Last week, the Obama administration released their version of the FY2017 budget to Congress, which was not received well by Republicans. Most see the budget as the Administration's ideal version, but it has no realistic chance of ever passing this Congress. It includes provisions that would impose a $10 tax on every barrel of oil, creates new grants to entice 19 states to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and permanently lifts the caps on discretionary spending starting in 2018. Expect Congressional Republicans to build their own budget proposal in the coming weeks as negotiations begin with Congressional Democrats and the White House.
In the Senate, leaders planned to finish up the energy legislation that recently stalled due to the inclusion of an amendment related to the Flint water crisis; there was disagreement over the money included and how to offset payments to Flint. Instead, the chamber voted on new sanctions against North Korea over their recent ballistic missile testing. The legislation was passed in a 96-0 vote; the House passed similar legislation last month. The legislation requires the Administration to sanction anyone involved with North Korea's nuclear weapons program, arms-related materials, luxury goods, human rights abuses, cybersecurity attacks, and the use of coal and metals in any of the activities.
After a few busy weeks for Congress, they are out of session this week for President's Day.