The Federal budget
process starts with the Executive Office of Management and Budget (OMB
), who must prepare the budget for the President before he submits it to Congress. The OMB manages the budget throughout the year.
In the early fall, all Federal agencies submit their budget requests to OMB for the following fiscal year, which runs from October 1-September 30. In other words, the budget planning process starts a year in advance.
In November, OMB sends its budget review comments back to the agencies. They submit their final budget requests in December. OMB then assembles the final budget for the following fiscal year, and sends it to the President.
The President submits his proposed budget to Congress by the first Monday in February
each year. He uses the budget to set the strategy and policies. He has already given an outline of the budget priorities in the annual State of the Union Address.
He is assisted by the Council of Economic Advisors, who also submit the "Economic Report of the President." This report gives the Council's analysis of the upcoming economic trends.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO
) provides information to Congress to facilitate its review of the budget. This includes a detailed review of the President's budget for each fiscal year.
Using the President's budget as a base, each house of Congress
develops their own budget proposals separately. They base this on hearings held with agency officials, who explain why they need the funds requested. They then meet in a Conference Committee to agree on a budget by April 15th
Congress then develops spending appropriation bills that they should deliver to the President by June 30th. However, He usually doesn't get them until September.
These bills only pertain to the discretionary budget. They base these bills on more hearings held with the agency officials and outside public testimonies. First, the House Appropriations Subcommittees prepare their bills and pass their bills internally. These bills go to the Senate, which revises and must approve them before they go to the President.
Back to the President:
The President must either approve these bills, disapprove them or allow them to go forward without his approval within the next 10 days
In addition, the President usually submits a Mid-Session Review of the budget to Congress by July 15.
Back to Congress:
By October 1st
, the beginning of the new fiscal year, the budget must be worked out between the President and the Congress so that government agencies can continue to spend and function. However, this rarely happens. Instead, if the budget isn't approved, Congress passes continuing resolutions to keep Federal agencies running at their current funding levels. (Source: Washington Post, Federal Budget Process
; About.com Guide to the U.S. Economy, The Federal Budget Process in a Perfect World
; American Mathematical Society, Timeline of Federal Budget Process
Department's Financial Management Services executes the budget. This is the agency that makes payments, collects revenues and delinquent debt and issues reports including the Treasury statements.
Understand the Current Federal Budget: