“Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget & I’ll tell you what you value.” Joe Biden
Trump just released his 2020 Budget and the fights are on. For those wondering why he just released a budget when we only just got out of a shutdown caused by a budget standoff, here’s the reason:
Every year, the federal budget process starts with the president’s budget request, usually due in early February. (This often gets delayed.) The president’s budget needs to outline 1) how much the White House recommends the government spends and brings in revenue, and 2) their priorities regarding spending levels at the various federal agencies. You can read more about the budget process HERE.
The next step is that Congress starts working out their budget resolution. Recall that the current fight over the national “emergency” that Trump called boils down to whether or not the Senate Republicans will stand up for their constitutional right to the “power of the purse.” Congress is under no obligation to follow the president’s budget but it is important that they get some guidance from the White House.
So first off, whatever you’ve read about the winners and losers in Trump’s budget, know that it is dead on arrival in the House. The Democratic-led House isn’t going to fund Trump’s budget as is. But at some point, everyone has to sign off on the budget so compromises–on both sides–will be made.
I encourage you to read a few articles that summarize the budget and then call your two Senators and one Representative to tell them what you value. What do you want to see in the budget? What recommendations that the president has outlined are you absolutely against? This is critical information for your lawmakers as they are less likely to compromise on items that a vast majority of their constituents care about.
Here are a few articles that do a good job summarizing the budget: