The President makes the final budget decisions. This must be completed by the end of the calendar year. o 3) President’s budget message: The President submits the budget to COngress in January. It outlines priorities and gives the President’s views on the nation’s economy. It gives an estimate of tax revenues expected during the year. o 4) Congressional budget resolution: Under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the House and Senate must adopt proposed budgets by May 15. Legislative committees of both houses study the President’s budget and revise it with their own priorities. Their independence shows most clearly when the President’s party has lost control of Congress to the opposition. Each house passes their own budget resolution, and a conference committee works out a final version. o 5) House action: The budget resolution sets up funding targets, but no money can be spent until Congress passes authorization and appropriations bills. Budget requests are split into separate bills, which are then heard by subcommittees of the House Appropriations Committee, and then go to floor of the House. o 6) Senate action: Once the House has acted, the Senate begins work on its own appropriations bills. For every increase in one bill, there will a decrease in another. The full Senate votes on the amended legislation. o 7) Conference committee meetings: A special conference committee meets to work a compromise on the appropriations voted in the two houses. o 8) Final congressional action: Conference committee members return their compromised bills to the House and Senate for final action. These cannot be amended. Denying this would delay the passage of the high-priority appropriations bills o 9) President’s opinion: The President may sign or veto appropriations bills. The President can delete specific items form a bill. If the President does veto a bill, it's usually because the Congress seriously altered the administration’s original request. o 10) Using the appropriations: Each department or agency uses the find COngress has appropriated to carry on its activities through the next fiscal year. Once appropriations become laws, the General Accounting OFfice supervises the day- to-day spending of the money. Problems caused by the appropriations procedure: This procedure doesn’t always work smoothly (hmm i wonder why…) o 1) Short-term commitments: Many exec branch officials believe that appropriations should extend beyond a single year because it is difficult to develop long-term programs. o 2) Porkbarreling: Because the President seldom vetoes an appropriations bill, an unfortunate side effect develops that is porkbarrel . Porkbarrel is the total of costly special-interest appropriations passed every year. Members of Congress often support someone else’s porkbarrel projects in return in support of their own; this is called logrolling .
o 3) Complexity of the budget: The printed budget that the President send to Congress every year is hundreds of pages longs. A ‘unified’ budget lists all the money to be spent, including dollars from special funds.
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