US A+ Government and Cost

Everything that is Federally governed starts with a law in the US and is legislated by the US Congress. As the population grew following the legislation/law, details emerge that are also addressed either with supplementary legislation or a new law. All have additional budgets for the people that manage the components of the laws/legislation. The management of each one are also managed by the Government Accountability Office, the US Senate and House Government Oversight and Reform committee’s  along with the Inspector General’s which was also formed from a law, The Inspector General Act of 1978.

The Departments/Agencies are myriad and have many components. Governing the US isn’t  a cheap deal.

For this I started with the A to Z List of Government Departments and Agencies which link to their website. The Budgets are either a singular budget line item in the US Budget or are spread among the different Department/agencies.  President Obama has requested authority to consolidate agencies that have overlapping management duties. So far the Congress has held back, not only on granting the authority, even if done by each agency or appropriating the one time budget needed for consolidation. The last President who obtained the authority was President Reagan. Considering the continued requests for cutting spending, it is irresponsible to not do consolidation and upgrading for efficiency of all the agencies.

Here is a sampling from the A to Z list of Federal Government Departments and Agencies:

•AbilityOne Commission
The AbilityOne Commission creates job opportunities for people who are blind or have other significant disabilities in the manufacture and delivery of products and services to the Federal Government
Budget FY- 2015 – $5,441,000
Established law: The Javits–Wagner–O’Day Act 41 U.S.C. § 46 et seq. is a U.S. federal law requiring that all federal agencies purchase specified supplies and services from nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other significant disabilities. The Act was passed by the 92nd United States Congress in 1971
Senate oversight committee: Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and has jurisdiction over the AbilityOne Program
The Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled (CPPBSD), an independent federal agency, oversees and manages the AbilityOne Program, which creates job opportunities for individuals who are blind or severely disabled by facilitating government purchases of supplies and services from nonprofit agencies that employ them.

•Access Board
The Access Board is an independent federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities. The Board develops and maintains design criteria for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and for electronic and information technology.
Budget: FY- 2015:  $7,548,000
Law: 1968 – The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968
Senate Committee: Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

•Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
The ACF funds state, territory, local, and tribal organizations to provide family assistance (welfare), child support, child care, Head Start, child welfare, and other programs relating to children and families.
Budget: ACF administers more than 60 programs with a budget of more than $51 billion, making it the second largest agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: 34%, Foster Care and Permanency: 14%, Head Start: 17%, Child Support Enforcement and Family Support: 8%, Child Care and Development Fund: 10%, LIHEAP: 7%, Social Services Block Grant: 3% and Other ACF Programs: 7%.

•Administration for Native Americans
The Administration for Native Americans promotes self-sufficiency and cultural preservation for Native Americans by providing social and economic development opportunities through financial assistance, training, and technical assistance.
Budgets:  Annual funding to American Indian and Alaska Native programs are spread out in the domestic federal budget, the President’s Fiscal Year 2015 is seeking $2.6 billion for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), an increase of $34 million over the 2014 budget and $4.6 billion for Indian Health Service, an increase of $200 million over 2014.
Senate: Committee on Indian Affairs, Administration for Children and Families, Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Health Education, Labor and Pensions

•Administration on Aging (AoA)
The Administration on Aging is the Federal focal point and advocate agency for older persons and their concerns. In this role, the Administration on Aging works to heighten awareness among other Federal agencies, organizations, groups, and the public about the valuable contributions that older Americans make to the nation. The Administration also alerts others to the needs of vulnerable older people. Through information, referral and outreach efforts at the community level, the Administration seeks to educate older people and their caregivers about the benefits and services available to help them
The Older Americans Act of 1965 (Pub.L. 89–73, 79 Stat. 218, July 14, 1965)

•Administration on Developmental Disabilities
The Administration on Developmental Disabilities ensures that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families have access to community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity, integration and inclusion in all facets of community life.

•Administrative Conference of the United States
The Administrative Conference of the United States is an independent federal agency dedicated to improving federal agency administrative processes and procedures

•Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
The Administrative Office of the United States Courts handles the nonjudicial, administrative business of the United States Courts such as maintaining statistics and managing Court budgets.

•Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation encourages the preservation of historic properties across the nation.

•African Development Foundation
The African Development Foundation provides grants to community groups and small enterprises that benefit under-served and marginalized groups in Africa

•Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality supports research to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans.

•Agency for International Development (USAID)
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the principal U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms.

•Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry responds to, and protects people from harmful chemical exposures.

•Agricultural Marketing Service
The Agricultural Marketing Service supports the fair marketing of U.S. agricultural products.

•Agricultural Research Service
The Agricultural Research Service works to find solutions to agricultural problems

•Agriculture Department
The Department of Agriculture provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues.

•Air Force
The Air Force defends the United States in the air and space.

•Air Force Reserve
The Air Force Reserve Command performs missions and supports Air Force operations

•Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau collects taxes and enforces regulations on alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and ammunition

•Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives enforces federal criminal laws regulating the firearms and explosives industries.

