The Federal Budget Process Amirah Sequeira, Mythili Prabhu SGAC National Conference February 2013
What is the Budget Process?• Determines the total amount of money that the federal government spends for one year• It also determines what programs get funded for that year, and at what level.
Key Actors• Senate and House Budget Committees: – Decide on an overall cap (or ceiling) for the entire budget, and suggest overall spending for each federal account.• Senate and House Appropriations Committees: – Decide how much funding is going to each program funded by the federal budget.
Key Actors• State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee – Subcommittee of the appropriations committee. – They decide how much money will be spent on our programs of interest: PEPFAR, Global Fund, and others.
Budget Timeline• Budgets run on the fiscal year timeline. The Fiscal Year begins on October 1st and ends September 30th.• The budget process begins in December of the previous year, when the President’s office begins preparing his budget request.
Budget Timeline• February President submits budget request – Legally required to submit budget by February 4th, but will be submitted later this year. – Budget includes suggested spending for every federal program.
Budget Timeline• After the Budget is submitted, the budget committee of the House and the Senate set a budget cap (usually over $3 trillion) for the whole budget, and suggests spending levels for each “account” – Foreign aid is the “150 account”
Budget Timeline• March All members of the House and Senate submits their “wish-list” to the appropriations committee chairs. – Wish lists are a list of all programs that the legislator wants funded. – This is REALLY IMPORTANT FOR US. We need legislators to put Global AIDS funding on their wish lists.
What are the Subcommittees?• Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies• Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies• Defense• Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies• Financial Services and General Government• Homeland Security• Interior, Environment and Related Agencies• Labor, Health and Human services, Education and Related Agencies• Legislative Branch• Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies• State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs• Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies
Budget Timeline• Sub-committees of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees hold hearings to decide on the level of funding for their programs. • Hearings normally happen between February and April.• Chairman of each sub-committee puts forth his/her suggestion for funding levels. This is called the “chairman’s mark”
Budget Timeline• Following the Chairman’s “mark”, his proposal is debated and discussed within the subcommittee. The resulting proposal is called the “Chairman’s Mark-Up”.• The proposal is then sent to the full appropriations committee to be voted on.
Budget Timeline• After the appropriations committee votes on the sub-committee budget, it goes to the full chamber to be passed.• The conference committee, made up of the leadership of both the house and senate, and the appropriations committees, reconcile their 12 subcommittee budgets together.
Budget Timeline• The full chamber then gets to vote on each of the 12 subcommittee budgets.• Once each budget passes through the chamber (with at least half of the votes), the bill is sent to the President to sign into law.
Budget Timeline• What is an Omnibus Bill? – When the senate or house cannot find enough votes to pass each individual subcommittee budget, the Appropriations Committee Chairs will create a combined proposal for one large budget. Instead of voting on individual bills from each sub- committee, the chamber then votes on ONE all-inclusive bill.
Budget Timeline• The full chamber must agree upon a budget by September 30th.• If they don’t, they need to pass a “continuing resolution” to extend their deadline. Funding for programs would continue at previously agreed upon levels.
Important Targets• Senate Budget Committee – Chairman: Patty Murray (D-WA) – Ranking member: Jeff Sessions (R-AL)• House Committee on Budget – Chairman: Paul Ryan (R-WI) – Vice-Chairman: Scott Garrett (R-NJ) – Ranking Member: Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Important Targets• House Committee on Appropriations: – Chairman: Hal Rogers (R-KY) – Ranking Member: Nita Lowey (D-NY)• Senate Appropriations Committee – Chairman: Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) – Vice-Chairman: Thad Cochran (R-MI)
Important Targets• State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (House Appropriations Subcommittee) – Chairwoman: Kay Granger (R-TX) – Vice-Chair: Charles Dent (R-PA)• State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee) – Chair: Patrick Leahy (D-VT) – Ranking member: Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
What do we want?• In FY2013: – Maintain the House level for PEPFAR at $4.242 billion – Maintain Senate level for Global fund at $1.65 billion• In FY2014: – Protection and expansion of PEPFAR at $5.027 billion
Intel on the President’s Budget• Administration has proposed: – a 5% CUT to PEPFAR – A decrease in $300 million for the Global Fund (form last year’s request)