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unseen1 @unseen1_unseen
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1. There is some confusion on the budget process so let me clarify it for you. This is how it is suppose to work. (regular order). Hint they don't do this much anymore.
2. The POTUS submits a budget proposal to Congress outlining what he thinks the nation needs to spend on certain departments, priorities etc. ( this is usually as they say dead on arrival when it reaches Congress)
3. You see Congress thinks of itself as the Masters of the World and they don't care what anyone tells them. When it comes to allocation of spending, Congress is the King of the hill.
4. So once they get the budget proposal from the POTUS....They hmmm take it, "talk" with admin officals, and after lengthy consideration they drop it in the nearest waste basket. Then they start their own budget procedure.
5. The Congressional budget is an overview of how much they can spend. Each committee submits what they think the departments they are responsible for will need in the coming year. All of this is then pushed to the whole Chamber which will agree with or "fix" the numbers.
6. This procedure is repeated in both chambers and each chamber (lobbyists) can come up with a different budget. The budget is the agreement between congress critters(lobbyists) on how much they are allowed to spend. It then allocates those spending limits back to the committees
7. The committees then hmmm "talk" to the department heads (and lobbyists) some more like SEC of State (and Chamber of Commerce) to find out what those department leaders (and lobbyists) think they need and where they need it. All while keeping those caps in mind.
8. Budget resolutions do not require the POTUS to sign. This is where the POTUS team as well as congress push new policies and determines which priorities will get funded. They are all non binding.
9. In current times, this is the Budget deal that was passed in Feb, 2018. Where the chambers agreed to lift the spending caps and decided which priorities to fund.
10. So after lengthy "talks", political considerations and bribes the congress critters in each committee pass bills for the departments they oversee to the appropriation committee. The appropriation committee marks up these into a final format. There are 12 appropriation bills
11. The appropriation bill directs not only the level of funding but where that spending should go. Most of the direction is not very detailed.
12. For instance in the Current NASA appropriation bill, it says $4.7 billion for space exploration and then parcels out that for some specific programs while leaving how to spend it in that program up to the department head.
13. Whatever funds, that are not directly detailed, for a specific program can be used for general space exploration to be determined by the department head. Sometimes "riders" are attached to these bills specifically directed what the money CANT be used for, like the Hyde act.
14. So we got the two appropriation bills for each department (one in the house and one in the senate) making their way up through subcommittees, committees and then the whole chamber where a vote is taken.
15. If both houses pass the bills then it is taken into a conference committee made up of house and senate members to work out any differences. The final bill is sent back to both chambers and a vote is taken.
16. If it passes and POTUS signs it you now have funding for that department/departments for the next year. This process should be repeated 12 different times for each appropriation bill. They are required to be passed by Sept 30th, since the new fiscal year starts Oct 1st.
17. this is called regular order. If it is maintained, the POTUS gets 12 different bills to sign or veto. But alas the Congress critters are sneaky bastards and figured out a way to lessen the power of the POTUS.
18. They invented something called an OMNIBUS bill where all 12 appropriation bills are bundled into one. This giant bill is voted on and sent to the POTUS instead of 12. Now if the POTUS votes it, it shutdowns the entire government not just the one department.
19. This gives the congresscritters vast power to stuff the omnibus with tons of pork and other side deals that would be hard or impossible to pass in regular order like the Cloud Act
20. This is why all POTUSs have been calling for a line item veto for the last 2 decades and why Congress would never allow it.
21. In other words it's the budget resolution that is fungible not the omnibus bill. The omnibus bill details how much money can be spent, how that money is to be spent and what the money can't be spent on. However, since it isn't very detailed, POTUS/department heads can wiggle
22. This also should give you insight just how much power Congress has when it comes to spending and how little the POTUS has. Before 1974 Presidents would impound (not use them) funds on things they didn't agree with. Congress didn't like that.
23. They passed the Impoundment ACT and Nixon was forced to sign it because of watergate investigations. So now the POTUS has to spend the money on things he may not even support like PP funding.
24. Hope this little dive into the Budget/Spending process helps you understand it a bit better and directs your anger where it belongs the Congress of the USA and by extension the filibuster rule which gives the minority vast leverage for spending.
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