Government shutdowns in the United States
Government shutdowns, in United States politics, refer to a funding gap period that causes a full or partial shutdown of federal government operations and agencies. They are caused when there is a failure to pass a funding legislation to finance the government for its next fiscal year or a temporary funding measure. Since a 1980 interpretation of the 1884 Antideficiency Act, a "lapse of appropriation" due to a political impasse on proposed appropriation bills requires that the US federal government curtail agency activities and services, close down non-essential operations, furlough non-essential workers, only retain essential employees in departments covering the safety of human life and/or protection of property. Voluntary services may only be accepted when required for the safety of property. Shutdowns can occur within and disrupt state and local levels of government; as of 13 April 2019, since the enactment of the US government's current budget and appropriations process in 1976, there have been a total of 22 funding gaps in the federal budget, of which 10 of these have led to federal employees being furloughed.
Prior to 1980, funding gaps did not lead to government shutdowns, until Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti issued a legal opinion requiring the government be shut down when a funding gap occurs. This opinion was not adhered to through the 1980s, but since 1990 all funding gaps lasting longer than a few hours have led to a shutdown; some of the most significant shutdowns in U. S. history have included the 21-day shutdown of 1995–1996 during the Bill Clinton administration over opposition to major spending cuts. S.–Mexico border barrier. Shutdowns cause the disruption of government services and programs, including the closure of national parks and institutions. A major loss of government revenue comes from lost labor from furloughed employees who are still paid, as well as loss of fees that would have been paid during the shutdown. Shutdowns cause a significant reduction in economic growth. During the 2013 shutdown, Standard & Poor's, the financial ratings agency, stated on October 16 that the shutdown had "to date taken $24 billion out of the economy", "shaved at least 0.6 percent off annualized fourth-quarter 2013 GDP growth".
Under the separation of powers created by the United States Constitution, the appropriation and control of government funds for the United States is the sole responsibility of the United States Congress. Congress begins this process through proposing an appropriation bill aimed at determining the levels of spending for each federal department and government program; the finalized version of the bill is voted upon by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. After it passes both chambers, it proceeds to the President of the United States to sign the bill into law. Government shutdowns tend to occur when there is a disagreement over budget allocations before the existing cycle ends; such disagreements can come from the President — through vetoing any finalized appropriation bills they receives — or from one or both chambers of Congress from the political party that has control over that chamber. A shutdown can be temporarily avoided through the enactment of a continuing resolution, which can extend funding for the government for a set period, during which time negotiations can be made to supply an appropriation bill that all involved parties of the political deadlock on spending can agree upon.
However, a CR can be blocked by the same parties if there are issues with the content of the resolution bill that either party has a disagreement upon, in which case a shutdown will occur if a CR cannot be passed by the House, Senate or President. Congress may, in rare cases may attempt override a Presidential veto of an appropriation bill or CR, but such an act requires there to be majority support of two-thirds of both chambers. Many federal agencies continued to operate during shutdowns, while minimizing all nonessential operations and obligations, believing that Congress did not intend that agencies close down while waiting for the enactment of annual appropriations acts or temporary appropriations. However, Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti issued two opinions in 1980 and 1981, that more interpreted the Antideficiency Act in the context of a funding gap, along with its exceptions; the opinions stated that, with some exceptions, the head of an agency could avoid violating the Act only by suspending the agency's operations until the enactment of an appropriation.
In the absence of appropriations, exceptions would be allowed only when there is some reasonable and articulible connection between the function to be performed and the safety of human life or the protection of property. However after the Civiletti opinions, not all funding gaps led to shutdowns. Of the nine funding gaps between 1980 and 1990, only four led to furloughs. Shutdowns of the type experienced by the United States are nearly impossible in other forms of government: Under the parliamentary systems used in most European nations, stalemates within the government are less but the executive must maintain the approval of the legislature to remain in power, an election is triggered if a budget fails to pass. In other presidential systems, the executive branch has the authorit
2018–19 United States federal government shutdown
The United States federal government shutdown of 2018–2019 occurred from midnight EST on December 22, 2018 until January 25, 2019. It was the longest U. S. government shutdown in history, the second federal government shutdown involving furloughs during the presidency of Donald Trump. It occurred when the 115th United States Congress and Republican President Donald Trump could not agree on an appropriations bill to fund the operations of the federal government for the 2019 fiscal year, or a temporary continuing resolution that would extend the deadline for passing a bill; the Antideficiency Act prohibits federal departments or agencies from conducting non-essential operations without appropriations legislation in place. As a result, nine executive departments with around 800,000 employees had to shut down or in full, affecting about one-fourth of government activities and causing employees to be furloughed or required to work without being paid; the Congressional Budget Office estimated the shutdown cost the American economy at least $11 billion, excluding indirect costs that were difficult to quantify.
