2017 SOTU Backdrop Part III – Congressional Stalemate & U.S. Debt Limit

Purpose of this item is to provide researchers the ability to evaluate activities of the administration and congress in relationship to 1) external governance, global issues which are addressed in Part I and Part II; and 2) internal governance issues.

Congressional stalemate or gridlock in politics refers to a situation when there is difficulty passing laws that satisfy the needs of the people. A government is gridlocked when the ratio between bills passed and the agenda of the legislature decreases. Reference for the Federal Government of the United States. (Wikipedia)

External and Internal Governance:

President of the United States: Directs the foreign (external) and domestic (internal) policy of the United States. Since the office of President was established in 1789, its power has grown substantially, as has the power of the Federal Government as a whole. The Cabinet of the United States includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments, and supports the nations objectives while performing their responsibilities under the direction of president.

External Governance:

The Administration and Congress have agreed to external monitoring and control of the business of the citizens of the United States via the New World Order. The term New World Order prior to agreements leading up-to establishment of global, external governance, was considered a conspiracy theory. Today, it is an acknowledged and accepted term used in reference to the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), and their monitoring and governance organizations consisting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, World Trade Organization (WTO), and "Open Borders.”

Internal Governance:

United States Congress: Consists of two chambers, the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. The references give a broad overview of their purpose, functions and powers.

114th United States Congress: A standard format and accessible reference documenting major events and legislation, constitutional amendments, states, party summaries, leadership and members, committees, employees and additional information is provided on Wikipedia. Coverage begins with the 1st United States Congress in 1789 and continues to the current congress. External links to each of the postings is located in the footer. The 115th United States Congress posting provides the current status after the election.

Government Stalemate and Gridlock Examples:

Supreme Court wades into immigration reform and gridlock. Democrats and Republicans have been in a protracted battle over immigration reform for years.

How concerning is U.S. political gridlock? Questions about the health of America’s political institutions and the future of its global leadership have become rampant, with some citing partisan gridlock as evidence of America’s decline.

U.S. trade policy gridlock. The success of international trade negotiations is in doubt. Under our Constitution’s Commerce Clause, Congress has ultimate responsibility to regulate domestic and foreign commerce. However, in recent decades Congress has generally granted the President Trade Promotion Authority.

Budget gridlock could derail B-21 bomber. Faced with the prospect that Congress will once again fail to pass a budget on time this year, the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force is warning that long-term budget gridlock could derail the next-generation B-21 bomber. ...

Congressional Budget Office (CBO), indicates the 2017 budget deficit will exceed $559 billion.
US Debt Clock provides a good snapshot of data on wide range of economic issues.

The budget for fiscal year 2017 has been passed and the economy is rebounding, creating 14 million jobs. The unemployment rate is below five percent for the first time in almost eight years, and deficits have been cut setting the Nation on a more sustainable fiscal path. What does the GAO have to say?

Fiscal Outlook and Debt: Action is needed to address the federal government’s fiscal future.

Congress and the new administration face serious economic, security, and social challenges that will require difficult policy choices in the short term about the level of federal spending and investments as well as ways to obtain needed resources.

Decisions to enhance economic growth and address national policies need to be accompanied by a fiscal plan to put the government on a path that is more sustainable over the long term.

This report is intended to illuminate the need for a long-term fiscal plan and answer key questions about:

Significant changes to the government’s fiscal condition in fiscal year 2016.

Long-term fiscal projections that show the federal government is on an unsustainable path.

Fiscal risks that are placing additional pressure on the federal budget.

Opportunities for executive agencies to contribute to fiscal sustainability.

Posted in SOTU Backdrop.