Appropriation bill

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An appropriation bill, also known as supply bill or spending bill, is a proposed law that authorizes the expenditure of government funds. It is a bill that sets money aside for specific spending. [1] In most democracies, approval of the legislature is necessary for the government to spend money.

Contents

In a Westminster parliamentary system, the defeat of an appropriation bill in a parliamentary vote generally necessitates either the resignation of a government or the calling of a general election. One of the more famous examples of the defeat of a supply bill was the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis, when the Senate, which was controlled by the opposition, refused to approve a package of appropriation and loan bills, prompting Governor-General Sir John Kerr to dismiss Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and appoint Malcolm Fraser as caretaker Prime Minister until the next election (where the Fraser government was elected). [2]

Appropriation bills by country

India

An appropriation bill is a bill that authorizes the government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund of India for use during the financial year. [3] Although Appropriation Acts are not included in any official list of Central laws, they technically remain on the books. Since 2016, Appropriation bills in India include an automatic repeal clause as result of which the Act is repealed after its purpose is met. [4] Appropriation Acts passed prior to 2016 were repealed by the enactment of The Appropriation Acts (Repeal) Act, 2015 in April 2016. [5]

New Zealand

In New Zealand, an Appropriation Bill is the formal name for the annual act of Parliament which gives legal effect to the Budget, that is, the Government's taxing and spending policies for the forthcoming year (from 1 July to 30 June). Like other bills, it is enacted, following debate, by the House of Representatives, and assented to by the Governor-General. The main Appropriation Bill is traditionally placed before the House for its first reading in May amid considerable media interest, an event known as the introduction of the Budget. An Appropriation Bill is not sent to a select committee, a lengthy process undergone by most bills during which they are scrutinised in detail by the committee, which also receives public submissions relating to the bill. Instead, an expedited process is followed in which the Appropriation Bill essentially goes directly to its second reading for consideration by the committee of the whole House. Royal assent is granted after the formality of a third reading.

The main Appropriation Bill is formally called an "Appropriation (Estimates) Bill", or, after assented to, an "Appropriation (Estimates) Act". Supplementary Budgetary legislation in New Zealand includes an annual "Appropriation (Confirmation and Validation) Bill", which serves to validate taxation and spending incurred in the previous year which fell outside the previous year's Budget, and "Imprest Supply Bills," typically several in a year, which grant interim authority to the Government to tax and spend.

Both Appropriation and Imprest Supply bills fall under the rubric of confidence and supply. A refusal by the House to pass such a Bill conventionally leads to either the resignation of the Government (unlikely, since there is usually no alternative Government immediately available) or to a dissolution of the House and a subsequent general election.

United States

Under the U.S. presidential system, the support of the Congress for the President's appropriations requests is not necessary for the separately elected President to remain in office, but can severely limit the President's ability to govern effectively.

In the United States, there are two types of appropriations. When Congress sets up particular programs, the legislation may itself set up the necessary appropriation mechanism, such as the social security program where payment of benefits are "mandatory". A mandatory program does not need an additional authorisation in order for spending under the program to occur. An authorization bill can create programs and make known Congress's intended level of spending for programs that also require an appropriation. [6] What distinguishes a mandatory program from a discretionary program is that after Congress enacts a law creating a mandatory program, the program is permitted to spend funds until the program expires based on a provision in law, or until a subsequent law either terminates the program or reauthorizes it. "Discretionary" programs typically require annual appropriations legislation.

An appropriation bill is used to actually provide money for "discretionary" programs. Appropriations are generally done on an annual basis, although multi-year appropriations are occasionally passed. According to the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 8, clause 12), Army appropriations cannot be for more than two years at a time. An annual appropriation requires that the funds appropriated be obligated (spent) by the end of the fiscal year of the appropriation. Once the fiscal year ends, no more money can be spent via the prior year's appropriation. A new appropriation for the new fiscal year must be passed in order for continued spending to occur, or passage of a special appropriations bill known as a continuing resolution, which generally permits continued spending for a short period of time—usually at prior year levels. The Anti-Deficiency Act makes void any attempt to spend money for which there is no current appropriation. [7]

According to the Origination Clause of the United States Constitution, all bills for raising revenue, generally tax bills, must originate in the House of Representatives, similar to the Westminster system requirement that all money bills originate in the lower house. Traditionally, appropriation bills originate in the House of Representatives. [8] [9] House appropriations bills begin with "H.R.", meaning "House of Representatives". In reference to revenue bills, the Constitution also states that the "Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills." As with revenue bills, the Senate and House each drafts and considers its own appropriation bill. The Senate then "cuts-and-pastes," substituting the language of its version of a particular appropriation bill for the language of the House bill, then agrees to the bill as amended.