The shutdown stemmed from an impasse over Trump's demand for $5.7 billion in federal funds for a U. S.–Mexico border wall. In December 2018, the Republican-controlled Senate unanimously passed an appropriations bill without wall funding, the bill appeared to be approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Trump. After Trump faced heavy criticism from some right-wing media outlets and pundits for appearing to back down on his campaign promise to "build the wall", he announced that he would not sign any appropriations bill that did not fund its construction; as a result, the House passed a stopgap bill with funding for the wall, but it was blocked in the Senate by the threat of a Democratic filibuster. In January 2019, representatives elected in the November 2018 election took office, giving the Democrats a majority in the House of Representatives; the House voted to approve the appropriations bill that had passed the Senate unanimously. For several weeks, Trump continued to maintain that he would veto any bill that did not fund an entire border wall, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked the Senate from considering any appropriations legislation that Trump would not support, including the bill that had passed.
Democrats and some Republicans opposed the shutdown and passed multiple bills to reopen the government, arguing that the government shutdown amounted to "hostage-taking" civil servants and that negotiations could only begin once the government was reopened. On January 25, 2019, Trump agreed to endorse a stopgap bill to reopen the government for three weeks up until February 15 to allow for negotiations to take place to approve an appropriations bill that both parties could agree on. However, Trump reiterated his demand for the border wall funding and said that he would shut down the government again or declare a national emergency and use military funding to build the wall if Congress did not appropriate the funds by February 15. Trump's approval rating decreased during the shutdown. A majority of Americans opposed exploitation of the shutdown as a negotiating strategy and held Trump responsible for the shutdown: A CBS News poll found that 71% of Americans considered the border wall "not worth the shutdown" and a poll by The Washington Post and ABC News found that 53% of Americans blamed Trump and Republicans for the shutdown, compared to 34% who blamed Democrats and 10% who blamed both parties.
On February 15, 2019, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in order to bypass the United States Congress, after being unsatisfied with a bipartisan border bill that had passed the House of Representatives and the Senate a day before. During his 2016 campaign, Trump promised to build a wall along the Mexico–United States border for which Mexico would pay; the president of Mexico rejected the idea of providing any funding for a U. S. border wall. In 2018, Trump requested $18 billion in federal funding for some 700 miles of barrier on the border to replace 654 miles of aging fence built under the Secure Fence Act of 2006. On December 25, 2018, Trump reversed course, suggesting that he might accept 500 to 550 miles of either refurbished barrier by November 2020. Trump's proposals and public statements on the wall have shifted over time, with varied proposals as to the design, length and width of a wall. In September 2018, Congress passed two "minibus" appropriations bills for the 2019 United States federal budget, which began on October 1, 2018.
These bills combined five of the 12 regular appropriations bills covering 77% of federal discretionary funding, included a continuing resolution until December 7 for the remaining agencies. On December 6, Congress passed a second continuing resolution to December 21, to give more time for negotiations on Trump's proposed border wall, delayed due to the funeral of George H. W. Bush. A Senate Homeland Security appropriations bill, negotiated by both parties and reported by the committee to the Senate, provided for $1.6 billion for border security, including funds for "approximately 65 miles of pedestrian fencing along the southwest border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector". The bill did not receive a vote on the Senate floor, although House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer indicated that such a proposal could be acceptable to House Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Democratic Party would not support $5.7 billion for the border wall. At a press conference before the government shutdown, he no
William Jefferson Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Prior to the presidency, he was the governor of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981, again from 1983 to 1992, the attorney general of Arkansas from 1977 to 1979. A member of the Democratic Party, Clinton was ideologically a New Democrat, many of his policies reflected a centrist "Third Way" political philosophy. Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas and attended Georgetown University, University College and Yale Law School, he met Hillary Rodham at Yale and married her in 1975. After graduating, Clinton returned to Arkansas and won election as the Attorney General of Arkansas, serving from 1977 to 1979; as Governor of Arkansas, he overhauled the state's education system and served as chairman of the National Governors Association. Clinton was elected president in 1992. At age 46, he became the first from the Baby Boomer generation. Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history.
He signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement but failed to pass his plan for national health care reform. In the 1994 elections, the Republican Party won unified control of the Congress for the first time in 40 years. In 1996, Clinton became the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to be elected to a second full term, he passed welfare reform and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, as well as financial deregulation measures, including the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. In 1998, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury and obstruction of justice following allegations that he committed perjury and obstructed justice to conceal an affair that he had with Monica Lewinsky, a 22-year old White House Intern. Clinton was completed his term in office, he is only the second U. S. president—following Andrew Johnson 131 years earlier—to be impeached. During the last three years of Clinton's presidency, the Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus, the first such surplus since 1969.
In foreign policy, Clinton ordered U. S. military intervention in the Bosnian and Kosovo wars, signed the Iraq Liberation Act in opposition to Saddam Hussein, participated in the 2000 Camp David Summit to advance the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, assisted the Northern Ireland peace process. Clinton left office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U. S. president since World War II, has continually scored high in the historical rankings of U. S. presidents placing in the top third. Since leaving office, he has been involved in humanitarian work, he created the William J. Clinton Foundation to address international causes such as the prevention of AIDS and global warming, he has remained active in politics by campaigning for Democratic candidates, including the presidential campaigns of his wife and Barack Obama. In 2004, Clinton published My Life. In 2009, he was named the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti and after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, he teamed with George W. Bush to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
In addition, he secured the release of two American journalists imprisoned by North Korea, visiting the capital Pyongyang and negotiating their release with Kim Jong-il. Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946, at Julia Chester Hospital in Hope, Arkansas, he is the son of William Jefferson Blythe Jr. a traveling salesman who had died in an automobile accident three months before his birth, Virginia Dell Cassidy. His parents had married on September 4, 1943, but this union proved to be bigamous, as Blythe was still married to his third wife. Virginia traveled to New Orleans to study nursing soon after Bill was born, leaving him in Hope with her parents Eldridge and Edith Cassidy, who owned and ran a small grocery store. At a time when the southern United States was racially segregated, Clinton's grandparents sold goods on credit to people of all races. In 1950, Bill's mother returned from nursing school and married Roger Clinton Sr. who co-owned an automobile dealership in Hot Springs, Arkansas with his brother and Earl T. Ricks.
The family moved to Hot Springs in 1950. Although he assumed use of his stepfather's surname, it was not until Clinton turned 15 that he formally adopted the surname Clinton as a gesture toward his stepfather. Clinton said that he remembered his stepfather as a gambler and an alcoholic who abused his mother and half-brother, Roger Clinton Jr. to the point where he intervened multiple times with the threat of violence to protect them. In Hot Springs, Clinton attended St. John's Catholic Elementary School, Ramble Elementary School, Hot Springs High School, where he was an active student leader, avid reader, musician. Clinton was in the chorus and played the tenor saxophone, winning first chair in the state band's saxophone section, he considered dedicating his life to music, but as he noted in his autobiography My Life: Clinton began an interest in law at Hot Springs High, when he took up the challenge to argue the defense of the ancient Roman Senator Catiline in a mock trial in his Latin class.
After a vigorous defense that made use of his "budding rhetorical and political skills", he told the Latin teacher Elizabeth Buck that it "made him realize that someday he would study law". Clinton has identified two influential moments in his life, both occurring in 1963, that contributed to his decision to become a public figure. One was his visit as a Boys Nation senator to
Subprime mortgage crisis
The United States subprime mortgage crisis was a nationwide financial crisis, occurring between 2007 and 2010, that contributed to the U. S. recession of December 2007 – June 2009. It was triggered by a large decline in home prices after the collapse of a housing bubble, leading to mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures and the devaluation of housing-related securities. Declines in residential investment preceded the recession and were followed by reductions in household spending and business investment. Spending reductions were more significant in areas with a combination of high household debt and larger housing price declines; the housing bubble preceding the crisis was financed with mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations, which offered higher interest rates than government securities, along with attractive risk ratings from rating agencies. While elements of the crisis first became more visible during 2007, several major financial institutions collapsed in September 2008, with significant disruption in the flow of credit to businesses and consumers and the onset of a severe global recession.
