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Archive for the ‘Appropriations/Budget’ Category

That Confusing Congress and Its Last-Minute Spending

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

John BoehnerYou’d think Congress was purposefully trying to keep you from following along. Well, that’s just a special benefit to Congress and its leaders from its horribly confused and confusing procedures.

This week, you’ll have to chase some “legislative vehicles” to see what Congress is doing.

As followers of this blog know, Congress didn’t pass the annual spending bills on time. Those bills are already a little tough to track, but they’re relatively easy compared to what Congress has cooked up now.

Currently, two different overall spending plans for fiscal 2016 have been proposed, but they’re amendments to other bills rather than freestanding bills themselves. These “legislative vehicles” are H.J. Res. 61, the Hire More Heroes Act of 2015, and H.R. 719, the TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2015.

The first one, H.J. Res. 61, started life as a bill to amend the tax code to exempt employees with health coverage under TRICARE or the Veterans Administration from being counted for purposes of determining which employers are subject to Obamacare’s employer mandate. It passed the House in late July.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took up the bill and proposed as an amendment a “continuing resolution” that funds the government until December 11th. Doing that under McConnell’s terms would spend $11,074.04 per U.S. family.

The other legislative vehicle is H.R. 719. It started life as a bill to require the Transportation Security Administration to conform to existing laws and regulations regarding criminal investigator positions. All well and good—it passed the House in February. The Senate then passed it with an amendment, and the House passed it with another amendment along the same lines last week.

Well, Senator McConnell took that bill up, and he proposed an amendment to it that is another, slightly different continuing resolution. This one spends $11,075.65 per family.

(These numbers are the total amount of spending, discounted due to the fact that it will occur next fiscal year, then divided by the number of families in the United States. The numbers are not necessarily exact. The cost differences between the two bills show that the latter bill spends just a few million more than the former.)

At this late date, it appears that Congress will almost certainly pass a continuing resolution along the lines of what Senator McConnell has put forward. It will probably keep the government running until December 11th. And it will probably continue to fund Planned Parenthood.

Also, goodbye and good wishes, Speaker Boehner (R-OH). He announced his retirement from the leadership and the House last week.

Summer’s Over: It’s Spending Time

Monday, September 7th, 2015

stack-of-moneyCongress failed—utterly failed—to pass annual spending bills on time this year. That means that it will have to allocate 2016 spending by the beginning of the fiscal year October 1st.

It will probably pass a “CR,” or continuing resolution. That’s a bill that continues spending at prior-year levels with tweaks here and there. Where? Mind your business, mere American.

This failed process is terrible for democratic oversight, which is to say, you and me getting a say in what Congress puts together.

There is a way to assign blame. You look and see who is in charge of the House and Senate, see whether they passed bills in their respective houses, how well they negotiated with each other, and how well they negotiated final bills with the president.

That math is pretty simple in this case, as the Republicans control the House and Senate. The House passed some bills and the Senate passed none. That means there were no compromises to hammer out between the two, much less negotiations with the president. The Republicans flatly failed to run the appropriations trains on time.

It could be that Republican leaders think they’re better off passing CRs year over year, because open spending debates skew in Democrats’ bigger-spending direction. But there’s a better way to control budgets: Make the Congress more transparent so that the public can participate in these debates. If they actually want less government, they’ll demand it from their legislators, Republican or Democrat.

Rant over.

Here’s a look at the status of the annual spending bills and the process that Congress should have completed. You can see how far they got, and didn’t get.

Watch this space as a small group of congressional leaders and the president decide on spending for Fiscal Year 2016, without the rank and file congressional membership having a say, and certainly without the rest of us.

Spending Bill
House Bill
Senate Bill
Final Votes
Public Law
Vote (Y-N)
Vote (Y-N)
House (Y-N)
Senate (Y-N)
Budget Resolution
President does not sign
242 – 183
278 – 149
Energy & Water
Financial Services
Homeland Security
Interior and Environment
Labor/HHS/Education $8,359
Legislative Branch
State/Foreign Operations

* Cost per average-sized U.S. family; amounts are approximate; changes in interest rates alter net present value calculation

You’ve Been Had

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

That Donald Trump is sure a piece of work. The thing with Fox News’s Megyn Kelly? Wow. The Republican party leadership doesn’t want him there, but how do they get rid of him without inducing a third-party run? That would sap Republican votes.

It’s a good time to be a Democrat. (Shhhh. Don’t interrupt while Trump is messing things up for the other team!) But do we really want a Hillary coronation? #FeelTheBern! Has the Democratic party scheduled enough debates to give other candidates a chance?

