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It’s a Spending Week

Nobody seems to want to fight about it, so you won’t hear much in the news, but this is a spending week in Washington, D.C.

Back when the 2014 fiscal year began in October, Congress hadn’t passed its regular spending bills, so it had to produce a continuing resolution. Public Law 113-46, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014, spent the money (about $11,000 per family) to run the government until January 15, 2014. That’s this coming Wednesday.

They still haven’t come with a plan for funding the government yet, so here’s what’s going to happen this week:

By Wednesday, Congress will probably pass H. J. Res. 106. That bill extends funding of the government for three days, until January 18th.

Meantime, House and Senate negotiators will try to figure out a longer-term spending plan. That bill, assuming it materializes, will have to be passed by Saturday.

What kind of spending is involved?

Well, three days of running the federal government costs about $10 billion dollars. That’s actually just the spending that isn’t automatic—they call it “discretionary” spending. If you include “mandatory” spending—that’s the spending that Congress has made automatic—three days of the federal government is about $31 billion.

Anyway, the three days of discretionary spending in H. J. Res. 106 is about $96 per U.S. family.

If Congress passes a spending bill that goes for the rest of the year, that’s about $867 billion in discretionary spending, or $8,000 per family. The full cost of the government for the remaining 255 days of the year is $2.6 trillion.

Want to understand more about all this? Check out “A People’s Guide to the Federal Budget” from the National Priorities Project. It was your summer reading assignment, in case you missed it!

Here’s the current vote on H. J. Res. 106, that three-day spending bill. Do you want it to pass? Or do you think the government should shut down while Congress figures out how to spend? Click to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki article on the bill.

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WashingtonWatch.com Digest – January 13, 2014 | US Senators

[…] So they might not tell you what’s going on in Congress: “It’s a Spending Week.” […]

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