The Swine Line: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Budget

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.

IRS Undermines Congressional Budgeting

In a July 2016 report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could improve its budget data in its justifications to Congress.  The report found that the IRS, while it has taken steps to more effectively manage its budget, has not correlated its priorities to relevant appropriations accounts.  In its fiscal year 2017 justification, the IRS linked requests to priorities for increased funding, but failed to provide data on how much had been previously spent on each priority; as a result, t

House Budget Committee Hearing on Unauthorized Programs and Mandatory Spending

On June 9, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on the Budget held a hearing titled, “The Need to Control Automatic Spending and Unauthorized Programs.”  The witnesses included:  the Honorable David Walker, former Comptroller General to the United States; Stuart Butler, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute; and Lily Batchelder, a professor of public policy at the New York University School of Law. 

OMB Tackles Some Low-Hanging Fruit

On January 20, 2016, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) weighed in on a request for comments from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the requirements that should be included in its guidance to federal departments and agencies for improving the management and purchasing of software assets. 

House Sends Obamacare Repeal to the President

Yesterday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, by a vote of 240-181.  One Democrat (Peterson, Minn.) joined the Republicans in voting for the bill, while 3 Republicans (Hanna and Katko, N.Y.; Dold, Ill.) sided with the minority.  Thirteen members (9 Democrats, 4 Republicans) did not vote, while one seat in Congress remains vacant following Speaker Boehner’s departure.

Tonight: The Reconciliation Rule!

This evening, the House Rules Committee will meet to set the debate parameters for H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015, a reconciliation bill that would essentially cripple Obamacare.  Created by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 in order to expedite spending- and budget-related legislation, the reconciliation process addresses only areas of spending, revenue, and the debt limit.  Only one bill (addressing one, two, or all of these subjects) can be considered each year.

The Need for More Spectrum Auctions

A May 11, 2015 report from the Brattle Group estimates the value of the 645.5 MHz of licensed spectrum currently in use at almost $500 billion. Beyond the monetary value of this spectrum are the services provided to consumers using licensed spectrum through their mobile devices. According to the report, economists have estimated that the total social benefits achieved from using licensed spectrum are at least 10 to 20 times the direct economic value of the spectrum itself.

CAGW Reaction to SOTU 2015: The President Is in an Alternate Universe

The President’s State of the Union Address would have made a good episode of “The Twilight Zone.”

In "The Obama Zone," the following is true, because he either never mentioned the subject matter or failed to properly state the facts:

∙ There is no national debt.

President Obama never mentioned "national debt" throughout his entire speech.

By Your Leave: Federal Employees on Administrative Leave Cost Taxpayers Billions

ICYMI, this American Public Media interview with the Washington Post reporter Lisa Rein is a quick primer on a very big problem.

Don’t Know Much About Algebra

Paul Krawzak wrote in the June 4 Roll Call about some disturbing news that came from an April Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare.)  Said Krawzak, “In a little-noticed footnote to a report issued in April, ‘Updated Estimates of the Effects of the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act,’ the CBO wrote that it and the Joint Committee on Taxation ‘can no longer determine

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