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The annual President’s Budget submission to Congress provides high-level summaries of key aspects of the annual spending plan. Yet, most of the rich detail about government performance, evaluation results, and anticipated activities of annual spending are contained in documents called congressional budget justifications. Often opaque or inaccessible to the American public – and many in government itself – a new bipartisan bill passed overwhelmingly by both chambers of the US Congress calls for major reforms to improve transparency and ultimately accountability in the budget formulation process. The Congressional Budget Justification Transparency Act, championed by Rep. Mike Quigley (D), Rep. James Comer (R), Sen. Gary Peters (D), Sen. Rob Portman (R), and others, will promote the accessibility of these important budget and performance documents, including publication of open data and in a central repository. The Data Foundation hosted a discussion about this new legal expectation and what it means for the budget, evidence, and data communities.
Courtney Timberlake, former OMB, current President, American Association for Budget & Program Analysis (AABPA)
Nick Hart, President, Data Foundation
Daniel Schumann, Policy Director, Demand Progress