A Primer on Disaster and Emergency Appropriations

A Primer on Disaster and Emergency Appropriations. The Heritage Foundation. Justin Bogie. March 2, 2016.

Each year, Congress appropriates billions of dollars in discretionary funding for disaster relief and emergencies. Some of that funding is provided through base appropriations measures, but a much larger portion is provided through annual Budget Control Act (BCA) cap adjustments that increase discretionary spending by billions of dollars, or by supplemental appropriations bills that provide even greater amounts of funding that is not subject to spending caps or budgetary controls. The paper outlines the three classifications of disaster and emergency spending and discusses the importance of paying for these events within the normal annual appropriations except in the cases of true emergencies. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 3 pages, 121.36 KB].

Defense Modernization Plans through the 2020s

Defense Modernization Plans through the 2020s. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Todd Harrison. January 26, 2016.

Since the enactment of the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, much attention has been paid to the near-term effects of budgetary constraints on national defense. What has received less attention are the looming budgetary challenges defense faces beyond the BCA budget caps and the Defense Department’s five-year budget planning horizon. The report details the plans for major acquisition programs over the next fifteen years and explores the complicating factors that may make the situation more problematic for policymakers. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 42 pages, 2.12 MB].

Budget Deficit Slips as Public Priority

Budget Deficit Slips as Public Priority. Pew Research Center. January 22, 2016.

As Barack Obama begins his final year in office, the goal of reducing the budget deficit, which the public once ranked among the most pressing objectives for his administration, has continued its recent decline in perceived importance. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 31 pages, 521.11 KB].

Kids’ Share 2014: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children Through 2013

Kids’ Share 2014: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children Through 2013. Urban Institute. Heather Hahn et al. September 18, 2014.

Kids’ Share 2014: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children Through 2013, an eighth annual report, looks comprehensively at federal spending and tax expenditures on children. Total federal expenditures on children were up from 2012, but below spending in 2010. Broader budgetary forces will continue to restrict spending on children over the next ten years, despite an overall projected growth of over $1.4 trillion in federal spending. Over the next decade, outlays on children are projected to decline from 10 to 8 percent of the federal budget. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 60 pages, 1.87 KB].

The Debt Limit Since 2011

The Debt Limit Since 2011. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. D. Andrew Austin. February 18, 2014.

Total federal debt can increase in two ways. First, through debt increases when the government sells debt to the public to finance budget deficits and acquire the financial resources needed to meet its obligations. This increases debt held by the public. Second, through debt increases when the federal government issues debt to certain government accounts, such as the Social Security, Medicare, and Transportation trust funds, in exchange for their reported surpluses. This increases debt held by government accounts. The sum of debt held by the public and debt held by government accounts is the total federal debt. Surpluses reduce debt held by the public, while deficits raise it.

[PDF format, 23 pages, 417.67 KB].

Early Learning and Child Care: Federal Funds Support Multiple Programs with Similar Goals

Early Learning and Child Care: Federal Funds Support Multiple Programs with Similar Goals. U.S. Government Accountability Office. February 5, 2014.

Millions of children under the age of 5 participate each year in federally funded preschool and other early learning programs or receive federally supported child care in a range of settings. Federal programs that funded early learning and child care as an explicit purpose received at least $14.2 billion in federal funding in fiscal year 2012. This testimony discusses existing federally funded programs that provide or support early learning or child care services for children and the extent to which these programs are administered by multiple federal agencies, have similar goals, or provide the same services. It is based on work done for GAO’s 2012 annual report on opportunities to reduce duplication, overlap, and fragmentation in federal government programs. In its 2012 report, GAO noted that Education and HHS needed to extend their coordination efforts to other agencies with early learning and child care programs. As of December 2013, the agencies had taken initial steps toward greater coordination but need to follow through with their plans to include these other federal agencies in an inter-departmental workgroup.

http://gao.gov/assets/670/660686.pdf Highlights [PDF format, 1 page, 91.3 KB].

http://gao.gov/assets/670/660685.pdf Full Text [PDF format, 16 pages, 224.04 KB].

In Deficit Debate, Public Resists Cuts in Entitlements and Aid to Poor

In Deficit Debate, Public Resists Cuts in Entitlements and Aid to Poor. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. December 19, 2013.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Dec. 3-8 among 2,001 adults, finds majorities say it is more important to maintain spending on Social Security and Medicare and programs to help the poor than to take steps to reduce the budget deficit. Nearly seven-in-ten (69%) say it is more important to maintain current Social Security and Medicare benefits than to reduce the deficit, while 59% prioritize keeping current levels of spending for programs that help the poor and needy over deficit reduction. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages, 541.10 KB].