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Updated by drosen on Jul 25, 2022
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Clean Budget News & Resources (FY 2022)

Democrats Bail on Promise to Shed Light on Corporate Political Spending

For more than a decade, Democrats have been pledging to bring increased transparency to America’s elections by requiring corporations to disclose their political spending, as a way to counteract the flood of “dark money” that’s been flooding into elections since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision granted businesses and nonprofits the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections. But Democrats have repeatedly allowed Republicans to include language in must-pass spending bills blocking any efforts by the government to require public companies to disclose their spending — and they quietly did so again last month, too.

Omnibus Bill Contains Dark Money Riders

Tucked into the text of the $1.5 trillion, 2,741-page omnibus funding bill that was released in the middle of the night on March 9 are at least three provisions designed to protect corporations and dark money groups from money-in-politics transparency initiatives. The bill is considered “must-pass” legislation because it appropriates the money that the government needs to continue operating beyond Friday night, as well as billions in Ukraine aid. One provision in the bill would protect a loophole in IRS practices that allows political groups to register themselves under a section of law that exempts them from disclosing their donors under campaign finance laws.

Disclosure of Corporate Political Donations Delayed

When Congress approved a $1.5 trillion budget deal last week, it averted a government shutdown but didn’t address an issue that Democrats had vowed to fix. Since 2015, a budget rider has prohibited the S.E.C. from requiring companies to disclose details about their political spending. This constraint was highlighted after the Jan. 6 riot in the Capitol prompted a public reckoning about corporate donations, but it remains in place. That leaves the push for transparency on corporate political spending to investors and proxy proposals.

Democrats Lose Fight to Strip Abortion Funding Restrictions From Spending Package

Democrats failed in their effort to strip a decades-old amendment from annual government funding legislation that blocks people from using Medicaid or other federal health programs to cover abortion services amid fierce opposition from Republicans. Senate Democrats previously omitted the provision, also known as the Hyde amendment, from legislation to fund the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education departments last year. It marked the first time in decades that Senate Democrats removed the amendment from their annual government appropriations bills.

Congress Keeps Ban on Legal D.C. Marijuana Sales in Budget, Despite Democratic Control

In a major setback to D.C. leaders, Congress retained a provision preventing the city from commercializing marijuana in the omnibus spending package it unveiled Wednesday, dashing the city’s hopes for pushing through legislation to regulate recreational pot. The spending package also retained a long-standing rider — a type of restriction on how funds can be used — that would ban the District from using local funds to subsidize abortions for low-income women.

Budget Deal Is Latest Sign of Democrats’ Empty Weed Promises

On the brink of gaining control in Washington, Sen. Chuck Schumer said emphatically in 2020 that “I am going to do EVERYTHING I can to end the federal prohibition on marijuana” if Democrats took back the Senate. But 14 months since winning, Senate Democrats haven’t even succeeded at changing the little things. This week offered the most dramatic example yet of Democrats’ inability to make any progress on their cannabis promises: The new government spending package released on Wednesday continues to prohibit Washington, D.C. from establishing a cannabis marketplace, more than seven years after District voters overwhelmingly backed legalization.

Omnibus Makes Key Investments Despite Downsides

We are thrilled that an omnibus increasing funding to important projects and programs has finally been crafted and is on its way to passage. In this time of economic and health crisis, agencies need sufficient funding to meet the needs of the American people. That said, it is extremely unfortunate to see continued increases in unnecessary military spending, insufficient funding to keep up the fight against the pandemic, and so many legacy poison pill policy riders reinserted into the final deal.

Planned Parenthood Statement on 2022 Government Funding Legislation

Today, congressional leadership announced they had reached a spending deal to finalize fiscal year 2022 appropriations and new authorizations for spending to address the conflict in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the bill does not include the much-needed new investments in sexual and reproductive health priorities like Title X or international family planning programs and UNFPA that were passed in the House and proposed by the Senate, nor does it take long overdue steps to remove discriminatory abortion bans like the Hyde, Helms, and Weldon amendments or permanently repeal the harmful global gag rule.

Poison Pills Don’t Belong in Spending Bills, Whether They’re Old or New

With passage of the CR though March 11, it’s critical that Congress finish appropriating in the next few weeks, pass a spending package that fully funds the important public services and federal agencies that protect us, and remove all poison pill riders whether they are new or old. We’re asking lawmakers to make it a priority to remove harmful legacy riders that have been added to past appropriations bills. Here’s the bottom line: Poison pills do not belong in spending bills. These harmful measures threaten women’s health, our campaign finance system, our environment, children, and much more.

