CapitolWatch Defending American Taxpayers from Ineffective Government and Wasteful Spending en-us Congressional Budget One of Few Being Slashed in Washington Washington, D.C. has become known for many things, but a smaller federal budget is not one of them. Over the past few years the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has actually become the norm when it comes to the budget for the legislative branch. One of their first acts after taking control in 2011 was to vote to slash their own budget by $35 million. CapitolWatch Challenges Members of Congress to Prepare their Own Taxes As we enter another income tax return season, CapitolWatch is challenging all Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to prepare their own income tax returns, without the assistance of lawyers, CPA’s and other tax professionals. Well Over $1 Trillion in Taxes Proposed in Obama Budget President Barack Obama has released his FY 2016 budget and it should come as no surprise that he intends to continue his call for increased spending across a broad range of areas. This includes an overall increase of 7 percent, or $74 billion in additional taxpayer dollars above the cap signed into law by him with the 2011 Budget Control Act. “This includes $530 billion on the non-defense discretionary side, an increase of $37 billion over the spending caps, and $561 billion in defense spending, an increase of $38 billion over the spending caps,” a White House official told the media. The Elections Are Over, Time for Congress to Legislate This month’s election was a historic one for the GOP, which realized its largest majority in the House since 1928 and captured the Senate for the first time since 2006. When the 114th Congress convenes in January, Republicans in the House and Senate have an opportunity to show how they are able to govern. A significant majority in the House means Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and his leadership team have more leeway in finding support for legislative priorities. In the Senate, Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will still have to contend with overcoming the 60 person cloture vote required to end debate on an issue. This means McConnell will have to approach legislation with an eye towards attracting Democratic support. Government Borrowing Continues, CBO Says Outlook Dire The U.S. Treasury Department has announced it expects to borrow $192 billion in the third quarter of this year. This is an increase of $170 billion from the borrowing amount announced in April. Additionally, the Department estimated it will need to borrow $187 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014 to keep the Government running and to meet financial obligations such as servicing the existing $17.6 trillion federal debt. The federal budget deficit was $680 billion in FY 2013. This marked the first time the annual deficit did not exceed $1 trillion during Barack Obama’s presidency, which reached a record $1.4 trillion in 2009.