If these topics are where you’re focused, you’ve been had. You’ve let politics distract you from the business of government.

While you’re watching the political drama around a presidential election that won’t happen for another fifteen months, you’re ignoring Congress’s mismanagement of the U.S. federal government right now. You’re treating politics as a spectator sport when you should be treating governance as a participatory sport.

You see, Congress is supposed to pass appropriations bills each summer, allocating spending for the next fiscal year, which begins in October. When they don’t do this, agencies can’t plan. They can’t move forward with projects. Your tax money gets wasted—no matter what you think of the projects the agencies would do.

With the House already on break, the Senate took off at the end of the week last week for its summer recess without a single FY 2016 appropriations bill having been passed. Not one.

Some in Congress recognize the need to act responsibly. In late July, the Senate Appropriations Committee put out a press release congratulating itself for passing all appropriations bills for the first time in six years. But the full Senate hasn’t acted on any of them. The House has passed a few bills, but Congress as a whole hasn’t completed work on anything.

What do you do about this? How do you get involved? Well, by this point in the FY 2016 appropriations cycle, it’s pretty much too late. When Congress returns in September, there will be just a few legislative days before the beginning of the new fiscal year.

But you can let your member of Congress and senators know that you are displeased. You can contact them and say that you expect appropriations to be done on time. If your representatives are Republicans, you can let them know that you will not vote for a Republican next November if appropriations were not finalized on time.

Nothing changes if you do nothing. Something might change if you do something. So contact your member of Congress, and encourage your friends and co-workers to do the same!

Thousand-Dollar Bills

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

US-$1000In August, Congress takes an extended recess. The House schedule includes just twelve work days in September. Including the next two weeks, that means there are just twenty congressional work days until the beginning of the 2016 fiscal year. And Congress hasn’t passed a single appropriations bill yet.

But a couple more were introduced last week. The House and Senate both saw introduction of the agriculture appropriations bill.

Let’s take a look and get an idea of what Congress would do if it followed the regular appropriations process with respect to funding agriculture programs, which it appears destined not to do again this year.

They’re thousand-dollar bills, which is to say they spend a little over $1,000 per U.S. family.

H.R. 3049 is the House’s version of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016. It proposes spending of a little over $1,300 per U.S. family on all the agencies within the jurisdiction of the bill.

According to the House Appropriations Committee’s website, the money goes to a short list of agencies:

Department of Agriculture (except Forest Service)
Farm Credit Administration
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Food and Drug Administration (HHS)

S. 1800 is the Senate version of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has a much more detailed list of agencies that the Ag Approps bill funds, but the coverage of the two is about the same. This list can give you a pretty good idea of all the things this particular part of the government does.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, except Forest Service
Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund (USDA)
Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA)
Agricultural Research Service (USDA)
Buildings and Facilities (USDA)
Agriculture Buildings and Facilities and Rental Payments (USDA)
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA)
Buildings and Facilities (USDA)
Child Nutrition Programs (USDA)
Commodity Assistance Program (USDA)
Commodity Credit Corporation (USDA)
Common Computing Environment (USDA)
Conservation Operations (USDA)
Dairy Indemnity Program (USDA)
Departmental Administration (USDA)
Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program (USDA)
Economic Research Service (USDA)
Emergency Conservation Program (USDA)
Export Loans Program (USDA)
Farm Credit Administration
Farm Labor Housing Program
Farm Service Agency (USDA)
Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (USDA)
Food and Drug Administration (HHS)
Food and Drug Administration Buildings and Facilities (HHS)
Food and Nutrition Service (USDA)
Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA)
Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA)
Funds for Strengthening Markets, Income, and Supply (section 32) (USDA)
General Sales Manager (USDA)
Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (USDA)
Hazardous Materials Management (USDA)
Inspection and Weighing Services (USDA)
Mutual and Self-Help Housing Grants (USDA)
National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA)
National Appeals Division (USDA)
National Institute of Food and Agriculture [NIFA] (USDA)
Native American Institutions Endowment Fund (USDA)
Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA)
Nutrition Program Administration (USDA)
Office of Budget and Program Analysis (USDA)
Office of Communications (USDA)
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration (USDA)
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations (USDA)
Office of the Chief Economist (USDA)
Office of the Chief Financial Officer (USDA)
Office of the Chief Information Officer (USDA)
Office of the General Counsel (USDA)
Office of the Inspector General (USDA)
Office of the Secretary (USDA)
Office of the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (USDA)
Office of the Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services (USDA)
Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety (USDA)
Office of the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs (USDA)
Office of the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment (USDA)
Office of the Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (USDA)
Office of the Under Secretary for Rural Development (USDA)
Operations and Maintenance for Hazardous Waste Management (USDA)
Outreach for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers (USDA)
Public Law 480 Program (USDA)
Reimbursement for Net Realized Losses (USDA)
Rental Assistance Program (USDA)
Resource Conservation and Development (USDA)
Risk Management Agency (USDA)
Rural Business-Cooperative Service (USDA)
Rural Community Advancement Program (USDA)
Rural Cooperative Development Grants (USDA)
Rural Development Loan Fund (USDA)
Rural Development Salaries and Expenses (USDA)
Rural Economic Development Grants (USDA)
Rural Economic Development Loans (USDA)
Rural Electrification and Telecommunications Loans Program (USDA)
Rural Housing Assistance Grants (USDA)
Rural Housing Insurance Fund (USDA)
Rural Housing Service (USDA)
Rural Telephone Bank (USDA)
Rural Utilities Service (USDA)
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children [WIC] (USDA)
State Mediation Grants (USDA)
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (USDA)
Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (USDA)
Watershed Surveys and Planning (USDA)

Should the government spend all of that money on these things? That is up to you. We don’t have the kind of data we need from the government to do a good job letting you pick and choose among all of these different things, so you’re left with the gross decision about spending in the whole bill: Too much? Too little? Or just right?

Here’s the current voting on H.R. 3049 and S. 1800, both known as the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016. Click to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki articles on the bills.

The Latest Spending Bills

Monday, July 13th, 2015

moneySpending season continues with the introduction of more new bills last week.

Let’s take a look at the agencies they fund in detail.

S. 1725 is the State Department/foreign operations bill introduced in the Senate. It proposes spending of about $435 per U.S. family on these agencies and programs:

Agency for International Development
Department of State
Department of the Treasury
– Debt Restructuring
– International Affairs Technical Assistance
– International Financial Institutions
Export-Import Bank
Millennium Challenge Program
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Peace Corps
Trade and Development Agency
Related Programs and Agencies:
– African Development Foundation
– Broadcasting Board of Governors
– Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue Trust Fund
– Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad
– Commission on International Religious Freedom
– Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
– Congressional-Executive Commission on the People’s Republic of China
– East-West Center
– Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship Program
– Inter-American Foundation
– Israeli Arab Scholarship Program
– National Endowment for Democracy
– The Asia Foundation
– United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission
– United States Institute of Peace

Here’s the current vote on the bill among WashingtonWatch.com visitors.

Next up is H.R. 2995, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2016. Spending: just over $400 per U.S. family.

The following agencies and programs come under that bill.

Department of the Treasury (except Debt Restructuring, International Affairs Technical Assistance, and International Financial Institutions)
District of Columbia
The Judiciary
Executive Office of the President (except Office of Science and Technology Policy, Office of the United States Trade Representative, and Council on Environmental Quality and Office of Environmental Quality)
Independent Agencies
– Administrative Conference of the United States
– Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation
– Consumer Product Safety Commission
– Election Assistance Commission
– Federal Communications Commission
– Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Inspector General
– Federal Election Commission
– Federal Labor Relations Authority
– Federal Trade Commission
– General Services Administration
– Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation
– Merit Systems Protection Board
– Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation
– National Archives and Records Administration
– National Credit Union Administration
– Office of Government Ethics
– Office of Personnel Management and Related Trust Funds
– Office of Special Counsel
– Postal Regulatory Commission
– Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board
– Recovery and Accountability Transparency Board
– Securities and Exchange Commission
– Selective Service System
– Small Business Administration
– United States Postal Service, Payment to the Postal Service Fund
– United States Tax Court
General Provisions, Government-wide

The current vote:

Finally, there’s H.R. 3020, the House Labor/HHS spending bill. (We talked about the Senate version of the bill a few weeks ago.) It would spend just about $8,350 per U.S. family on these agencies and entities:

Department of Education
Department of Health and Human Services (Except Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; Food and Drug Administration; Indian Health Services and Facilities; and National Institute of Environmental Sciences (formerly EPA/Superfund))
Department of Labor
Related Agencies
– Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled
– Corporation for National and Community Service
– Corporation for Public Broadcasting
– Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
– Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
– Institute of Museum and Library Services
– Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission
– Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
– National Council on Disability
– National Labor Relations Board
– National Mediation Board
– Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
– Railroad Retirement Board
– Social Security Administration

And here’s how the WashingtonWatch.com voting is going.

