Fiscal Year 2010 Federal Budget: Chart EditionOctober 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. I’ve mentioned it a few times in the past (when I went to the House looking for info on the Legislative Affairs bill, and when the fate of the F-22 program was still up in the air), but let’s be honest: the new fiscal year started at the beginning of the month, and nary a post has been dedicated to the budget recently.
(If you’re not familiar with the budget process, I still recommend this briefing from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. It will tell you all you need to know about how the budget is done.)
And where do we stand at this late date? As I said, the 2009 fiscal year ended on September 30. To keep the government running, the House and Senate approved a continuing resolution (H.Con.Res. 191), which would keep government programs active for 30 days at 2009-spending levels. They attached the CR to the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act (H.R. 2918) (which is one of a dozen such spending bills that make up the Federal Budget), and President Obama signed it.
That brings us to the chart there — it links to an OpenCongress Wiki page on the 2010 Federal Budget. That chart contains links to bill pages for all of the different spending bills, shows when the various committees approved the legislation, and also links to OpenCongress Vote Records for the legislation. For example, you can see how the House or Senate voted on the Agriculture Appropriations Act (H.R. 2997).
The latest action seems to be happening in the Senate, where there was debate on the Energy and Water Appropriations Act (H.R. 3183). There are two major reasons why the Senate is rushing to tackle these appropriations bills. The first, and most obvious, is the continuing resolution: it expires at the end of October, and Democrats used the last CR to push through some changes that didn’t sit well with Republicans. I don’t think anybody wants to go through that process again.
The second reason is the health care bill. Senate leadership are working to combine the two bills approved, respectively, by the HELP and Finance committees, and then it’s off to the races with floor debate and amendments. With that fight looming, Senators likely want to ensure the appropriations bills are all taken care of as soon as possible.
I’ll do better to blog about the budget in the coming days and weeks, and will continue to update the Wiki page containing the chart. It’s likely your most comprehensive source for the latest votes and info.