9 25 13 Notes

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15 Mar 2019
POLI 2070
9/25/13 & 9/27/13
Seminar discussion on Friday
Look up articles on current budgeting situation to discuss
Budgeting: Allocation & Public Policy
Whether the merits of any program are significant to justify using public sector
resources rather than relying on private sector & how should the public sector
resources that are available be spent
How important is the budget?
Characteristics of the Federal Budget
o Executive budget
Prepared by president & his staff, approved by Congress, executed
by president
Budget & Accounting Act of 1921 (accumulated power in the
Exec. Office of President; Office of Management & Budget)
Congressional Budgeting Office (taken back some of the control
but still generally responsive to executive action)
o Line item
Allocating funds into categories for specific purposes within the
specified agency (which allows Congress to determine if the $ is
being spent under legal authority Gov’t Accountability Office)
Limits management capabilities within agencies
Congress, wishing to maximize control, will maintain this line item
system to continue oversight
o Annual budget
Solely year expenditure plan
Makes long term ideas difficult & larger patterns may not be
visible before it is too late
Budgeting Cycle
o Setting the parameters
Spring review 1st official act of the budget cycle, prep of
estimates of total size of the fed. Budget to be prepared for that
Provides summary of the strategy & what the agencies should
work within for their own budgets, although this is not the final
Budget preparation is based on estimates from 16 month before &
at times must be adjusted to current economic conditions or other
current political considerations
Preparation of economic & expenditure estimates result from the
interaction of the Council of Economic Advisers, OMB &
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o Agency requests
Central actors in budgeting process
Responsible for initial preparation of estimates to request funding
& interacting w/ OMB & other agencies within its department to
produce coordinated & politically viable budgets
Balancing act for cabinet secretaries, agencies & the larger
departments for each to coordinate the restrictions of avail. funds
w/ interest pressures, presidential programs & other restrictions
within the process
All requests must be made while still considering the restraints of
an annual budget
o Exec. review
Final request passed to OMB who organizes all agency requests &
fits them w/ presidential priorities & general spending needs
Generally this stage involves cutting requested budgets in some
way or rationalizing funding new requests or requests for budget
increases (examiners review the requests & previous budget levels
in the given budget environments)
Hearings are held for agencies to defend requested increases in
their budgets; results are forwarded to the final director’s review; a
final trim is negotiated then sent on to the final compilation that
becomes the budget document
After final reviews, the budget is prepared for delivery to Congress
within 15 days of it convening in January
o Congressional action
Committees develop 2 resolutions outlining spending limits every
year (w/ help of Congressional Budgeting Office staff)
Appropriations committees in both houses make decisions
concerning how to allocate spending among agencies & programs;
most of the work is done through subcommittees generally one to
ea. exec. dept., a # of agencies or a function
New situations have restricted committee & subcommittee
autonomy (politics of deficit reduction) & appropriations levels
must match the levels set in the joint resolutions on taxing &
spending; if the levels match then the budget accepted by the
subcommittee has been decided
After the presidential recommendations, subcommittees create one
or two appropriations bills (13 to 14 total per year) & hold
hearings, mark up the bill & submit it to the committee & then the
larger Congressional body
Generally the procedure in Congress needs to be ready for Sept. 15
to go into effect on Oct. 1; Congressional Budget Act requires
second concurrent resolution setting budget ceiling, revenue floors
and overall fiscal policy considerations
Reconciliation bill generally is passed by Sept. 25
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