A Big Week! … for Spending

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

money-fallingPresident Obama eulogized the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of nine people shot and killed by a racist terrorist during Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina. The Supreme Court saved Obamacare from a legal challenge that would have undercut the tax and subsidy scheme that are a linchpin of the law. And the Court recognized a right of gay people to marry. It was a big week! … for spending.

That’s because one of the biggest spending bills of the year was introduced. That’s the Labor/HHS spending bill, S. 1695, in the Senate. There isn’t a House bill yet.

The Senate bill proposes spending of about $8,300 per family. That’s about $890 billion, if you like big numbers.

It’s not just the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services funded by the bill. Take a look at all the government offices:

  • Department of Education
  • Department of Health and Human Services (Except Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; Food and Drug Administration; Indian Health Services and Facilities; and National Institute of Environmental Sciences (formerly EPA/Superfund))
  • Department of Labor
  • Related Agencies:
    – Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled
    – Corporation for National and Community Service
    – Corporation for Public Broadcasting
    – Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
    – Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
    – Institute of Museum and Library Services
    – Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission
    – Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
    – National Council on Disability
    – National Labor Relations Board
    – National Mediation Board
    – Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
    – Railroad Retirement Board
    – Social Security Administration

The big cost items, of course, are Medicare and Social Security. They make Labor/HHS much bigger than the next largest annual spending bill, the Department of Defense appropriations bill. The Senate version is S. 1558, and it spends a little over $5,000 per family. The House bill, H.R. 2685, spends about the same amount.

It was a big week for spending! Everything about the Labor/HHS bill is big.

Here’s the current vote on the Labor/HHS spending bill. Click to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki article about the bill.

Spending Season Gets Into Swing

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

budget_processLucy, get your football. It’s time for the annual tradition in which Congress looks like it’s going to do its budgeting on time, and then…

At this point, the House has been moving spending bills on a schedule that could allow for the congressional budget process to be completed on time.

The federal government operates on an October-through-September fiscal year. The 2016 fiscal year begins October 1st, which means Congress should finish its spending bills during the summer—or at least by mid-September.

The earlier the better, because having their bills passed allows federal agencies to plan for the coming year. The official schedule calls for the House to finish its work on spending bills by the end of June.

So let’s take a look at what the House has done so far. It’s doing … alright. Maybe this year—maybe, just maybe—Congress will pass the bills on time, and there won’t be any need for “continuing resolutions” or “omnibus” spending bills.

Without further ado, each of the annual spending bills and their current status:

Agriculture – no bill yet

Commerce/Justice/ScienceH.R. 2578 spends about $585 per U.S. family.

DefenseH.R. 2685 spends about $5,260 per U.S. family.

Energy and WaterH.R. 2028 spends about $340 per U.S. family.

Financial Services – no bill yet

Homeland Security – no bill yet

Interior and Environment – no bill yet

Labor/HHS/Education – no bill yet

Legislative BranchH.R. 2250 spends about $34 per U.S. family.

Military/VeteransH.R. 2029 spends $1,600 per U.S. family.

State/Foreign Operations – no bill yet

Transportation/HUDH.R. 2577 spends $1,100 per U.S. family.

Spending season is getting into swing! We’ll keep you posted as things continue to develop.

Government Programs Cost Money

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

green threadGovernment programs cost money. But the systems we’ve got for government oversight don’t make it terribly easy to follow the green thread.

A number of bills getting cost estimates in the last week help illustrate how taxpayer money is spent, though, so let’s review.

The annual budgeting and spending process goes on year over year (“appropriations”), but a different batch of laws establishes the legal authority for agencies’ existence and powers in the first place. Those laws also establish the government’s power to expend funds in support of agencies. This is called “authorization.”

Three authorization bills got cost estimates last week for different parts of the U.S. government. Getting a look at them can help you understand how much you pay for federal agencies.

H.R. 1735 is called the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. It authorize appropriations totaling about $605.3 billion for FY 2016 for the military functions of the Department of Defense, certain activities of the Department of Energy, and a few other purposes. Separately, those funds will be appropriated, or spent, in the Department of Defense appropriations bill. This is the legal authority for the spending.

Here at WashingtonWatch.com, we take government estimates of the actual outlays that will occur each year under authorizations and calculate how much each American family would have to put in the bank to fund this spending. This “net present value” calculation finds the cost of H.R. 1735 to be about $5,400 per U.S. family.

Now you’re better positioned to decide whether military spending is too low, too high, or just right. Let your member of Congress and senators know how you feel—and your friends and neighbors, too. It’s all part of your civic duty.

