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Federal Budget Process

The annual process by which your tax dollars are spent and the operations of the Federal Government continue.

The Federal Budget Process in a Perfect World
The U.S. federal budget process as it is supposed to work.

Government Shutdowns
Government shutdowns can happen when Congress fails to pass the annual federal budget or a continuing resolution within the dates established by the Constitution and federal law. What happens during a government shut down?

Why the Government Doesn't Actually Close During a Government Shutdown
Find out why the federal government stays open even during a government shutdown. Learn which services the government continues to provide during a government shutdown. See examples of how the government operated during a government shutdown in recent history.

Budget Deficit History
Find out what the U.S. budget deficit was by year. See how much more the government spends than it takes in every year. Learn which years the federal government actually ran a surplus.

What is the Debt Ceiling?
Learn about the debt ceiling in this explanation of what the debt ceiling is. Find out what the debt ceiling currently is in the United States. Discover what the debt ceiling has been in the recent past.

Debt Ceiling Increase of 2011
Read about the debt ceiling increase of 2011. Learn about the controversy over hiking the statutory ceiling on federal borrowing. See how many times the level has been increased through history and under President Barack Obama.

What is the Super Congress?
Find out what a Super Congress is. See who was appointed to the panel in 2011. Learn about the duties of lawmakers who served on the elite committee. Read about the controversy that led to a Super Congress in the first place.

How the Debt Ceiling Debate Hurt America
Find out how the contentious debt ceiling debate of 2011 caused big problems for the United States. Read about the credit rating downgrade that followed the debate. Learn about the effects of Washington partisanship on your tax money.

GAO Warns Climate Change Could Drain Federal Budget
The federal government is not prepared to deal with potential financial losses resulting from climate change, the GAO reports.

Debt Ceiling History
Read about the US debt ceiling history. Learn about the statutory cap on federal borrowing. See how much the government limit on debt was through the years.

What is the Antideficiency Act?
Read a description of the Antideficiency Act. Find out what the Antideficiency Act says about government shutdowns. Learn about the history of the Antideficiency Act. FInd out what happens when the government violates the Antideficiency Act.

The U.S. Federal Budget Process
The key dates to be observed by Congress and the president in the annual federal budget process.

The U.S. Federal Budget Process
Congress and the president approve the annual spending bills funding the federal government for the upcoming fiscal year.

The U.S. Federal Budget Process
Congress creates and debates the various spending bills funding the functions of the U.S. government for the coming fiscal year.

The U.S. Federal Budget Process
In reaction to the President’s Budget Proposal, Congress creates its Budget Resolution.

The U.S. Federal Budget Process
About the Annual U.S. Federal Budget Process

About the President's Annual Budget Request
The President's annual Budget Request is the first step in the annual federal budget process, which is supposed to be completed by October 1, but never is. Besides giving Congress plenty to argue about for the rest of the year and beyond, the President's Budget Request serves three key functions in the federal budget process. Learn what they are.

New Congress to Attack Earmark Spending
"Earmark" spending, often the source massive waste in the federal budget process, would undergo sweeping reform under a proposal being championed by the incoming Chairs of the Senate and House Appropriations Committee, Senator Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) and Representative David Obey (D-Wisconsin, 7th).

Federal Budget Process
Preparing and approving America's budget is one of the most important and difficult jobs of the President and Congress. How does it all come together? From your About.com Guide.

Surplus? U.S. Debt Pushes $6 Trillion
The national debt was $5,662,225,814,331.71 on Oct. 5, 2000. How long would it take to pay it off at a-dollar-a-second? Learn this fascinating fact, as well as the difference between the debt and the deficit, and where this "surplus" came from. From your About Guide.

Government Shutdown?
What can happen if the Federal Budget is not approved by Congress before the start of the government's fiscal year? From your About.com Guide.

Costs of Government: Capitol Buildings
From the FY 2000 Federal Budget, funds allocated for repairs, improvements, and maintenance to the White House, Capitol Building and Capitol grounds. From your About.com Guide.

Who Else Flies on the Taxpayers' Dime?
Besides the president and vice president, who flies on airplanes owned and operated by the U.S. government?

Citizens Against Government Waste
How is your money spent? Sometimes wisely, sometimes... Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization representing more than one million members and supporters nationwide. CAGW's mission is to eliminate the waste, mismanagement, and inefficiency in the federal government.

A Citizen's Guide to the Federal Budget
A simple, complete breakdown of the FY 2001 federal budget from the Government Printing Office. Clearly lays out revenues and expenditures, plus the budget process itself,

Budget of the United States Government
  The entire Federal Budget for the current and several past fiscal years. From the GPO, documents can be viewed online or downloaded to your PC. (.pdf files for Adobe Acrobat reader.)

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
A nonpartisan research organization and policy institute that conducts research and analysis on a range of government policies and programs, with an emphasis on those affecting low- and moderate-income people.

Citizens For Tax Justice
Bi-partisan analysis of federal, state, and local tax issues and their impact on taxpayers. Also, analysis of new and proposed tax laws and legislation.

How Federal Workers Would Save Your Money
The President’s SAVE (Securing Americans Value and Efficiency) Award answers President Obama's call for "a process through which every government worker can submit their ideas for how their agency can save money and perform better."

Saving Taxpayers' Dollars - How do you think the government c…
How do you think the government could save money?

National Debt Versus Deficit
Learn the difference between the federal deficit and the national debt. Find out how the government deals with a deficit. Read about how the deficit impact the national debt. Find out how the national debt impacts the economy.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
The Executive agency responsible for preparation and submission to Congress of the annual Federal Budget.

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