There were many causes of the crisis, with commentators assigning different levels of blame to financial institutions, credit agencies, government housing policies, consumers, among others. Two proximate causes were the increase in housing speculation; the percentage of lower-quality subprime mortgages originated during a given year rose from the historical 8% or lower range to 20% from 2004 to 2006, with much higher ratios in some parts of the U. S. A high percentage of these subprime mortgages, over 90% in 2006 for example, were adjustable-rate mortgages. Housing speculation increased, with the share of mortgage originations to investors rising from around 20% in 2000 to around 35% in 2006–2007. Investors those with prime credit ratings, were much more to default than non-investors when prices fell; these changes were part of a broader trend of lowered lending standards and higher-risk mortgage products, which contributed to U. S. households becoming indebted. The ratio of household debt to disposable personal income rose from 77% in 1990 to 127% by the end of 2007.
When U. S. home prices declined steeply after peaking in mid-2006, it became more difficult for borrowers to refinance their loans. As adjustable-rate mortgages began to reset at higher interest rates, mortgage delinquencies soared. Securities backed with mortgages, including subprime mortgages held by financial firms globally, lost most of their value. Global investors drastically reduced purchases of mortgage-backed debt and other securities as part of a decline in the capacity and willingness of the private financial system to support lending. Concerns about the soundness of U. S. credit and financial markets led to tightening credit around the world and slowing economic growth in the U. S. and Europe. The crisis had severe, long-lasting consequences for the U. S. and European economies. The U. S. entered a deep recession, with nearly 9 million jobs lost during 2008 and 2009 6% of the workforce. The number of jobs did not return to the December 2007 pre-crisis peak until May 2014. U. S. household net worth declined by nearly $13 trillion from its Q2 2007 pre-crisis peak, recovering by Q4 2012.
U. S. housing prices fell nearly 30% on average and the U. S. stock market fell 50% by early 2009, with stocks regaining their December 2007 level during September 2012. One estimate of lost output and income from the crisis comes to "at least 40% of 2007 gross domestic product". Europe continued to struggle with its own economic crisis, with elevated unemployment and severe banking impairments estimated at €940 billion between 2008 and 2012; as of January 2018, U. S. bailout funds had been recovered by the government, when interest on loans is taken into consideration. A total of $626B was invested, loaned, or granted due to various bailout measures, while $390B had been returned to the Treasury; the Treasury had earned another $323B in interest on bailout loans. The immediate cause of the crisis was the bursting of the United States housing bubble which peaked in 2005–2006. An increase in loan incentives such as easy initial terms and a long-term trend of rising housing prices had encouraged borrowers to assume risky mortgages in the anticipation that they would be able to refinance at easier terms.
However, once interest rates began to rise and housing prices started to drop moderately in 2006–2007 in many parts of the U. S. borrowers were unable to refinance. Defaults and foreclosure activity increased as easy initial terms expired, home prices fell, adjustable-rate mortgage interest rates reset higher; as housing prices fell, global investor demand for mortgage-related securities evaporated. This became apparent by July 2007, when investment bank Bear Stearns announced that two of its hedge funds had imploded; these funds had invested in securities. When the value of these securities dropped, investors demanded that these hedge funds provide additional collateral; this created a cascade of selling in these securities. Economist Mark Zandi wrote that this 2007 event was "arguably the proximate catalyst" for the financial market disruption that followed. Several other factors set the stage for the rise and fall of housing prices, related securities held by financial firms. In the years leading up to the crisis, the U.
S. received large amounts of foreign money from fast-growi
Deficit reduction in the United States
Deficit reduction in the United States refers to taxation and economic policy debates and proposals designed to reduce the Federal budget deficit. Government agencies including the Government Accountability Office, Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget,and the U. S. Treasury Department have reported that the federal government is facing a series of important long-run financing challenges driven by an aging population, rising healthcare costs per person, rising interest payments on the national debt. CBO reported in July 2014 that the continuation of present tax and spending policies for the long-run results in a budget trajectory that causes debt to grow faster than GDP, "unsustainable." Further, CBO reported that high levels of debt relative to GDP may pose significant risks to economic growth and the ability of lawmakers to respond to crises. These risks can be addressed by reduced spending, or combination of both. CBO estimated in April 2018 that the national debt would increase between $11.6 trillion and $13.6 trillion over the 2018-2027 period.
