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Response to Huin (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 12, 2019, 06:55 AM

26. In response to this

A shutdown should only occur through a gross screw-up by congress. I fully agree, and that is a great idea you make reference to.


In 1980, a broad interpretation of the Anti-Deficiency Act (which has been amended several times over the past almost 150 years) essentially started the ball rolling on actually shutting down government functions when no appropriation has been enacted. Before 1980, agencies merely continued to expend at current levels until the new amounts were authorized, and lapses in appropriations did not lead to shutdowns.

A good article on this - https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/09/the-odd-story-of-the-law-that-dictates-how-government-shutdowns-work/280047/

Some other interesting related history -

Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974
July 12, 1974

The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, was signed into law creating the House Budget Committee on this date. The bill overhauled the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, which had been intended to assist Congress in its appropriations role by requiring the President to submit an annual budget. As the process grew more institutionalized, Presidents sought to exert greater control over federal spending. Frustrated with President Richard M. Nixon’s impoundment of congressionally appropriated funds, Congress reasserted its budget authority. By shifting the federal government’s fiscal year from July 1 to October 1, Congress gained the time to respond to the President’s annual budget message and properly legislate federal spending. The act created both the House and Senate Budget Committees and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The CBO was charged with gathering data and estimates and supplying the committees with proper information to assist the federal budget process. The House Budget Committee became a standing committee on July 12, 1974, in the 93rd Congress (1973–1975), but it did not organize until August 14, 1974. Albert Ullman of Oregon served as the first chairman of the committee.

https://history.house.gov/Historical-Highlights/1951-2000/Congressional-Budget-and-Impoundment-Control-Act-of-1974/


Also, in the future, for routine governmental functions established by law the necessary appropriations could be attached to each bill to be good for as long as the bill remains a law.


This is already what they are supposed to be doing. Each Department/Agency is to have an appropriation associated with it and the various committees in both the House and Senate have hearings with representatives of those agencies after reviewing the Budget Request from the President, and then they start marking up the appropriations bills for eventual committee and full chamber votes. The problem is that the GOP has not prioritized having hearings for some departments that they feel are not important and have tried to craft appropriations language outside of the committee, and then ram it out of committee with only their votes or let it languish in committee until it is moved out in order to be jammed into an "Omnibus" or "Minibus" piece of legislation that combines the appropriations of multiple departments/agencies into a single or several bills.

So for the military spending congress needs to have the two year oversight to make adjustments


The problem is that "oversight" only seems to apply to everything thing else but this when the GOP is in charge.

The way I read it, it has nothing to do with making the appropriations, just an accounting where did the money come from


The "accounting" is where departments/agencies actually go through a financial reconciliation at the end of every FY. So, as an example, at my agency (I am now retired after 30+ years), they would start a phase-down of purchasing starting some time in August and by mid-September, the procurement system would be locked out for all but certain financial folks as they started working through the process of accounting for every penny. There are a number of different "buckets" of money that commitments and obligations use and some are not actually associated with appropriated money but must be accounted for. The spending reports are then sent to Congress for review.

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Huin Feb 2019 OP
brooklynite Feb 2019 #1
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