Congressional Oversight Initiative

COI Resources

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COI Resources Topic: Overseeing Spending

Essay 4: “Congressional Oversight: Willing and Able or Willing to Enable?”

January 29, 2016

The history of Congressional oversight of the military is rich and complex, and offers many lessons for Congress today. This essay explains what it takes to oversee the Pentagon.

Total US National Security Spending for 2015-2016

January 29, 2016

A basic breakdown of total national security spending. It includes the DoD budget plus OCO, DHS, VA, International Affairs, retirement costs, and the share of the national debt.

Powerpoint: What is the Defense Budget?

January 29, 2016

These slides show how different ways of measuring the defense budget and how they can be used to mislead viewers. Slide 6 best depicts the DoD Budget over the past 70 years, and slide 9 shows that total national security spending is actually almost twice the DoD budget.

Essay 8: “Decoding the Defense Budget”

January 29, 2016

Pentagon oversight often begins with understanding military spending, and that can mean sifting your way through thousands of pages of budget documents. Here’s a helpful guide to reading, calculating, and utilizing defense budgets.

Audio: Peter Tyler on How to Find Waste in the Federal Budget

December 11, 2015

Peter Tyler, Senior Professional Staffer on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, gives tips and best practices about finding waste in the federal budget. (Running time: 19:19)

Audio: Patrick Bailey on How to Find Waste in the Federal Budget

December 11, 2015

Patrick Bailey, Chief Counsel for Governmental Affairs on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, gives tips and best practices about finding waste in the federal budget. (Running time: 10:53)