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Chapter 11 BUREAUCRACY: Redesigning Government for the Twenty-First Century © 2011 Taylor & Francis Current Events Focus
The Budget Process The process for passing the federal budget is complicated and involves a great deal of debate, bargaining, and compromise. The process may be broken down in 4 stages: The President submits the budget to Congress by the first Monday in February. Congress begins reviewing the budget proposal. The various agencies, federal departments, and the appropriate laws are reviewed by the General Accounting Office (GAO) and Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Audits of agency spending are conducted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). © 2011 Taylor & Francis
Congressional review of the budget proposal. The budget is separated into 11 appropriations bills The House and Senate Budget Committees formulate the budget resolutions, usually in early May. Both chambers vote on the budget resolutions in mid to late May. © 2011 Taylor & Francis
Congressional review of the budget proposal. In June, the budget conference committee reconciles differences in the bills. Floor votes on the reconciled resolutions. In July, the proposed budget is sent to the various committees based upon jurisdiction. House and Senate Authorization Committees (budget-reconciliation) House and Senate Appropriations Committee (budget-allocations) © 2011 Taylor & Francis
Congressional review of the budget proposal. House and Senate authorizing committees refer recommendations to House and Senate Budget Committees. Reconciled bills (authorization and appropriations) go to a floor vote in both the House and Senate. The floor votes on the 13 bills separately. Budget reconciliation (Authorization) conference committee is formed. © 2011 Taylor & Francis
Congressional review of the budget proposal. Budget appropriation (budget-allocations) conference committee is formed. Both chambers vote on appropriation bills from the different conference committees in September. The President may sign or veto the 13 appropriation bills © 2011 Taylor & Francis
Congressional review of the budget proposal. The budget-reconciliation conference committee (Authorization) submits a final bill (the budget that will be presented to the President) for floor votes in both chambers. The approved bill (final budget) is presented to the President for approval or veto. © 2011 Taylor & Francis
Conclusion The fiscal year for the annual budget begins on October 1st and ends September 30th. In early summer, the President must send any revisions (such as emergency spending) to Congress before the House and Senate Appropriation Committees’ final vote on the 11 appropriations bills. As is evident by the amount of money involved and the complex process, formulating the annual budget is vital to the country’s interest and constitutes one of the most important votes any member of Congress casts. © 2011 Taylor & Francis
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