These estimates are higher than the January 2017 estimate of $9.4 trillion or the June 2017 estimate of $10.1 trillion, which represented the initial budget scenarios inherited by President Trump. The difference is driven by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018; these amounts are on top of the $21 trillion national debt as of April 2018. Debt held by the public, a subset of the overall debt, is expected to rise from 77% GDP in 2017 to over 100% GDP by 2028; the 2017 debt to GDP level ranked 43rd highest out of 207 countries. A budget deficit refers to expenditures that exceed tax collections during a given period and require borrowing to fund the difference; the U. S. federal government has run annual deficits in 36 of the past 40 fiscal years, with surpluses from 1998–2001. Debt represents the accumulation of deficits over time. Debt held by the public, a partial measure of the U. S. national debt representing securities held by investors, rose in dollar terms each year except during the 1998–2001 surplus period.
Total national debt rose in dollar terms each year from 1972–2014. The budget deficit and debt challenge can be described using various measures: Dollars: The 2014 deficit was $486 billion, with tax revenues of $3.0 trillion and spending or outlays of $3.5 trillion. CBO projected in February 2013 that the debt held by the public will rise from $11.3 trillion in 2012 to $18.9 trillion in 2022 under its "baseline scenario," an increase of $7.6 trillion over 10 years. The total national debt will rise from $16 trillion in 2012 to $25 trillion by 2022, an increase of $9 trillion. Deficit as percentage of the size of the economy: The historical average annual deficit pre-2008 was about 3% GDP, with 18% GDP average tax revenues and 21% GDP average expenditures. However, in 2009 the deficit rose to 10% GDP due to a combination of economic conditions and policy choices, it fell as a % of GDP for five consecutive years back to 2.8% GDP in 2014. With GDP of $16.8 trillion in 2013, 1% GDP represents $170 billion.
Debt as a percentage of GDP: Debt held by the public ranged between 23% GDP and 50% GDP during the 1971–2007 period rose in the wake of the financial crisis and recession, ending FY2014 at about 75% GDP. As of September 30, 2014 debt held by the public was $12.8 trillion. Intra-governmental debt, such as the Social Security trust fund, was at $5.0 trillion, giving a combined public debt or national debt of $17.8 trillion or about 105% GDP. The debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to continue rising if the U. S. continues current policies. Unfunded liabilities: This is an actuarial concept used to measure the value in today's dollars of a difference between tax revenue and expenditures for particular programs; this concept is described further below in the sections on Social Medicare. The Congressional Budget Office is a key official source of budget historical information and projections of future revenues, expenses and debt under various scenarios. John Maynard Keynes wrote that: "The boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity at the Treasury."
In other words, when the economy is doing well, the time to raise taxes and cut spending, while the reverse is applicable when the economy is in recession, at which time lowering taxes and raising spending is the proper remedy. CBO reported in January 2017: "To avoid the negative consequences of high and rising federal debt and to put debt on a sustainable path, lawmakers will have to make significant changes to tax and spending policies—increasing revenues more than they would under current law, reducing spending for large benefit programs below the projected amounts, or adopting some combination of those approaches."CBO reported in November 2013 that addressing the long-term debt challenge would require reducing future budget deficits. Lawmakers would need to increase revenues further relative to the size of the economy, decrease spending on Social Security or major health care programs relative to current law, cut other federal spending to lower levels by historical standards, or adopt a combination of these approaches.
