David Hawkings, CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing
Members of the U.S. House return from a break this week, and they won't waste much time before launching into a debate about federal spending. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is expected to release a budget plan. Meanwhile, senators will be honoring Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski. She's now the longest serving woman in the history of Congress. David Hawkings, editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing, provides some details on this week's stories. Following are highlights of the conversation.
Hawkings on what to expect from Rep. Paul Ryan's budget: "He will restart many of the fights with the Democrats that he started last year. He will talk about reforming entitlements, limiting tax receipts, and trimming spending. But the Senate will totally ignore it, and this will engender a strong fight with the Democrats, and may even create some trouble with him from Republicans... The main issue here is whether or how much spending to propose, less than what they all agreed to."
On Sen. Barbara Mikulski serving more than 35 years and becoming the longest serving woman in Congress: "She has been an undeniably dogged fighter... Her main power base is on the Appropriations Committee, which is the committee that actually doles out the money. Just talking about it in the budget, once they have the budget fight, money is actually given to the Appropriations Committee to spend. Sen. Mikulski has a top-seat on most of the committees that give out the domestic money. She has really worked for years to make sure Maryland gets its fair share of that for federal functions in Maryland.
On C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb's announcement that he's stepping down, 33 years after he founded the company: ": Brian Lamb is a legend in the Washington journalism business. He did more than anyone else to introduce lowercase 'D' democracy to Washington. We take it for granted now that C-SPAN is on most every television set in the country, and that people can see for themselves the proceedings in Congress. He's absolutely made our lives easier as journalists in covering Congress."
Listen to the full interview here.