The United States House Committee on Appropriations and the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations have jurisdiction over appropriations bills. [10] Both committees have twelve matching subcommittees tasked with working on one of the twelve annual regular appropriations bills. Other Committees and lawmakers in Congress write legislation creating programs and reauthorizing old ones to continue. This legislation is called an authorization bill. In this legislation, they authorize these programs to exist, and they authorize the expenditure of funds on them, but they cannot actually give them the money. That second step, of granting the money, is done in an appropriations bill. The appropriations committees have power because they can decide whether to fund these programs at the maximum level authorized, a lesser amount, or not at all. [11]

Appropriations bills in the United States can also come in the format of an omnibus spending bill, a continuing resolution, or a supplemental appropriation bill. If Congress has not enacted the regular appropriations bills by the start of a new fiscal year, it can pass a continuing resolution, which continues the pre-existing appropriations at the same levels as the previous fiscal year (or with minor modifications) for a set amount of time. [10] An omnibus spending bill is simply a combination of multiple appropriations bills into one larger appropriations bill. Supplemental appropriations bills increase funding for activities that were already funded in previous appropriations bills or the provide new funding for unexpected expenses. [12] For example, both the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War were funded with a variety of supplemental appropriations. [13] [14] Supplemental appropriations bills also provide funding for recovering from unexpected natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy (the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013).

Annual appropriations are divided into 12 separate pieces of legislation:

  1. Agriculture,
  2. Commerce, Justice, and Science,
  3. Defense,
  4. Energy and Water,
  5. Financial Services,
  6. Homeland Security,
  7. Interior and Environment,
  8. Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education,
  9. Legislative,
  10. Military and Veterans,
  11. State and Foreign Operations,
  12. Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.

See also

Related Research Articles

The United States budget process is the framework used by Congress and the President of the United States to formulate and create the United States federal budget. The process was established by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, and additional budget legislation.

An omnibus spending bill is a type of bill in the United States that packages many of the smaller ordinary appropriations bills into one larger single bill that could be passed with only one vote in each house. There are twelve different ordinary appropriations bills that need to be passed each year to fund the federal government and avoid a government shutdown; an omnibus spending bill combines two or more of those bills into a single bill.

United States Senate Committee on Appropriations

The United States Senate Committee on Appropriations is a standing committee of the United States Senate. It has jurisdiction over all discretionary spending legislation in the Senate.

Discretionary spending Type of government spending

In American public finance, discretionary spending is government spending implemented through an appropriations bill. This spending is an optional part of fiscal policy, in contrast to social programs for which funding is mandatory and determined by the number of eligible recipients. Some examples of areas funded by discretionary spending are national defense, foreign aid, education and transportation.

In law and government, appropriation is the act of setting apart something for its application to a particular usage, to the exclusion of all other uses.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies is one of twelve subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. It was formerly known as the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Related Services, but was renamed in 2007 to more accurately reflect the programs under its jurisdiction, and to more closely align the subcommittee with its counterpart on the House Appropriations Committee. The United States Senate Committee on Appropriations has joint jurisdiction with the United States House Committee on Appropriations over all appropriations bills in the United States Congress. Each committee has 12 matching subcommittees, each of which is tasked with working on one of the twelve annual regular appropriations bills. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the budget for the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, and the Food and Drug Administration.

U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, often referred to colloquially as the CJS Subcommittee is one of twelve subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. It was formerly known as the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary during the 108th Congress (2003-2005), but responsibility for the State Department and the federal Judiciary are now handled by separate subcommittees. The United States Senate Committee on Appropriations has joint jurisdiction with the United States House Committee on Appropriations over all appropriations bills in the United States Congress. Each committee has 12 matching subcommittees, each of which is tasked with working on one of the twelve annual regular appropriations bills. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the budget for the United States Department of Commerce, the United States Department of Justice, and Science policy of the United States.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense is one of twelve subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. Military defense spending is the largest individual component of federal discretionary spending, making the Defense Subcommittee one of the more powerful Appropriations subcommittees. When referring to federal discretionary spending as a whole, many budget analysts make a distinction between defense and non-defense discretionary spending. The United States Senate Committee on Appropriations has joint jurisdiction with the United States House Committee on Appropriations over all appropriations bills in the United States Congress. Each committee has 12 matching subcommittees, each of which is tasked with working on one of the twelve annual regular appropriations bills.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies is one of twelve subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. It was formerly known as the Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies, but was renamed to reflect its jurisdiction over funding for federal environmental programs, and to more closely align the subcommittee with its counterpart on the House Appropriations Committee. The United States Senate Committee on Appropriations has joint jurisdiction with the United States House Committee on Appropriations over all appropriations bills in the United States Congress. Each committee has 12 matching subcommittees, each of which is tasked with working on one of the twelve annual regular appropriations bills. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the budget for the United States Department of the Interior and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

United States federal budget Budget of the U.S. federal government

The United States federal budget comprises the spending and revenues of the U.S. federal government. The budget is the financial representation of the priorities of the government, reflecting historical debates and competing economic philosophies. The government primarily spends on healthcare, retirement, and defense programs. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office provides extensive analysis of the budget and its economic effects. It has reported that large budget deficits over the next 30 years are projected to drive federal debt held by the public to unprecedented levels—from 98 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 to 195 percent by 2050.