CBO reported that: "The amount of deficit reduction that would be needed would depend on lawmakers’ objectives for federal debt. For example: Decreasing that debt in 2038 to just below 70% GDP—slightly less than what it is now but still quite high by historical standards—could be achieved if deficits were reduced by $2 trillion during the next decade, the reduction in the deficit as a percentage of output
Military budget of the United States
The military budget is the portion of the discretionary United States federal budget allocated to the Department of Defense, or more broadly, the portion of the budget that goes to any military-related expenditures. The military budget pays the salaries and health care of uniformed and civilian personnel, maintains arms and facilities, funds operations, develops and buys new items; the budget funds four branches of the U. S. military: the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force. For FY2019, the Department of Defense budget is $686,074,048,000 The following is historical spending on defense from 1996-2015, spending for 2014-15 is estimated; the Defense Budget is shown in billions of total budget in trillions of dollars. The percentage of the total U. S. federal budget spent on defense is indicated in the third row, change in defense spending from the previous year in the final row. For FY2019, the Department of Defense has a budget of $686,074,048,000 Personnel payment and benefits take up 39.14% of the total budget of $686,074,048,000 *Overseas Contingency Operations funds are sometimes called War funds The MHS offers a rich health care benefit to 9.5 million eligible beneficiaries, which includes active military members and their families, military retirees and their families, dependent survivors, certain eligible Reserve Component members and their families.
The Unified Medical Budget, which comprises the funding and personnel needed to support the MHS’ mission, consumes nearly 9% of the Department’s topline budget authority. Thus, it is a significant line item in the Department’s financial portfolio. For the 2011 fiscal year, the president's base budget for the Department of Defense and spending on "overseas contingency operations" combine to bring the sum to US$664.84 billion. When the budget was signed into law on 28 October 2009, the final size of the Department of Defense's budget was $680 billion, $16 billion more than President Obama had requested. An additional $37 billion supplemental bill to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was expected to pass in the spring of 2010, but has been delayed by the House of Representatives after passing the Senate; the recent military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan were funded through supplementary spending bills outside the federal budget, which are not included in the military budget figures listed below.
However, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were categorized as "overseas contingency operations" in the starting of the fiscal year 2010, the budget is included in the federal budget. By the end of 2008, the U. S. had spent $900 billion in direct costs on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The government incurred indirect costs, which include interests on additional debt and incremental costs, financed by the Veterans Administration, of caring for more than 33,000 wounded; some experts estimate the indirect costs will exceed the direct costs. As of June 2011, the total cost of the wars was $1.3 trillion. The federally budgeted military expenditure of the United States Department of Defense for fiscal year 2013 are as follows. While data is provided from the 2015 budget, data for 2014 and 2015 is estimated, thus data is shown for the last year for which definite data exists; the Department of Defense's FY 2011 $137.5 billion procurement and $77.2 billion RDT&E budget requests included several programs worth more than $1.5 billion.
This does not include many military-related items that are outside of the Defense Department budget, such as nuclear weapons research, maintenance and production, which are in the Atomic Energy Defense Activities section, Veterans Affairs, the Treasury Department's payments in pensions to military retirees and widows and their families, interest on debt incurred in past wars, or State Department financing of foreign arms sales and militarily-related development assistance. Neither does it include defense spending, not military in nature, such as the Department of Homeland Security, counter-terrorism spending by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, intelligence-gathering spending by NSA. Again in 2011, the GAO could not "render an opinion on the 2011 consolidated financial statements of the federal government", with a major obstacle again being "serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense that made its financial statements unauditable". In December 2011, the GAO found that "neither the Navy nor the Marine Corps have implemented effective processes for reconciling their FBWT."
According to the GAO, "An agency's FBWT account is similar in concept to a corporate bank account. The difference is that instead of a cash balance, FBWT represents unexpended spending authority in appropriations." In addition, "As of April 2011, there were more than $22 billion unmatched disbursements and collections affecting more than 10,000 lines of accounting." The US Government Accountability Office was unable to provide an audit opinion on the 2010 financial statements of the US Government because of'widespread material internal control weaknesses, significant uncertainties, other limitations'. The GAO cited as the principal obstacle to its provision of an audit opinion'serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense that made its financial statements unauditable'. In FY 2010, six out of thirty-three DoD reporting entities received unqualified audit opinions. Chief financial officer and Under Secretary of Defense Robert F. Hale acknowledged enterprise-wide problems with systems and processes, while the DoD's Inspector General reported'material internal control weaknesses... that affect the safeguarding of assets, proper use of funds, impair the prevention and identification of fraud and abuse'.
