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Cheaper Money

October 4, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

In the final days of the pre-election congressional session, the combination of everybody in Congress wanting to do something to boost the economy while at the same time being unwilling to go near anything that would add to the deficit led to some creative legislating.

You've probably heard about the bill that the House passed last week (H.R.2378) to put tariffs on Chinese imports in order to pressure them into letting their currency appreciate. Well, on the same day they voted on that bill, they passed something else designed to help the economy that has gotten less attention. That bill, the "Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010," is aimed at giving the Treasury Department authority to take a look at an obscure issue in our monetary system, the fact that it's costing the government these days nearly 2 cents to make a penny and nearly 10 cents to make a nickel.

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The 2011 Obama Budget

February 1, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

President Obama's fiscal year 2011 budget request is now online for your review. Get it here. As I wrote earlier this morning, the total cost of the budget is $3.8 trillion, which is an approximately $250 billion increase over last year's budget, but also an almost 50% decrease in the rate of spending growth last year's budget contained.

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Omnibus Budget Bill Looking More Likely

November 18, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

Donny is working on a post about the soon-to-be-released CBO score of the Senate health care reform bill, but I thought I would just write a quick hit on the budget. Most of the government was operating on a continuing resolution: federal agencies are using last year's budget formula to conduct business. Fiscal year 2009 ended on September 30, and while five appropriations bills have been approved, seven have not

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Fiscal Year 2010 Federal Budget: Chart Edition

October 15, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

We've been (reasonably, I would argue) so engrossed in the debate over health care reform and unemployment benefits here at OpenCongress that we've done a poor job of keeping you up to date on the U.S. Federal budget.

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My trip to ClosedCongress

June 15, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

Regular site users know that we lag a bit (about 24 hours) behind THOMAS, the official site of the Library of Congress, when we put bill information and roll call votes on OpenCongress. This is a result of several factors, but put simply, we have to wait for the information to be online before our servers can collect it for publication. For the vast majority of users, this system works: Congress usually moves so slowly that waiting 24 hours to read the bill text or review a roll-call vote is not much of a problem.

We do run into trouble, however, when legislation being debated in Congress is not made available online.

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The Senate kicks off the week with a busy start, as Democratic leaders attempt to keep the caucus in line on the omnibus spending bill. In the House, a vote on D.C. voting rights legislation is probable on Tuesday, and House members may be required to approve any changes made to the omnibus spending bill. In addition, the Employee Free Choice Act will be introduced in both chambers Tuesday.

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