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Last Week

The House spent the week debating appropriations for the Department of Defense. Debating over two days, with nearly 20 amendments in total, the bill provides $491 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $4.1 billion above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $200 million above the President’s request. In addition, the bill includes $79.4 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) for the ongoing war efforts abroad, the same level assumed in the President’s budget request and in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act. The Senate spent the week confirming judicial nominations and preparing to take up a three-part appropriations bill, combining a number of bills into one. While the bill passed its first hurdle, reports are that further movement is stalled.

In addition, the House elected new Republican leadership. California Rep. Kevin McCarthy is the new House Majority Leader, and in a surprise vote, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise won on the first ballot for Majority Whip, ensuring conservatives a seat at the leadership table. more

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