAYGO) requires that legislation cannot increase the deficit within a five-year or ten-year window.  If legislation would increase the deficit in either window, an offsetting, automatic sequestration would kick in.  Although the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) […]

Notice & Comment

The Gimmick Republicans Could Use to Avoid a PAYGO Sequestration

Republicans plan to pass a deficit increasing tax-reform proposal, but the Pay-As-You-Go Act (PAYGO) would require a sequestration, an automatic reduction in spending, if tax reform increased the deficit.  Republicans could avoid a sequestration by convincing Senate Democrats to support legislation lifting the sequestration.  Democrats, however, might not be willing to compromise on an issue […]

Notice & Comment

Government Funding Ends Today (Not Tomorrow)

This blog post updates two of my previous blog posts regarding continuing resolutions ending a day earlier than intended. Unlike the December 8 date that Congress and commentators believe is the deadline for a government shutdown, a close reading of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 (“CR”) shows that the deadline is likely a day earlier. The […]

Notice & Comment

What Republicans Could Do If Tax Reform Fails

To avoid a Senate filibuster, Republicans are using the reconciliation process to pass tax reform.  As part of their reconciliation instructions, Republicans allowed tax reform to increase the deficit by up to $1.5 trillion over the next ten years.  Even though tax reform can add to the deficit over the first ten years of the proposal, […]

Notice & Comment

A Closer Look at the 28-Hour Waiting Period for CBO Estimates

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has played a prominent role in the recent debate regarding Obamacare repeal and replace proposals. Many Republicans likely hoped that they could have voted on the proposals without first having CBO’s estimates bolster opposition to the proposals. After this failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, Senate Republicans plan to include in […]