Today on the Hill: House to Approve FY18 Budget; Senate Set for Confirmation Blitz Before Columbus Day Recess

The House is expected to pass their version of a budget resolution (H. Con. Res. 71) for the 2018 fiscal year, facilitating Republicans’ goal to reform the nation’s tax code through the budget reconciliation process. Lawmakers have sought to use the floor process as a messaging opportunity, with Democrats pitching two alternative budgets yesterday in the form of a pair of futile substitute amendments that would increase spending on social safety net programs and make a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure and job training programs over the next five years. An additional two alternative plans will be offered as amendments today — one from Democrats and another from the conservative Republican Study Committee that would balance the budget in five years — before lawmakers are expected to vote on and approve the underlying resolution. The vote will likely mark the last action in the House this week.

The Senate will continue to work on clearing nominations before their scheduled weeklong recess next week. A final up or down vote is expected today on the nomination of Randal Quarles to serve on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, with a cloture and confirmation vote on the nomination of Lee Cissna to be Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to follow immediately thereafter. Should the upper chamber process those votes, it will move to consideration of Callista Gingrich to serve as Ambassador to the Holy See.