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Interactive: What would the Senate’s budget look like with all 500-plus amendments?

Interactive: What would the Senate’s budget look like with all 500-plus amendments?

The federal budget the U.S. Senate passed in the raw hours of Saturday morning contained so many proposed amendments that some of its amendments had their own amendments. The chamber voted on only a few dozen of the 572 amendments that were filed to the 94-page bill, consigning the rest to the congressional equivalent of Bartleby’s dead letter office.

This legislative jetsam is far from meaningless. Each amendment, whether or not it passed, represents its author’s aspirations for thefederal government. They range from individual number-tinkering —“On page 6, line 5, decrease the amount by $1,249,000,000”—toprovisions about genetically engineered fish and measures opposing the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. (That one was approved 53-46.)

Legislation is the source code for America, written out by Congress as commands that the executive branch executes. Like any sufficiently complex program, a lot of proposed edits never make the final version.

In that spirit, this interactive version of the Senate budget includes almost every amendment at the exact place in the bill where it proposes to make a change. As you scroll through the pages, you’ll see red and blue dots indicating an amendment was proposed to change that line. Click the line to see what the amendment was. Think of it like Microsoft Word’s track changes feature applied to legislation.

Navigation to the right colors each page by partisan split — red for a lot of Republican-sponsored amendments, blue for Democratic sponsors, and purple for a lot of both. A thicker bar means more edits on that page.

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