•American Battle Monuments Commission
The American Battle Monuments Commission manages 24 overseas military cemeteries, and 25 memorials, monuments, and markers. Nearly all the cemeteries and memorials honor those who served in World War I or World War II.

AmeriCorps offers opportunities for adults of all ages and backgrounds to serve through a network of partnerships with local and national nonprofit groups.

Amtrak, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, provides intercity rail passenger service.

•Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service protects and promotes U.S. agricultural health, regulates genetically engineered organisms, administers the Animal Welfare Act, and manages wildlife damage.

•Antitrust Division
The Antitrust Division promotes economic competition through enforcing and providing guidance on antitrust laws and principles.

•Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission works for sustainable community and economic development in Appalachia

•Architect of the Capitol
The Architect of the Capitol manages and maintains the U.S. Capitol, the Capitol Visitor Center, the Senate Office Buildings, the House Office Buildings, the Supreme Court Building, the Library of Congress, the U.S. Botanic Garden, and the Capitol Grounds

•Archives (National Archives and Records Administration)
The National Archives and Records Administration preserves U.S. government records, manages the Presidential Libraries system, and publishes laws, regulations, Presidential, and other public documents.

•Arctic Research Commission
The U.S. Arctic Research Commission develops and recommends a national Arctic research policy.

•Armed Forces Retirement Home
The Gulfport and Washington campuses of the Armed Forces Retirement Home are retirement centers for veterans of the U.S. military.

•Arms Control and International Security
The Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security serves as Senior Adviser to the President and the Secretary of State for Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament.

Focusing on land operations, the U.S. Army organizes, trains, and equips active duty and Reserve forces to preserve the peace, security, and defense of the United States.

•Army Corps of Engineers
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides public engineering services in peace and war to strengthen national security, energize the economy, and reduce risks from disasters.

•Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Interagency Coordinating Committee
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases supports research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis, musculoskeletal, and skin diseases.

I got as far as the Administration on Aging. I was redirected to no less than five but no more than10 websites to find specific information regarding the budget for each one, which US Department each agency was supervised by and which Senate and House committee’s and subcommittee’s that Congress had oversight of each Department and Agency.  It is a laborious task to figure out what is where.

The 2015 President Proposed Budget can be found here: .

The list for Senate Committee’s is here:

The list of House Committee’s is here:

Under each Committee are listed the subcommittee’s. For example there are 5 subcommittee’s for the House Committee for Agriculture. There is a lot of overlap in the committee’s/subcommittee’s also.

Between the agencies and subcommittee’s there is a definite need to consolidate for efficiency in governing especially since there are the means to do so.

If anyone wants to track one particular agency, committee or subcommittee, please add to this article. There are also Independent agencies, Joint Committee’s and Select Committee’s to mine data. All keyword searches usually start with List US. Happy mining data!

Categories: Economics, Politics


3 replies

  1. Sometimes there is a specific need, and than it grows. We are at a crossroads where with hi-tech, the needs that grew can be consolidated for both cost and efficiency. It is also where specific interests of Congressional people are affected and at times their fear that their specific interest will be discarded.

    Liked by 1 person

    • WOW, you have begun a journey down the rabbit hole of government budget and oversight.
      I agree that reorganization, streamlining, sunset some of these agencies, is needed.
      I want an effective government at all levels.
      I have always stayed away from all the budget details because any debate I see is wonky, full of data that can mean whtever the person wants oftentimes.

      I have to do budgets for my area at work. But it is just line items of various categories of spending. My salary is not part of it. And in the end, the only thing is the final number for the department, not necessarily each line item spending. Lots of play in each category. The adminstrator does not really understand each line item, but is responsible for final spending number for the whole organization. I trust our bookeeper most of all. She understands it all but does not have any ultimate authority, just keeps the books and pays the bills.
      And this is a budget of only 1.2 millon annually.

      Take it to the fereal level and who really knows how it all wroks day in and day out?

      Keep up your good work, I am learning lots and you are only on the A’s !


      • I didn’t get very far with the A’s 😦 ..Aging is spread all over the Feds, Housing, Nutrition, Health etc. All with Senate and House committee’s and subcommittee’s input or to ditch a bill or amendment for whatever reason. Pulling even one big agency together isn’t really difficult, more time consuming with internet access which Congress could do much faster since they have up to 35 staffers if they didn’t assign them to get campaign money that is.

        Usually from what I’ve found over the years is more political in as much as
        the effects the legislation would have in other areas of the US ie what makes one Senator happy, makes another one unhappy and the same with the House.

        They’ve let it get personal and emotional. They’ve forgotten the bottom line spending revenue’s to receive the best bang for the buck and enhance the US. The same thing happened with the US Tax Code.

        The main thing in understanding all of it is to start with the Departments and go to the agencies listed under them. With the Senate and House, it gets a bit murkier. For instance the House Agriculture also has an interest in the Internet and wiring. Though why the House couldn’t have One committee for all the US for the Internet and one subcommittee, I have no clue except they aren’t hi-tech and/or have to keep the House members busy.

        But Far and Away: To me it’s just another excuse to have or hide special interest legislation being negotiated and/or written. So, we’re stuck with a bunch of scofflaws. sighhhh


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