Citizens Speak Out: Congress Must Finish Appropriating

Ordinary citizens from across the country are calling on Congress to finish the annual appropriations process and pass a spending package for FY 2022. With today’s news that U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has lifted her hold on the short-term continuing resolution that extends the funding deadline to March 11, just three weeks remain to finish the omnibus appropriations package. Finishing and passing this bill is key to avoiding another year with outdated, insufficient funding levels for urgent priorities like veterans and health research, and continue wasteful funding streams that no longer make sense.

Former EPA Officials Urge Congress to Pass Essential Funding

The recently enacted $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is the single largest federal investment in clean air and water ever made and will go a long way toward improving clean water infrastructure and protecting drinking water from unregulated toxic chemicals. However, almost half-way into the fiscal year, Congress has not finished the job, and failed to provide the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies funding they need to effectively implement the bipartisan infrastructure bill and carry out their other essential work.

Groups Call on Congress to Finish Appropriating as Feb. 18 Funding Deadline Approaches

Groups in the Clean Budget Coalition are calling on federal lawmakers to finish appropriating, with the Feb. 18 government funding deadline just two weeks away. Passing 2022 appropriations is key to supporting our communities and protecting our country, the coalition maintains. A long-term CR would mean another year with outdated, insufficient funding levels for priorities like veterans and health research. Ultimately it harms businesses, taxpayers, and infrastructure when Congress repeatedly passes continuing resolutions. Lawmakers on both parties need to reach a deal on spending levels to fund our government for the year ahead.

Congress Plots Another Shutdown Fallback

Congressional leaders began contingency planning Thursday for another short-term funding patch, with no breakthrough on a sweeping bipartisan spending deal and just over two weeks until federal cash runs out. Top appropriators have batted around offers all week, racing to lock in the two spending totals for the Pentagon and non-defense programs. But even if they reach an overall deal in their ongoing meetings, it could take weeks to fine tune the details of the 12 bills that go into a catchall funding package. So Democratic leaders have started a now-familiar song and dance: preparing to pass a continuing resolution to punt the funding deadline for a few more days or weeks, to avoid the risk of a government shutdown come midnight on Feb. 18. Congress has already passed two of those funding patches since the new fiscal year started in October.

A Continuing Resolution Would Sabotage EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not yet have an annual funding appropriation from Congress and, like other federal agencies, is struggling to operate under a continuing resolution (CR) with funding levels the Trump administration agreed to more than a year ago. One dismal “path forward” would be to extend the CR further, to fund EPA for the entire year. Such a CR would effectively sabotage EPA by providing less than half, in real dollars, the agency’s 1980 funding, and a workforce at its smallest level since 1987. It would starve the agency of new resources to begin rebuilding to protect our nation’s air, land and water, and to address the existential threat of climate change and the toxic legacy of environmental injustice.

The Government Is Still Operating Under Trump’s Budget

President Trump’s holdover budget is (basically) still in place, leaving the Biden administration to implement a bold new agenda with funding levels negotiated and approved by an administration that was determined to make that impossible. Democrats have had multiple opportunities to change this over the last year, but sacrificed each in the pursuit of an elusive agreement over Build Back Better. Instead, we’ve seen continuing resolutions that maintain Trump-era spending priorities. Between now and the next government funding deadline on February 18, Democrats will have another chance. With their banner legislation stalled and the midterms fast approaching, they cannot afford to delay a moment longer. They must fight for a funding agreement that provides the resources agencies need to fulfill the scale and ambition of the administration’s agenda.

Pelosi Says Democrats Are Considering Adding COVID-19 Relief to Larger Bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday that Democrats are considering adding Covid-19 relief to the larger government funding bill, which could complicate Republican support for the broader legislative package. "We are working very closely with Rosa DeLauro on the omnibus bill," she said after the House Democrats' weekly meeting, referencing the Connecticut Democratic congresswoman who chairs the Appropriations Committee. "I had thought that it could be possible for us to do a Covid relief package within that bill but fenced off as emergency spending so it doesn't take away from our other domestic non-discretionary spending."

In lieu of regular appropriations, a full-year continuing resolution would do irreparable harm to our health and environment. Funding for environmental agencies has stagnated or even declined over the past decade under the draconian spending caps of the Budget Control Act, with many programs struggling to even keep pace with inflation despite increasingly dire circumstances of the worsening climate and biodiversity crises. A yearlong stopgap bill would perpetuate these shortfalls and extend damaging policy provisions at a moment when we cannot afford to wait. Such a bill would fail to address the momentous issues we face with the urgency they demand.

