Department of Commerce

Rainy Day Savings

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Allow programs to save money. Every year congress passes the budget about four months late, leaving programs to operate on a Continuing Resolution for the first part of every year. Once the budget is passed, it's another couple of months before anyone sees any money. Because most money must be spent by the end of the fiscal year, programs end up in a mad frenzy to spend what they receive in the spring before the end of the summer. This is the money they planned to operate on for the entire year. The Use-It-or-Lose-It consequences result in wasteful spending. Programs have to spend a year’s worth of money in 4-5 months and then go without through the next CR. I propose a plan to reward programs that spend wisely and stretch their dollar. If a program gets by on less money one year, don't take it away from them the next. Let them save it in a rainy-day fund so they can bridge the gaps during CR's or lower budget years. Three-five year spending trends can be monitored and budgets adjusted accordingly.

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Idea No. 515