Appropriations Status Report – FY 2016 Budget and Spending Bills

WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Budget Committee today released its July 28, 2015 issue of the Budget Bulletin focused on the FY 2016 Balanced Budget Resolution and its role in the appropriations process. The Budget Bulletin provides regular expert articles by Senate Budget Committee analysts on the issues before Congress relating to the budget, deficits, debt, and the economy.

Read the full Senate Budget Bulletin here.

Excerpts follow:

The FY 16 Budget and Allocations

In Congress, the budget resolution sets the broad outlines for the 12 annual appropriation bills. For the first time in six years, a budget resolution passed both houses of Congress in May, empowering the 2016 concurrent resolution, S. Con. Res. 11, to serve as the fiscal framework for the Senate and House Appropriations committees.

The Appropriations committees in both chambers have produced legislation based on the budget’s guidelines. With the Senate Appropriations Committee’s approval of the Financial Services bill on July 23, all 12 Senate and House spending bills are now reported—again a first in six years.

The 2016 budget authorizes $1.1 trillion for discretionary programs, to be provided by the Appropriations committees. The regular discretionary total matches the Congressional Budget Office baseline and Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA; P.L. 112-25) limit for the year—a slight increase from 2014 and 2015. The budget also includes a separate $96 billion allocation for overseas contingency operations (OCO), new to the Senate.

Appropriations Status

The Senate Appropriations Committee has reported all 12 spending bills, which are now awaiting floor debate. A June 18 Senate vote on the Defense Appropriations Act failed to receive the 60 votes necessary to invoke cloture.

The House Appropriations Committee also has reported all 12 bills, completing the last one for Homeland Security on July 14. The full House so far has approved six of the 12: Commerce, Justice & Science; Defense; Energy & Water; Legislative Branch; Military Construction & Veterans; and Transportation & HUD (Housing and Urban Development).

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