The United States Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies is one of twelve subcommittees of the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations.

The United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies is a standing committee of the U.S. House subcommittees and is within the United States House Committee on Appropriations. The United States House Committee on Appropriations has joint jurisdiction with the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations over all appropriations bills in the United States Congress. Each committee has 12 matching subcommittees, each of which is tasked with working on one of the twelve annual regular appropriations bills. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the budget for Military Construction and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Authorization bill type of United States legislation

An authorization bill is a type of legislation used in the United States to authorize the activities of the various agencies and programs that are part of the federal government of the United States. Authorizing such programs is one of the powers of the United States Congress. Authorizations give those things the legal power to operate and exist. Authorization bills must be passed in both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate before being signed by the President of the United States in order to become law. They may originate in either chamber of Congress, unlike revenue raising bills, which must originate in the House. They can also be considered at any time during the year.

An earmark is a provision inserted into a discretionary spending appropriations bill that directs funds to a specific recipient while circumventing the merit-based or competitive funds allocation process. Earmarks feature in American and South African public finance.

Budget sequestration is a provision of United States law that causes an across-the-board reduction in certain kinds of spending included in the federal budget. Sequestration involves setting a hard cap on the amount of government spending within broadly defined categories; if Congress enacts annual appropriations legislation that exceeds these caps, an across-the-board spending cut is automatically imposed on these categories, affecting all departments and programs by an equal percentage. The amount exceeding the budget limit is held back by the Treasury and not transferred to the agencies specified in the appropriation bills. The word sequestration was derived from a legal term referring to the seizing of property by an agent of the court, to prevent destruction or harm, while any dispute over said property is resolved in court.

The budget sequestration in 2013 refers to the automatic spending cuts to United States federal government spending in particular categories of outlays that were initially set to begin on January 1, 2013, as a fiscal policy as a result of Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), and were postponed by two months by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 until March 1 when this law went into effect.

Department of State Operations and Embassy Security Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2014 Bill of the 113th U.S. Congress

The Department of State Operations and Embassy Security Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2014 is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives during the 113th United States Congress. The bill would authorize $17,573,992,000 to be appropriated to improve the security of U.S. Embassies throughout the world.

Appropriations bill (United States) Bills and laws to spend money

In the United States Congress, an appropriations bill is legislation to appropriate federal funds to specific federal government departments, agencies and programs. The money provides funding for operations, personnel, equipment and activities. Regular appropriations bills are passed annually, with the funding they provide covering one fiscal year. The fiscal year is the accounting period of the federal government, which runs from October 1 to September 30 of the following year. Appropriations bills are under the jurisdiction of the United States House Committee on Appropriations and the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations. Both Committees have twelve matching subcommittees, each tasked with working on one of the twelve annual regular appropriations bills.

Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2015

The Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2015 is an appropriations bill that would make appropriations for the United States Congress for fiscal year 2015. The bill is considered one of the two easiest appropriations bills to pass each year. The bill would appropriate $3.3 billion to the legislative branch for FY 2015, which is approximately the same amount it received in FY 2014.

Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015

The Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015 is a continuing resolution and United States public law that funded the federal government of the United States through December 11, 2014 by appropriating $1 trillion.

References

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  2. "Disagreements between the Houses" (PDF). House of Representatives Practice (6th ed.). Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  3. "Definition of Appropriation Bill | What is Appropriation Bill ? Appropriation Bill Meaning". The Economic Times. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  4. India, Press Trust Of (12 May 2015). "Appropriation Acts to get automatically repealed, says law minister". Business Standard India. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  5. Nair, Remya (20 March 2015). "Cabinet approves bill to repeal over 700 archaic laws". Mint. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
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  7. Cohen, Andrew (28 September 2013). "The Odd Story of the Law That Dictates How Government Shutdowns Work". The Atlantic. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  8. Oleszek, Walter J. (2011). Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process, 8th ed. Washington, DC 20037: CQ Press. p. 50. ISBN   978-1-60426-613-9.CS1 maint: location (link)
  9. "Forms of Congressional Action". How Our Laws Are Made. Library of Congress. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  10. 1 2 Tollestrup, Jessica (23 February 2012). "The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  11. Oleszek, Walter J. (2007). Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press. p.  48. ISBN   978-0-87289-303-0.
  12. Tollestrup, Jessica (23 February 2012). "The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. p. 13. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  13. National Priorities Project | Bringing the Federal Budget Home from the Cost of War website
  14. "Congressional Reports: Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan since 9/11". zFacts.org. 2006-04-24. Archived from the original on 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2006-08-15.