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The July 4th Holiday: A Time to Talk about Fiscal Year 2017 Spending

Fourth of July paradeYou wouldn’t think it, but July 4th is exactly the right time to talk about fiscal year 2017 spending. That’s because your federal representatives are home kissing babies and riding in Fourth of July parades. (Pictured at right, a non-federal representative parading past a federal building.)

The deadline for Congress to finish passing spending bills for the coming fiscal year is next week. Having the spending process done in the summer allows federal agencies plan for the coming fiscal year, which begins in the fall.

So you might contact your representative in his or her district office this coming week. You can talk about lots of things. You can talk about the failure of Congress to follow the schedule, or you can talk about a specific opinion you have about the spending plans that are out there being hatched.

You can see what the currently pending appropriations bills are in the table below. The House and Senate bills in each spending category are listed, along with the amount the spend per average U.S. family.

No bill has passed yet, and in some cases, a bill hasn’t even been introduced. If a bill isn’t introduced, you can’t assess how much it spends and you can’t comment on that. So maybe you should talk about Congress’s failure to run the appropriations trains on time. Doing so would be a first step toward putting yourself back in the driver’s seat.

Below is the current state of play with spending bills for fiscal year 2017, which begins October 1st. Happy week ahead of July Fourth from your friends at WashingtonWatch.com!

Bill House Senate
Budget Resolution* H. Con. Res. 125 ($27,748) none
Agriculture H.R. 5054 ($1,141) S. 2956 ($1,146)
Commerce/Justice/Science H.R. 5393 ($586) S. 2837 ($585)
Defense H.R. 5293 ($5,071) S. 3000 ($5,060)
Energy and Water H.R. 5055 ($340) S. 2804 ($339)
Financial Services H.R. 5485 ($406) S. 3067 ($410)
Homeland Security not yet introduced S. 3001 ($438)
Interior and Environment H.R. 5538 (n/a) S. 3068 ($303)
Labor/HHS/Education not yet introduced S. 3040 ($8,542)
Legislative Branch H.R. 5325 ($34) S. 2955 ($30)
Military/Veterans H.R. 4974 ($1,662) S. 2806 ($1,667)
State/Foreign Operations not yet introduced not yet introduced
Transportation/HUD H.R. 5394 ($1,084) S. 2844 ($1,088)

*Budget resolutions set overall spending amounts but do not spend money.

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