Budget resolution

Last updated

In the United States Congress, a budget resolution is part of the United States budget process. It is in the form of a concurrent resolution passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate but is not presented to the President and does not have the force of law. It sets out the congressional budget.

United States Congress Legislature of the United States

The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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.

A concurrent resolution is a resolution adopted by both houses of a bicameral legislature that lacks the force of law and does not require the approval of the chief executive (president). Concurrent resolutions are typically adopted to regulate the internal affairs of the legislature that adopted them, or for other purposes, if authority of law is not necessary.

Contents

The United States House Committee on the Budget and the United States Senate Committee on the Budget draft a budget resolution. Following the traditional calendar, both committees finalize their draft resolution by early April and submit it to their respective floors for consideration and adoption.

United States House Committee on the Budget Standing committee of the United States House of Representatives

The United States House Committee on the Budget, commonly known as the House Budget Committee, is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives. Its responsibilities include legislative oversight of the federal budget process, reviewing all bills and resolutions on the budget, and monitoring agencies and programs funded outside of the budgetary process. The committee briefly operated as a select committee in 1919 and 1921, during the 66th and 67th United States Congresses, before being made a standing committee in 1974.

United States Senate Committee on the Budget Standing committee of the United States Senate

The United States Senate Committee on the Budget was established by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974. It is responsible for drafting Congress's annual budget plan and monitoring action on the budget for the Federal Government. The committee has jurisdiction over the Congressional Budget Office. The committee briefly operated as a special committee from 1919 to 1920 during the 66th Congress, before being made a standing committee in 1974.

Once both houses pass the resolution, selected Representatives and Senators negotiate a conference report to reconcile differences between the House and the Senate versions. The conference report, in order to become binding, must be approved by both the House and Senate.

The budget resolution establishes various budget totals, allocations, entitlements, and may include reconciliation instructions to designated House or Senate committees.

The budget resolution serves as a blueprint for the actual appropriation process, and provides Congress with some control over the appropriations process. No new spending authority, however, is provided until appropriation bills are enacted. A budget resolution binds Congress, but is not a law. It does allow for certain points of order to be made if the President does not follow the resolution. There may not be a resolution every year; if none is established, the previous year's resolution stays in force. [1]

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. In most democracies, approval of the legislature is necessary for the government to spend money.

Structure of the budget

Fundamentally, the budget resolution is structured along 20 budget functions, or categories of spending. Functional categories often cut across agency lines. For example, the National Defense function includes certain Department of Energy programs as well as Department of Defense programs. Functions are further subdivided into "subfunctions." In addition, though these functions and subfunctions are included in a budget resolution, which determines how Congress considers budget related legislation, they have little correspondence to any committee jurisdictions. Functions are, however, useful in understanding the placement of any given account in the federal government: Each account number has a series of numbers, the last three will indicate the function and subfunction; for example an account ending in "051" will indicate function 050 (Defense) and subfunction 051, which indicates a type of spending within the Defense category.

A listing of the budget functions can be found below.

FunctionTitleFY 2005 1 ($ million)
050National Defense423,098
150International Affairs29,569
250General Science, Space and Technology24,459
270Energy1,883
300Natural Resources and Environment30,286
350Agriculture22,353
370Commerce and Housing Credit8,092
400Transportation69,494
450Community and Regional Development12,949
500Education, Training, Employment and Social Services91,817
550Health248,780
570 Medicare 293,574
600Income Security342,324
650 Social Security 516,457
700Veterans Benefits and Services65,444
750Administration of Justice40,781
800General Government19,392
900Net Interest177,909
920Allowances(798)
950Undistributed Offsetting Receipts(63,108)
Total:2,354,755

^1 Estimated budget authority as presented in the President's budget (in million USD)

In addition to these functions, during the 110th Congress, in S. Con. Res. 21 and S. Con. Res 70, an additional function was included: Function 970, indicating spending on the global war on terrorism (Overseas Deployments and Other Activities (970)).

History

Prior to 1974, there was no Congressional Budget Office nor budget resolution process. When President Richard Nixon began to refuse to spend funds that the Congress had allocated, Congress needed a more formal means by which to challenge him. The resulting Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 [2] created the Congressional Budget Office and directed more control of the budget to CBO and away from the President's Office of Management and the Budget. The Act passed easily as the administration was then embroiled in the Watergate scandal and unwilling to provoke Congress. [1]

See also

Related Research Articles

Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974

The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 is a United States federal law that governs the role of the Congress in the United States budget process.

The United States House Committee on Appropriations is a committee of the United States House of Representatives.

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.

U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government is one of twelve subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. It was renamed from the Subcommittee on District of Columbia in 2007 in order to align the operations of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. 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 Treasury and General Government.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development is one of twelve subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. 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 United States Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs is one of twelve subcommittees of the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations. 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 House Subcommittee on Defense is a standing subcommittee 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 the United States Department of Defense.

The House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies is a standing subcommittee within the House Appropriations Committee. 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 the United States Department of Energy and Water Development.

The House Subcommittee on Homeland Security is a standing subcommittee within the House Appropriations Committee. 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 the United States Department of Homeland Security.

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.

U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Service and General Government is a subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations. It was created in 2007 to align the operations of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. It was assigned jurisdiction over financial and general government programs from the former Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development, The Judiciary, District of Columbia. 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.

U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Legislative Branch is one of twelve subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. 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.

U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs is one of twelve subcommittees of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations. 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.

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.

The 2015 United States federal budget is the federal budget for fiscal year 2015, which runs from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015. The budget takes the form of a budget resolution which must be agreed to by both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate in order to become final, but never receives the signature or veto of the President of the United States and does not become law. Until both the House and the Senate pass the same concurrent resolution, no final budget exists. Actual U.S. federal government spending will occur through later appropriations legislation that is signed into law.

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

  1. 1 2 Budget Resolution Explainer, Rudolph Penner, Urban Institute
  2. Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974