Budget and Appropriations
Each year, Congress passes budget and appropriations legislation covering federal spending for the coming fiscal year, which starts on October 1. The process begins when the President submits a proposed budget to Congress on the first Monday in February. By April 15, Congress adopts a budget resolution that establishes an overall outline for spending and revenues in the coming year. Although the budget resolution does not become law, Congress is informally bound by its framework. The budget resolution contains two types of spending – discretionary (annually appropriated) and mandatory (not subject to annual appropriations). If the budget resolution assumes increased revenue (taxes) or reduced mandatory funding, Congress must pass legislation to stay in line with the budget resolution. The process is completed later in the year, with the enactment of separate appropriations bills that fund the discretionary portion of the budget.
Recently, many in Congress have made fervent attempts to change the budget process, by proposing rigid budget caps, constitutional amendments requiring a balanced budget, and other budget rules making it easier to cut spending while making it procedurally difficult to consider revenue or expenditure increases.
These measures fail to take into account the investments needed to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and realize the goal of reducing poverty and increasing economic security for all Americans.
For more information on this issue, visit CHN’s Public Policy Priorities, 2013-2014.
Americans for Tax Fairness
Center for Community Change
Center for American Progress
Center for Effective Government (Formerly OMB Watch)
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Citizens for Tax Justice
Economic Policy Institute
National Priorities Project
National Women’s Law Center
- June 13, 2013The Hill: Boehner Grasps for Middle on Farm Bill
Policy Analyses and Research
- May 29, 2013Economic Policy Institute: What Do Current Federal Funding Levels in the Wake of Sequestration Mean for State Budgets?
- March 20, 2013Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Commentary: Why Balancing the Budget by the End of the Decade Is Not the Right Goal