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“We need to slap a discharge petition on that cromnibus.” Clear as mud? That’s precisely why we’ve created the Dewonkify™ glossary of common terms and phrases used on the Hill and around DC.

CBO Score

"Score" or "CBO Score" generally refers to a cost estimate conducted by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). According to CBO, the agency is required by federal law to undertake a formal cost estimate for most legislative proposals (except appropriations measures) that are passed out of a House or Senate full committee.... Read More

Christmas Tree Bill

A Christmas Tree bill is used to describe a bill that is one of the few legislative vehicles that might move and actually pass in Congress at a particular time (usually before the end of the year or a congressional recess) to which various and numerous Members of Congress try to attach their favored piece of legislation.... Read More


A Senate procedure used to end a filibuster. It has become, essentially, a vote to end debate on a certain piece of legislation.... Read More

Conference Committee

A mechanism by which the House of Representatives and the Senate reconcile differences between legislation they have passed in their respective chambers in order to pass one identical piece of legislation.... Read More

CR/Continuing Resolution

Legislation to provide budget authority for federal agencies to continue operating until the 12 regular appropriations spending bills are passed. Congress passes a continuing resolution (CR) in the form of a joint resolution at or near the beginning of a new fiscal year, or when the previous CR is about to expire, and it funds the government at or near current levels for a specific length of time.... Read More


“Cromnibus” is a term policymakers have given to a spending bill that combines a short-term continuing resolution for some federal programs and a long-term omnibus to cover all remaining federal spending.... Read More

Debt Ceiling

The statutory authority given by the Congress to the U.S. Treasury to borrow a certain amount of money and/or issue securities to fund the operations of the federal government. ... Read More