federal budget

Trump Targets Pell Grant Money For NASA's Budget Boost

May 14, 2019

The Trump administration wants to shift money for Pell Grants for college education to fund new spending, including a $1.6 billion bump for NASA to return American astronauts to the moon by 2024. 

Medicare, Social Security Face Shaky Fiscal Futures

Apr 23, 2019

The financial condition of the government’s bedrock retirement programs for middle- and working-class Americans remains shaky, with Medicare pointed toward insolvency by 2026, according to a report Monday by the government’s overseers of Medicare and Social Security. 

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

The federal deficit ballooned to $779 billion in the just-ended fiscal year — a remarkable tide of red ink for a country not mired in recession or war.

The government is expected to borrow more than a trillion dollars in the coming year, in part to make up for tax receipts that have been slashed by GOP tax cuts.

Corporate tax collections fell by 31 percent in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, despite robust corporate profits. That's hardly surprising after lawmakers cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21.

opioid crisis
Franieleon via Flickr / WLRN

Last year saw 1,642 opioid overdoses treated in Broward County emergency rooms. And 85 percent of those cases were overdoses on heroin.

It may seem counter-intuitive and head-scratchingly odd, but Congress nearly always approves defense spending bills before the armed services committees — which actually oversee the Pentagon — vote on how the money will be spent.

Not this year.

The Trump administration is unveiling a multibillion-dollar roster of proposed spending cuts but is leaving this year's $1.3 trillion catchall spending bill alone.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

For many elected officials, it's something of a rite of passage: After getting to Capitol Hill, bearing their constituents' hopes and fears on their shoulders, virtually every politician finally decides to take a stand — in front of a painter paid to make their portrait. Some even decide to sit for it.

But either way, for a long time many of those official portraits were paid for by the same patrons: U.S. taxpayers.

Not anymore.

Congress was in a generous mood when it passed a spending bill last week, giving the military at minimum an additional $61 billion and boosting its overall budget to $700 billion this year.

A bipartisan bill Congress passed this week spells out how the federal government will spend $1.3 trillion.

It also allocates some smaller amounts: the money customers leave behind as tips in restaurants, nail salons and other businesses.

The legislation makes it clear that tips belong to the workers who receive them and can't be taken by their employers, managers or supervisors.

President Trump will finally be unveiling his long-awaited $1.5 trillion plan to repair and rebuild the nation's crumbling highways, bridges, railroads, airports, seaports and water systems Monday. But, the proposal will not be one that offers large sums of federal funding to states for infrastructure needs, but it is instead a financing plan that shifts much of the funding burden onto the states and onto local governments.

Updated at 4:52 p.m. ET

Senate leaders reached a bipartisan budget agreement to increase military and domestic spending levels for two years, paving the way for the first long-term spending pact since President Trump took office.

The White House and House Speaker Paul Ryan quickly declared support for the pact, helping pave the way for its passage by the end of the week, despite opposition from fiscal hawks and liberal Democrats.

Updated at 6:57 p.m. ET

The House passed a bill Tuesday evening to avert a government shutdown on Thursday, as Senate leaders still hope to clear the way for years of budget harmony this week with a long-term spending agreement.

But as Congress worked on keeping things running, President Trump made a fresh call to shut down the government over immigration.

A brief, partial shutdown of the federal government ended Monday, as the Senate and House approved legislation that would keep federal dollars flowing until Feb. 8, as well as fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program for the next six years.

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

The federal government is back open for business on Tuesday, but the immigration fight that brought it to a three-day shutdown is far from over.

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