Lawmakers Begin Discussing Government Spending Deal as Democrats Eye Virus Aid, Paid Leave

Congressional lawmakers are beginning to discuss a long-term spending package that could fund the government, prevent a shutdown and potentially even deliver another round of coronavirus relief, including an emerging Democrat-backed plan to provide paid leave to millions of Americans. The early talks, including a bipartisan gathering Thursday focused on future federal spending levels, have increased in pace and intensity as Democrats and Republicans race to reach a deal before the current agreement is set to expire on February 18. A failure to find compromise by that date would bring federal agencies to a halt.

Hurry Up and Wait — Passage of Stopgap Spending Bill Delays Final Resolution on Permanent Global Gag Rule Repeal Unti...

Republicans have refused to even come to the negotiating table in the 37 days and counting since the initial meeting between the “four corners” — the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate appropriations committees — on November 2. The House Democratic committee majority has launched a calendar on Twitter tracking GOP obstruction and the number of days it has been that Republicans have refused to put forth a counteroffer to the Democratic funding proposals as contained in the House-passed bills and the Senate’s “Chairman’s marks.” Republicans have demanded that Democrats must first be willing to negotiate the fate of policy “riders,” to which they object, before they will be willing to discuss top-line allocations for defense and nondefense discretionary spending, much less funding for the multitude of specific programs across the 12 appropriations bills that finance the entirety of the federal government. The Republican insistence on resolving the question of policy “riders” as a precondition to negotiations over an FY 2022 omnibus is an unprecedented demand.

Sen. Collins Must Come to the Table and Help Pass Funding Bills Now

Sen. Collins has an opportunity to demonstrate what real leadership looks like by showing up and finalizing the government funding package, which includes many great climate provisions for our state. This bill should have been passed nearly three months ago when the fiscal year ended. Enough with the stop-gap measures. Enough with the political games. This year, the process to fund our government is taking longer than it should, and it’s threatening to leave many pressing needs for Maine unaddressed. In addition to much-needed transportation and housing projects in our state, the bills contain over $35 million to benefit our ocean, our coasts and the communities that depend on them. This is a win-win for Maine’s environment and economy.

Proposed Appropriations Bills Would Help Address Biodiversity Crisis

Much is at stake as the federal funding deadline approaches. Should Congress fail to renew investments, the result could be a potentially year-long extension of the current inadequate funding levels enacted initially under the Trump administration. We face a biodiversity crisis of epic proportions, and we desperately need more resources. Up to one million species are threatened with extinction now or in the coming decades, but we have clearly not yet met the moment. Enacting this funding will not fix the problem, but it will help significantly. Failure to quickly invest in wildlife conservation could easily mean the difference between survival and extinction for some species.

Full-Year Funding Freeze Would Further Squeeze Non-Defense Programs

The federal government has been operating under stopgap funding measures (continuing resolutions or CRs) since fiscal year 2022 began on October 1, and Republicans’ failure thus far to join negotiations over 2022 appropriations bills raises the prospect that a CR largely freezing program funding at last year’s levels could remain in place for the rest of this fiscal year. That would reverse the progress over the past few years in alleviating the squeeze on non-defense appropriations resulting from the deep cuts required by the 2011 Budget Control Act. In fact, such a full-year CR would leave non-defense appropriations outside veterans’ medical care about 12 percent below their 2010 level, after adjusting for inflation and population growth. It would also block needed increases for a wide range of priorities.

Hill Leaders Strike Short-Term Funding Deal as Shutdown Looms

The House is expected to vote Thursday on a short-term funding patch to avert a government shutdown in less than 48 hours and punt the new deadline to mid-February. The vote comes after House Democrats announced an eleventh-hour deal with Republicans on Thursday morning, following days of frenzied talks as both parties scrambled to prevent Congress from stumbling past the deadline. Government funding will now run through Feb. 18 — weeks later than Democrats wanted — but House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said her party “prevailed” in securing a $7 billion increase to pay for resettling Afghan refugees.

Conservatives Could Force Shutdown Over Biden Vaccine Mandate

Senate conservatives could force the government to shut down for as long as a week to protest President Biden’s vaccine mandate for large employers. If conservatives led by Senate Republican Steering Committee Chairman Mike Lee (R-Utah) refuse to yield back procedural time on the floor, it could take as long as nine days to approve a stopgap spending measure that would keep the government funded into late January or February.

Harmful Legacy Riders Must Stay Out of the Annual Spending Package

Hardly a year goes by without a high-stakes, year-end battle over the federal budget, and this brinksmanship often risks a disastrous government shutdown. The current focus on passing the Build Back Better plan means that we may have even less time to ensure that this year’s omnibus spending package is brought to completion. In addition to funding levels, this year’s appropriations fight will feature a battle over a series of poison pill policy riders known as “legacy riders” that have been in the appropriations bills in previous years. These measures attack women’s health, our environment, children, workers, and consumers, and fuel political corruption.