Appropriations

Lame-Duck Session, 114th Congress: The Victors, the Vanquished, and the Un-Inaugurated

For anyone unfamiliar with the patois of politics, the term “lame duck” may seem like a bit of an odd duck, rhetorically speaking.  As defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the more common understanding of this phrase is “an elected official or group continuing to hold political office during the period between the election and the inauguration of a successor.”  But it is the dictionary’s first definition, one identified as “chiefly British,” that may be more descriptive of the current Congress:  “one that is weak or t

CAGW Lists Taxpayer Tricks and Treats For Halloween 2016

For Immediate Release Contact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318
October 27, 2016  

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) released the 16th annual compilation of scary, surreal, and spine-tingling taxpayer tricks and treats.  The following is CAGW’s list of nominees for inclusion in the Fiscal House of Horrors for 2016…

Congress Passes Continuing Resolution

On September 28, 2016, the U.S. Senate and, a few hours later, the House of Representatives passed a resolution that would continue the funding of the government through December 9, 2016 – narrowly missing the last day of this fiscal year, which ends on the September 30th.  Since Congress failed to pass the 12 individual appropriations bills (or a budget) before the beginning of the new fiscal year, the continuing resolution (C.R.) was necessary to prevent another government shutdown.

Maryland’s Proposed Purple Line Update

On August 3, 2016, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Purple Line, a proposed light-rail project in Maryland, was ineligible for federal funding until the state recalculates the Purple Line’s ridership forecasts.

OMB: House Spending Bills Over Statutory Spending Caps Bust the Statutory Caps

In a sequestration report released on August 19, 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) found that the fiscal year (FY) 2017 appropriations bills in the House are $792 million over the discretionary caps.  If signed into law, the spending bill would result in across-the-board spending cuts to enforce the statutory cap if a stopgap funding measure is not agreed to.

Government "Shutdowns": History and Consequences

During the weeks before fiscal year (FY) 2015 ended on September 30, 2015, many in Washington and across the nation braced for the potential of a “government shutdown.”  But, on that last day of FY 2015, Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that avoided a shutdown and funded the government through December 11.  On October 2, President Obama vowed to veto any further short-term funding bills.  With the specter of the second government shutdown in three years looming for the holidays, it is helpful to understand how a shutdown works and what the consequences might be.

Congressional Appropriations 101

As schools across the country open for another year, students will learn about the division of powers in the federal government.  Teachers will describe the role of Congress and the power of the purse.  They will likely teach what should happen during the budget and appropriations process.

Surprising Republican Support for the Return of Earmarks

During a closed-door House Republican Conference meeting on November 14, 2014, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) proposed reinstituting earmarks for “state, locality (including county and city governments), or a public utility or other public entity.”  His effort had startlingly significant amount of support in the Republican caucus: the proposal was defeated by a vote of 145-67.  Rep. Rogers’ act netted him the dubious honor of being named Citizen Against Government Waste (CAGW)’s “Porker of the Month” for November 2014.  Rep. Rogers is a repeat offender, also earning the award in April 2012, after his first failed attempt to end the earmark ban on March 30, 2012.

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CAGW Names Montana Gov. Steve Bullock February 2018 Porker of the Month

Gov. Bullock is CAGW's Porker of the Month for issuing an executive order that would rob Montana consumers of a 21st century internet.