This month’s edition of Common Sense Conversation is now online. Listen in as TCS’ Ryan Alexander, Steve Ellis, Joshua Sewell, and Michael Maragos talk about appropriations season and the drama-filled disaster bill, which finally got signed a couple of days after we had this conversation.
Speaking of appropriations – it’s clear there’s School House Rock, and …..then there’s reality. And it’s very easy to forget that our current state of legislative disarray is not normal. It may seem the new normal, but appropriations actually has a process and a timetable. Unfortunately, Congress has not met this timeline in decades. The last time Congress passed all appropriations on time was in 1997, and the last time individual bills were passed by deadline was even farther back, in 1994. To quote Ellis: “It’s not exactly a well-oiled machine, or even a humming machine, or even a sand-in-the-gears-moving-along machine.”
Once the appropriations bills actually come into play, TCS staff do what few others do. We actually read through them, tables and all. Because, as our staff points out, there are lots of hidden nuggets to be found in the 1200 page omnibus bills that are released some 40 hours before a vote. And no one reads that fast. Not even us.
Finally, learn about why there’s an ongoing strange dance between disaster funding and appropriations.
Resources referred to in this edition of CSC:
- School House Rock – I’m Just A Bill
- Budget Process of 1974 –
- Budget Control Act of 2011