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Action-A-Day 3/21: U.S.Budget Process 101

OFFICIAL Carroll CAN #Action, #CallToAction, for TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 2017


ACTION:   Understanding how the US Budget process works and MY part in it.

What is a Budget?  What are Appropriations? Authorizations? And Mandatory Spending?  What does the Office of Management and Budget Do?  What is the Government Accountability Office?  Why is there a Congressional Budget Office?   Why do I need to care about these entities?  How does this affect me?

OVERVIEW  All of us struggle on some level working with budgets.  It may be our own household budget, a club or organizational budget, a religious group's budget, or business budget.  The basic concepts are simple:  1.) How much money do you have, or will you bring in?  2). How much " must" you spend ? the case of household budgets: rent or mortgage, taxes, insurance, transportation, healthcare, food, clothing, etc.  3). How much do you "get to" spend?...... entertainment, vacations, special clothing, eating out, gifts etc.  4). How much is left over, or "not spent"?   5).  What to do if there is extra money? Or not enough money?  
All of the answers to these questions come bundled with the opinions and needs of all the members of your household.  At the end of the day, parents or the adults in a household make the final choices in these decisions.  

In the case of the federal budget, it is a similar process.  But there are rules to how it gets done and how it gets enforced.  Each year the process begins anew with the President of the United States submitting his/her budget proposal to Congress.  Determining priorities is always a challenge.  And some years this has led to a complete closing of the federal government.  When Congress and the President cannot come to agreements, everything stands still.  This year's congress is particularly tasked with a vexing budget presented by President #45.  The choices before them are mostly unpopular with the electorate.  The decisions they make this year will have impacts to the lives of millions and millions of us.  From Education to Meals on Wheels, from Clean Water and Air to Fracking and destruction of National Lands.  Block grants? And more! 

But congress doesn't Act without citizen input.  For years many of us have stood on the sidelines NOT participating in these choices.  But we DO still have a chance to be heard.

Today, you can begin making a difference.  Start by getting familiar with how this process works.  Then make time everyday to make one phone call to members of congress, House and Senate, and inform them of your personal priorities and preferences for budget protections.

TAKE ACTION:  Learn the process.

1). Read the following budget 101 guides to understanding the federal budget.


2). The actual budget summary is 62 pages long.  Below are some other condensed budget articles and summaries, review these and form your opinions.

Graphics and Summary story of #45 Budget Proposal

Comprehensive Plan To Reorganize the Executive Branch

USA Today Summary of Budget Proposal


3). Makes calls urging your representatives and senators to protect and provide for your priorities.

4). Ask questions.  Go to Town Halls, Rallies and other events to show your support for your causes.

5). Check back here often for more information.


 62 Agencies and Programs Trump Wants to Eliminate

Who Wins and Who Loses in Trumps Proposed Budget

Fiscal Year 2017 Budget

Appropriations Watch 2017