Here is the current vote on H.R. 1735. Click to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki article on the bill.

Now, how about NASA?

H.R. 2039 is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act for 2016 and 2017. As you might guess, it allows for spending on NASA in the next two fiscal years—$18.5 billion in 2016 and $18.8 billion in 2017. That means spending of about $330 per U.S. family.

Worth it? Want more? Want less?

Here is the current vote on H.R. 2039. Click to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki article on the bill.

Finally, let’s look at the Coast Guard.

H.R. 1987 is the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015. It authorizes appropriations totaling $17.5 billion for operations of the United States Coast Guard and the Federal Maritime Commission over the 2016-2017 period. $150 per U.S. family.

Here is the current vote on H.R. 1987. Click to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki article on the bill.

Not every agency of the U.S. government gets reauthorized every year, and sometimes there are appropriations without authorization, which is one of many forms of congressional mismanagement.

But when Congress is doing its job, it gives you a chance to see particulars of how government programs cost money.

We Have a Budget! And a Fascinating Compromise…

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

pile-of-moneyLast week, we asked Congress sternly, “How’s that Quick Budget Deal Coming Along?

With the deadline for a final congressional budget having passed on April 15th, their claim to be moving promptly toward finalizing a budget was dubious. Congress was in trouble with us!

To make amends—and assuredly you understand we’re being tongue-in-cheek about that—congressional leaders sat down last week and hammered out a final budget. The compromise went to the House and received a favorable vote. The Senate is likely to vote on it this week.

The compromise is fascinating, because the two houses of Congress didn’t come out where you might have expected.

Recall that H. Con. Res. 27, the House’s budget resolution, proposed spending of a little under $28,400 per family for fiscal 2016, which starts October 1st. The Senate’s budget, S. Con. Res. 11, proposed about $28,600 per U.S. family.

The compromise between the two spends $29,131 per U.S. family.

Yes, you read that right. The two houses of Congress were about $200 apart on how much money per family they should spend in fiscal 2016. So they took the high proposal, added $500 to it, and agreed on that!

There are a lot of interests competing for congressional dollars, and between the time the House and Senate put forward their proposals and the time they got together to forge a compromise, some of them must have convinced Congress to open the spigot just a little more. Maybe the money will go to good things. Maybe it’s better left with America’s individual taxpayers and businesses. That’s up to you.

But it’s not up to very many people, because most news outlets don’t report at all on basic numbers like the amount of spending Congress plans, proposes, or passes.

Will that change? Maybe if you ask for it. So this week, along with suggesting that you communicate with your member of Congress and senators, we suggest that you also call your local paper and television news station and ask them why they don’t give out the numbers!

Here’s the current vote on the now-larger Senate budget resolution, which is the vehicle for final passage of the congressional budget resolution. Click to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki article on the bill.

How’s that Quick Budget Deal Coming Along?

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

budget_processYes, we are all about that budget around here. It’s the national government’s most significant annual expression of values.

April 15th was the deadline for the House and Senate to decide on a budget for the federal government in fiscal 2016. But that deadline came and went without Congress finalizing an overall spending plan.

Budget leaders in the House and Senate promised to “strike a deal quickly,” but definitions of “quickly” appear to differ. The congressional budget resolution is nearly two weeks late now.

What has happened is a meeting. Last week, the conference committee on the FY 2016 budget got together. Members of the committee, appointed by the House and Senate to represent their respective sides, made statements about the budget, then they adjourned without undertaking any real work. (In fairness, pretty much all the work goes on behind the scenes.) You can watch it—all two hours of it—on C-SPAN.

When a budget is finalized, it is used to create what are called 302(b) allocations. Those are amounts assigned to each of the appropriations subcommittees for them to spend.

Makes sense, right? Once you’ve got a budget, you decide how to spend it.

But in the absence of a budget and their 302(b) allocations, the appropriations subcommittees are already starting to move bills. Late last week, two appropriations bills were introduced in the House.

H.R. 2028, is the energy, water development, and related agencies spending bill. It includes about $36 billion in spending, or about $340 per U.S. family.

H.R. 2029 makes appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the 2016 fiscal year. That bill has about $172.5 billion in spending. That’s $1,600 per family.

It’s not terrible to see the appropriations subcommittees moving forward. They are supposed to finish by mid-summer so that agencies can plan for the start of the fiscal year on October 1st. But that should happen after Congress has produced a final budget.

So how’s that quick budget deal coming along?

Here are the current votes on the spending bills introduced last week. Click to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki articles on the bills.