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America’s fiscal stewards have left thei

America’s fiscal stewards have left their stations

The good news is that Congress avoided a government shutdown by passing a continuing resolution the other week, which President Joe Biden signed. So the federal tap will keep flowing, mostly at the same level, although the statute does provide extra dollars for the Ukrainian fight against Russia, the resettlement of Afghani refugees, and other […]

Congress passes resolution that may rais...

Congress passes resolution that may raise the salience of fiscal issues

Nobody can argue that Congress or recent presidents have been particularly serious about managing the nation’s finances responsibly. Excepting the fiscal bargain struck in 2013 that slapped caps on outlays, our nations’ leaders have shown themselves happy to cut taxes while jacking up spending…. (Read more)

The budget wreck is Congress’ fault — an

The budget wreck is Congress’ fault — and yours

Despite being in Washington, D.C. for nearly 20 years, I sometimes feel like Alice who has fallen down the rabbit hole into a crazy place where words are used in ways that don’t make sense anywhere else. Take the word, “budget.” To the average American, it connotes the exercise of tabulating how much money is […]

Senate congressionally directed spending...

Senate congressionally directed spending requests reflect partisan divide

Overall, 64 senators made 8,055 requests totaling $26.8 billion. Far fewer Republicans participated than Democrats. Only 16 GOP senators submitted requests, including a few senior members like Appropriations Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL), Budget Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD). Only two Democrats, Jon Tester (D-MT) and Margaret Hassan (D-NH) […]

House earmarks requests: Why, what, and ...

House earmarks requests: Why, what, and who?

This year, after a 10-year moratorium, the majority leadership in the House of Representatives reinstituted the ability of members to submit federal funding requests for projects in their districts. More commonly known as “earmarks,” requests for local, regional, or state funding have existed since the first Congress. They have returned, along with some major modifications […]

Fees, fines and penalties: Has Congress ...

Fees, fines and penalties: Has Congress lost control of the purse?

Has Congress lost control of the purse by delegating authority to agencies to self-fund theiractivities with fees, fines, and penalties? To answer this question, this paper first begins by reviewing the constitutional provisions andstatutory provisions that required funds collected to be deposited in the Treasury andreappropriated. The paper then tries to clarify the extent to […]