Richard Andrew Gephardt is an American politician who served as a United States Representative from Missouri from 1977 to 2005. A member of the Democratic Party, he was House Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995 and Minority Leader from 1995 to 2003, he ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 1988 and 2004. Gephardt was mentioned as a possible vice presidential nominee in 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008. Since his retirement from politics, Gephardt has become a significant lobbyist, he founded a Washington-based public affairs firm, Gephardt Government Affairs, an Atlanta-based labor consultancy, the Gephardt Group, as well as consulting for DLA Piper, FTI Consulting and Goldman Sachs. Gephardt was born in St. Louis, the son of Loreen Estelle and Louis Andrew Gephardt, a Teamster milkman, he graduated from the former Southwest High School in 1958. Gephardt is an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America.
He earned his B. S. at Northwestern University in 1962 where he was president of Beta Theta Pi, the student senate, his freshman class. He earned his J. D. at the University of Michigan Law School in 1965. In 1965, he was admitted to the Missouri Bar, he entered the Missouri Air National Guard, where he served until 1971. He and his wife Jane have three grown children, Matt and Chrissy, his brother, Donald L. Gephardt, is the Dean of The College of Fine and Performing Arts at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. Gephardt was Democratic committeeman for the 14th ward in St. Louis from 1968 to 1971, moving up to become 14th ward alderman from 1971 to 1976, as part of a group of young aldermen known informally as "The Young Turks." In 1976, Gephardt was elected to Congress from the St. Louis-based 3rd District, succeeding 24-year incumbent Leonor Sullivan, he was elected 13 more times, opting not to run for reelection in 2004. For most of his Congressional career, Gephardt's National Political Director was St. Louis-based political consultant Joyce Aboussie.
Gephardt was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 1988 presidential election. Gephardt formally announced his candidacy in February 1987—one of the first to do so—and campaigned hard in Iowa spending over 100 days in the state, he was stuck in low double digits in polls, but began moving ahead in Iowa in late December 1987 after running an ad that criticized trade barriers by Korea and Japan as unfair- known as the "Hyundai Ad." Gephardt won the Iowa caucuses and South Dakota primary in February while finishing a strong second in New Hampshire, making him a serious contender for the nomination. Gephardt's early victories did not translate into support in other states, he was not able to raise adequate funds to compete in the Southern primaries, his campaign ran out of money after losing badly in the March "Super Tuesday" primaries, when he won only the Missouri primary. An ad aired by Governor Michael Dukakis's campaign focused on Gephardt's "flip-flopping" voting record and showed a Gephardt look-alike doing forward and backward flips for the camera.
Many felt. Gephardt dropped out after winning only 13% in Michigan, despite support from the United Auto Workers. Dukakis considered selecting Gephardt as his vice presidential running mate but instead chose Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen. In part due to the visibility gained from his 1988 presidential bid, Gephardt was elected majority leader by his House colleagues in June 1989, making him the second-ranking Democrat in the House, behind then-Speaker Tom Foley. Gephardt served in that position until January 1995. After Foley was unseated in the Republican landslide of 1994 that gave the Republicans a 52-seat majority, Gephardt became the leader of the House Democrats, as minority leader opposite Newt Gingrich and from 1999 onward, Dennis Hastert; when Gingrich faced a coup within his own party in 1997, Gephardt could have become Speaker if there had been a floor vote and he gained the support of Republican members dissatisfied with Gingrich, but Gingrich refused to resign and no vote occurred.
In the 1996, 1998, 2000 elections, Gephardt led the Democrats to gains in the House, although they did not retake the majority until 2006, after Gephardt had left Congress. Gephardt became a prolific financial supporter of Democrats around the country in the early 1990s, assembling a team of top fundraising staff who helped him support hundreds of candidates for local and federal office. Although Gephardt worked hard for many of President Bill Clinton's programs, he and his union supporters opposed NAFTA and other "free trade" programs, so Clinton relied on Republican support to pass those initiatives. During the impeachment proceedings of President Clinton, Gephardt led a walkout in the House after a censure motion was ruled irrelevant to the impeachment debate. In 2000, Vice President Al Gore named Gephardt to his short list of possible vice presidential candidates; the other names on the short list were then-Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, then-North Carolina Senator John Edwards, then-Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, then-Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, then-New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen.
Gore selected Lieberman. In the 2002 Congressional midterm elections, Gephardt campaigned on the economy and Social Security, but the continuing resonance of the September 11 attacks, the momentum for military action against Iraq, President George W. Bush's popularity lead to Republican gains, with the Democrats losing four House seats. Harold Ford of Tennessee called the results an "absolute blowout" and called upon Gephardt to step down, saying