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house Bill H.R. 4894

Should Federal Agencies’ Congressional Budget Justifications be Publicly Available in a Standard, Centralized Format?

Argument in favor

Taxpayers have a right to know how federal agencies are using their dollars. Requiring federal agencies to publish their budget justifications would empower the public to find this information. Although Congress and the Office of Management and Budget are urging agencies to publish budget justifications and a site contains some of them, these efforts haven’t been successful due to lacking the force of law; this legislation would rectify that problem.

Leslie's Opinion
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09/14/2020
Agree Congress should make all budget justifications available in the public domain. Should include sponsors, cost/benefit justifications, vote for/against and large campaign contributors of those voting for it. The US public should be able to review all the fingerprints on each budget justification.
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jimK's Opinion
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09/15/2020
Getting clear, concise overview reporting of Agency budget requests will be difficult to attain without congressional enforcement of it’s own related legislation to be clear and concise, with clear objectives and strategic imperatives. Congressional legislation suffers greatly by the availability of word processors and our litigious society’s dependence on overly detailed legislation instead of concise and carefully worded legislation with a clear strategic imperative, high level requirements and a clear statement of the legislations intent. This form of legislation is easier to understand and harder to use for hidden ‘gotchas’ buried in a footnote of sub paragraph 3 on page 1283. Also, this form of legislation is harder to use as an advertisement for one thing by it’s title, while the actual legislated details do the exact opposite (beware of the details of any trumpublican legislation with a good sounding title- just like the trumpublican party, it is not what they say, it is what they do; the devil is often hidden in the details. This is the kind of legislation of our forebears and all legislation before the invention of word processors - now requiring thousand page bills to rename a section of highway. This kind of legislation is dependent upon all three branches of government actually doing their jobs instead of relying upon pages and pages of detailed prescriptive rules generally drafted by staffers and never carefully read. Legislation in the fifties and sixties was like this and congressional oversight along with the power of the purse was the tool to enforce compliance along with judges capable of interpreting and ruling on the stated intent of the legislation without needing to rely upon a prescriptive check list. … … … So, making Agencies justify their requests based upon strategic imperatives, legislated intent and realistic accounting can be an effective tool provided that the Congress provides effective legislation that allows this reporting to inform the public In a consistent manner, allows further discussion of details when necessary, gets our Congress back to dealing with big issues that affect our county’s future in a consistent manner without having to resort to page after page of ‘administrivia’ detail, and gives more Congressional time to actually deliberate legislation or to provide focused oversight to assure that the legislated intent is being followed by agencies and if the legislation may need revision.
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AmyTSpain's Opinion
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09/15/2020
The People must be able to examine all budgets for all agencies. The only way to stop grift is to become much more transparent.
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Argument opposed

Congress and the Office of Management and Budget already encourage the publication of budget justifications, so this legislation isn’t needed to encourage the publication of congressional budget justifications on agency sites. Additionally, usaspending.gov already hosts slime agencies’ budget requests, so there’s no need for this legislation to establish a new central site.

