Mitch McConnell: Congress faces number of pressing issues related to disaster relief — and debt ceiling

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the Senate’s upcoming agenda items:   Congress has a number of pressing issues to address in the coming days.   There are three critically important things before us that need be done very quickly: pass disaster relief legislation to allow us to rebuild from Harvey and prepare for future disasters...

Tom Block: Mitch McConnell’s elevation
to majority leader is big deal for Kentucky

The Republican victory in the battle to control the Senate elevates Kentucky’s senior Senator, Mitch McConnell to the position of Majority Leader, a very big deal.   While the final spread is still to be determined due to a December 6 run-off in Louisiana, what is the importance of Republicans gaining control of the Senate?   While Senate Democrats will still be able to stop most...

Tom Block: Mitch McConnell's elevation to majority leader is big deal for Kentucky

The Republican victory in the battle to control the Senate elevates Kentucky’s senior Senator, Mitch McConnell to the position of Majority Leader, a very big deal.   While the final spread is still to be determined due to a December 6 run-off in Louisiana, what is the importance of Republicans gaining control of the Senate?   While Senate Democrats will still be able to stop most Republican...

Tom Block: Budgets will keep Congress busy this year, but other issues are ripe for 2014

In Washington, 2013 ended with approval of a two-year budget agreement, and 2014 began with the passage of the massive spending bill, which funds the U.S. government through the current fiscal year. The level of $1.012 trillion exceeds the $986 Trillion spent in FY 2013 when the full force of the sequester was in effect. This increased level of spending should help the U.S. economy with a slightly...

Tom Block: Debt ceiling debate demonstrates stagnation in D.C. unlike most anything else

It has been exactly 40 years since I became a chief of staff to a congressman and I am constantly amazed how little has changed.   Probably no one issue demonstrates the stagnation in Washington more than the debt ceiling. Back when I worked on the Hill, each year I would help my boss write an irresponsible press release on how he was going to draw a line on government spending by voting against...

Tom Block: Debt ceiling is a ‘trap’ that diverts attention from stronger negotiating positions

With the tax portion of the fiscal cliff resolved, attention now focuses on the spending side with three big deadlines looming. First is the need to raise the national debt ceiling, second is the Congressionally mandated, 10-year, $1.2 trillion cut in spending called sequester, and third is the need to deal with the federal budet for the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1, 2012. This final issue was...

Tom Block: Debt ceiling is a 'trap' that diverts attention from stronger negotiating positions

With the tax portion of the fiscal cliff resolved, attention now focuses on the spending side with three big deadlines looming. First is the need to raise the national debt ceiling, second is the Congressionally mandated, 10-year, $1.2 trillion cut in spending called sequester, and third is the need to deal with the federal budet for the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1, 2012. This final issue was...