Federal Budget and Appropriations



Rest In Peace Congressional Budget Process

Josh Huder | June 6, 2022

Sometime in the last ten years the congressional budget process died. The precise moment is hard to pinpoint because it is not totally – just mostly — dead. But today, only a hollow version of the process still exists. Partisan majorities pass shell budgets to trigger reconciliation in the hopes


The Defense Budget: Current Status and Core Issues

Katina Slavkova | May 3, 2022

Defense officials are already busy making the obligatory annual rounds on Capitol Hill in support of the President’s preferred spending priorities. The current steady pace of congressional hearings might suggest that Congress is methodically working its way towards a timely passage of the defense budget. But this burst of activity on the


Appropriations Update and Continuing Resolutions

Matt Glassman | March 2, 2022

Where are we with government funding?   It’s déjà vu all over again, as Congress passes another Continuing Resolution (CR).  The FY2022 congressional appropriations process—which will provide funding for the federal government from October 1, 2021 until September 30, 2022—is once again delaying final action. After its failure to enact full year appropriations bills by October


A Familiar Landmine: The Looming Debt Ceiling

Laura Blessing | June 4, 2021

With all the other tumult going on in our politics, one might be forgiven for not focusing on a familiar landmine: the debt ceiling.  After all, since its regularized inclusion in the appropriations process a decade ago, Congress has shifted from extending the debt limit to a specific amount


The 116th and the 117th Congresses: It’s bad but probably not as bad as you think

Josh Huder | December 3, 2020

Historic dysfunction may well be the credo of American politics in the 21st century. Congress appears hopelessly gridlocked. Pundits have run out of adjectives to describe the polarization plaguing American politics. And maybe worse, the mixed results of the 2020 Election defy easy analysis. The House Democratic majority lost seats, the Senate Republican majority


Lessons of Economic Recessions

Laura Blessing | May 6, 2020

In politics, we often learn the lesson of the last time.  Our current economic troubles prompt comparison to previous episodes, particularly the 2007-2009 Great Recession.  While the past six weeks may seem like an eternity to many Americans, we are early in the government response to this crisis, particularly its economic effects.  The future


Appropriations Update

Mark Harkins | November 4, 2019

Here we go again. To keep the government funded past the start of the fiscal year on October 1st, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) that lasts until November 21st. Over the last decade, during non-election years, it has taken, on average, SIX months into the fiscal year before all 12 appropriations bills have been


Back In Session

Laura Blessing | September 11, 2019

Congress is back in session, and all eyes are on the impending budget negotiations.  The past month has not provided a respite from significant news.  A number of mass shootings, border developments, and the clattering of the 2020 presidential aspirants reminds us that while Congress may have escaped the Potomac’s heat, the world does not


Limitation Provisions in Appropriations bills: A Key Tool of Congressional Policymaking

Matt Glassman | May 6, 2019

Early last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies released its draft FY2020 bill, and subsequently approved it in a markup held on Wednesday. In some respects, this was all very normal; the MilCon bill (as it is widely known) is often one of the first appropriations


Four Things to Consider About a Possible Second Government Shutdown

Matt Glassman | February 5, 2019

The FY2019 appropriations process in Congress—which will provide funding for the federal government from October 1, 2018, until September 30, 2019—is once again approaching a deadline. After managing to pass five of the twelve annual appropriations bills in two “mini-bus” packages in late September, Congress passed two continuing resolutions (the first through December


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