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OMNIBUS REDUX: Most Washington watchers thought the passage and signing of the $1.3 trillion Omnibus spending bill put an end to the incessant FY'18 budget discussions. Well, think again. President Trump contemplated vetoing the legislation, but in the end, he signed the measure with the warning that it was the last time he would sign such a bill. The White House quickly initiated discussions with Republican leaders on Capitol Hill about cutting spending by using the rescission process provided in the 1974 Budget Act as well as moving legislation to give the president line-item veto authority.

The rescission process allows for the House and the Senate to vote on a list of spending cuts which can be passed in both bodies by a simple majority vote. This process has been used in the past years but mostly to make modest reductions in spending. The Trump Administration is rumored to be thinking about proposing cuts of up to $60 billion. If a rescission package is proposed some expect that the Democrats would cry foul and refuse to work to develop individual FY'19 Appropriations bills. Some see that as an idle threat, but we’re not so sure. It would certainly upend negotiations in less than six months when the fiscal year ends September 30.

Below are the remaining issues the House is expected to consider in the coming weeks and months:

Balanced Budget Amendment
Tax Cuts II (Individual tax cut extension)
FAA reauthorization
Farm bill reauthorization (will include work requirements for SNAP)
Opioid Legislation
National Defense Authorization
Water Resources Development 
Flood Insurance reauthorization (
7/31 deadline)
Dodd-Frank Reform (Senate-passed version)
Appropriations bills
Higher Education
Iran Sanctions

And the Senate:

Nominations – with judges and Cabinet-level appointees the priorities
National Defense Authorization
FAA reauthorization
Water Resources Development
Farm bill reauthorization
Appropriations bills

Early betting is that there will be a Continuing Resolution in September that will run into early December (unless the rescissions debate takes a turn for the worst); at that point the elections will be over and Washington can get about dividing the spoils. That would mean that the question of funding the wall and broader immigration issues will be left until December - or later. Leaders have not discussed that scenario in detail and we can expect a healthy dose of tweets and pressure from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue on that front...

IS IT TOO LATE NOW TO SAY SORRY?: Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will strike an apologetic tone when he testifies before Congress this week, saying in written testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, "We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake." Zuckerberg met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill yesterday ahead of his highly-anticipated testimony before the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees today at 2:15 pm.

SUNSHINE STATE SPENDING: Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced his candidacy for his party's nomination for U.S. Senate signaling the official start of a contest against Democratic Senator Bill Nelson. Democrats have been quick to attack Scott's credentials and Nelson - who has stepped up appearances across the state as he seeks a fourth term - is expected to make Trump a central figure in what’s expected to be the most expensive race in 2018.