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Hopes Fade for Better Budgeting This Year

June 28, 2016

The congressional budget process has run into even more trouble, with partisan rancor over guns and a sit-down protest by Democrats leading the House last week to start its July 4 recess early -- despite the tight time schedule Congress already had to approve spending bills for Fiscal 2017.

Congress so far has failed to send the President any of the 12 spending bills needed for the coming fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1. The House and Senate have longer summer recesses scheduled this year because of the political conventions.

Blog Post

Gun Debates Further Complicate Spending Legislation

June 21, 2016

With Congress already struggling to pass annual appropriations bills in a timely fashion this year, contentious gun debates sparked by last week’s mass shooting in Orlando have added further complications.

On Monday the Senate rejected four competing gun-related measures -- two from Democrats and two from Republicans -- that would have been attached to the Commerce/Justice/Science appropriations bill.

Blog Post

Providing Context for Federal Budget Numbers

June 14, 2016

Federal budget debates often feature large numbers without any context. This can leave the public confused, write Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) and Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition, in a recent op-ed for The Hill.

“The key to making sense of our nation’s fiscal problems is to look at ratios and trends, not just raw numbers,” they write. “And the ratio that makes the most sense is how any particular number compares to the size of the economy.”

The national debt provides a good example.

Blog Post

Disagreement Over War Funding Continues

June 07, 2016

Conflict over military funding returns to Capitol Hill as appropriators and some defense hawks spar over using a special account supporting combat operations to increase defense spending