Just.Dave's Opinion
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09/15/2020
This bill is sponsored by a democrat. More house garbage to pile up on 'Merica Mitch's desk
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Tess's Opinion
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09/15/2020
This is just another obfuscation. The yahoos in Washington have far more pressing issues to be working on. They point their fingers at other entities to distract us from the clear fact that they are not doong their jobs. PA Rep Fred Keller is prancing around his district visiting "small businesses" while completely ignoring them and their employeees when back in Washington. When are we going to rid ourselves of these fools who work for adulation rather than work at all? Let's clean them out. It matters less who occupies the White House and more who we send to Congress. If the President is an imbecile, they do nothing. If the President is competent, they fight against him/her. Both parties. If we behaved the way they do, we would be fired. After decades of misappropriations and dereliction of duty-let's clean house.
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James's Opinion
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09/15/2020
No! Some of these budgets especially for our intelligence agencies are Top Secret. We do not broadcast to our enemies how much we are spending on covert operations abroad!
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    Agree Congress should make all budget justifications available in the public domain. Should include sponsors, cost/benefit justifications, vote for/against and large campaign contributors of those voting for it. The US public should be able to review all the fingerprints on each budget justification.
    Like (63)
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    This bill is sponsored by a democrat. More house garbage to pile up on 'Merica Mitch's desk
    Like (8)
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    Getting clear, concise overview reporting of Agency budget requests will be difficult to attain without congressional enforcement of it’s own related legislation to be clear and concise, with clear objectives and strategic imperatives. Congressional legislation suffers greatly by the availability of word processors and our litigious society’s dependence on overly detailed legislation instead of concise and carefully worded legislation with a clear strategic imperative, high level requirements and a clear statement of the legislations intent. This form of legislation is easier to understand and harder to use for hidden ‘gotchas’ buried in a footnote of sub paragraph 3 on page 1283. Also, this form of legislation is harder to use as an advertisement for one thing by it’s title, while the actual legislated details do the exact opposite (beware of the details of any trumpublican legislation with a good sounding title- just like the trumpublican party, it is not what they say, it is what they do; the devil is often hidden in the details. This is the kind of legislation of our forebears and all legislation before the invention of word processors - now requiring thousand page bills to rename a section of highway. This kind of legislation is dependent upon all three branches of government actually doing their jobs instead of relying upon pages and pages of detailed prescriptive rules generally drafted by staffers and never carefully read. Legislation in the fifties and sixties was like this and congressional oversight along with the power of the purse was the tool to enforce compliance along with judges capable of interpreting and ruling on the stated intent of the legislation without needing to rely upon a prescriptive check list. … … … So, making Agencies justify their requests based upon strategic imperatives, legislated intent and realistic accounting can be an effective tool provided that the Congress provides effective legislation that allows this reporting to inform the public In a consistent manner, allows further discussion of details when necessary, gets our Congress back to dealing with big issues that affect our county’s future in a consistent manner without having to resort to page after page of ‘administrivia’ detail, and gives more Congressional time to actually deliberate legislation or to provide focused oversight to assure that the legislated intent is being followed by agencies and if the legislation may need revision.
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    The People must be able to examine all budgets for all agencies. The only way to stop grift is to become much more transparent.
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    I can justify Haagen Das ice cream every hour but not on taxpayers money. It’s time to see what the government thinks is acceptable and if that differs from the public.
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    By all means yes. Taxpayers have a right to know how federal agencies are using their dollars. Requiring federal agencies to publish their budget justifications would empower the public to find this information. Although Congress and the Office of Management and Budget are urging agencies to publish budget justifications and a site contains some of them, these efforts haven’t been successful due to lacking the force of law; this legislation would rectify that pr, yes. SneakyPete
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    Yes, fiscal responsibility by all federal agencies is important. These are tax payer dollars funding these agencies and there needs to be much more transparency and accountability.
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    Yes. Encouraging & urging hasn’t worked. Make it a law. It’s taxpayers’ money.
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    We as Taxpayers deserve to know how our tax dollars are being spent and why they are being spent the way they are. There are too many riders in all bills that provide pork to things that have nothing to do with the bill it is a rider on. It’s time we the people say enough is enough.
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    Good government is transparent. Forcing all agencies to be transparent about how and why they are spending federal funds will be better for us all, so that we can be informed about how each agency is using our taxpayer dollars. I hope this applies to the Department of Defense, which is the least transparent and most wasteful of all agencies.
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    ABSOLUTELY!! Not only should the justifications be available, line by line as well as generally, but also the assumptions and data upon which those justifications are based. Automatic rollovers plus inflation has long been used to bloat budgets. Non-data driven political assumptions also bloat the budget. Budgets are a statement of values. If we are to trust our government to act in our best interest as a nation, and not just for a privileged few, providing the data needed that underlies and drives the justifications for recommended expenditures would be readily available in a standardized format.
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    The more public our lawmakers make things the less distrust we will have.
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    We all have a right to know where every cent of our tax dollars are being spent, and it is my opinion that if Congress and the Office of Management and Budget are not showing me where all of my tax dollars are going and why, they are participating in extortion and support taxation without representation.
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    More transparency period. Our government is so used to getting away with everything, they forget they work for us.
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    Those that pay the bills must know where the money is spent.
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    WE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHERE OUR TAX DOLLARS GO,,,,,,,,,,,, REPUBLICAN SENATE HAS CONTROL,,,,,,, I WAS RAISED REPUBLICAN I KNOW THE PARTY WELL,,,,,,,,,,,, GOP / RICH PAY LITTLE TO NOTHING IN TAXES ,,,,,,,,, ASK,,,,,,, TRUMP,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, WE PAY TAXES FOR ,,,,, WELFARE,,,,,, NEEDS,,,,,,, ELDERLY ,,,,,, POOR ,,,,,,,,HEALTHCARE ,,,,,,,,,, ROADS BRIDGES,,,,,,, EVERYTHING THEY LIE AND CALL FREE STUFF IS PAID FOR,,,,,,,,,, THEN IT IS STOLE THEIR VACATIONS ABORTIONS FOR THEIR GIRLFRIENDS ,,,,,,,,,, THEIR WANTS,,,,,,, THIS IS NOT THEIR MONEY IT IS OURS,,,,,, TRUMPS GOLFING,,,,,,,, TRUMP STEALING OUR TAXES TO PAY HIMSELF TO BE AT HIS OWN RESORTS ,,,,,,,, HIS KIDS STEAL FROM US,,,,,,,, THEN YOU WANT US TO VOTE FOR YOU GOP,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, THINK IT OVER,,,
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    Yes, all info should be in laymen’s terms to be understood by the public. The public should be able to access and understand information. The government works for us!!
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    Transparency is vital in government. We will not have it in any way if Donald Trump wins.
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    Well, it should be transparent and the public should know and be able to find out easily.
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    JimK, hope you are feeling much better. 👍🏻❤️😊👏🏻 Keep your informed, insightful comments coming, but NOT if you are at risk, health wise. Your passion, as well as many others, are inspiring and necessary in this crazy upside-down world we currently live in. Thank you profusely! ❤️ And I say yes to this proposal!
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