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 Decade: 1990-1999
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Baselines and Scorekeeping in the Federal Budget Process

Baselines and Scorekeeping in the Federal Budget Process

Date: February 25, 1999
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr
Description: Baselines and scorekeeping are an integral part of the federal budget process, providing Congress and the President with a framework for making and enforcing budgetary decisions. A baseline serves as a benchmark for federal budget decisions. While the Office of Management and Budget (0MB) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) create different baselines, their baselines project federal spending, revenue, and budget surplus or deficit amounts that would occur if existing budget policies were left unchanged. Scorekeeping is the process by which the budgetary impact of proposed and enacted budget policies is measured; it assists Congress and the President in making and enforcing budgetary decisions
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Appropriations Bills: What are "General Provisions"?

Appropriations Bills: What are "General Provisions"?

Date: February 11, 1999
Creator: Streeter, Sandy
Description: An annual appropriations act generally consists of two parts – paragraphs providing funding, and general provisions focusing on non-funding as well as funding issues. Discussed on this brief fact sheet are what is found in general provisions of appropriations bills.
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Budget Resolution Enforcement

Budget Resolution Enforcement

Date: February 25, 1999
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr
Description: The annual budget resolution sets forth Congress's budget plan for a period of at least five fiscal years. It includes total levels of spending, revenues, and the debt limit for each of the fiscal years covered.
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Consideration of the Budget Resolution

Consideration of the Budget Resolution

Date: February 25, 1999
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr
Description: Consideration of a concurrent budget resolution is governed by special procedures in the House and Senate. Although the procedures of each chamber differ, they serve generally to expedite consideration of the budget resolution.
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Consideration of the Budget Resolution

Consideration of the Budget Resolution

Date: May 29, 1998
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr
Description: Consideration of a concurrent budget resolution is governed by special procedures in the House and Senate. Although the procedures of each chamber differ, they serve generally to expedite consideration of the budget resolution.
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Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Congressional Action, 1988-June 1999

Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Congressional Action, 1988-June 1999

Date: July 19, 1999
Creator: Chite, Ralph M
Description: Between 1988 and June 1999, thirteen emergency supplemental or farm disaster acts provided a total of $17 billion in emergency funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs. The vast majority of this amount has gone directly to farmers, primarily in the form of disaster payments ($12.2 billion) to any farmer suffering a significant crop loss caused by a natural disaster, and "market loss" payments ($3.1 billion) to help grain, cotton, and dairy farmers recover from low farm commodity prices. The remaining $1.7 billion has gone to a wide array of other USDA programs, including those for other forms of farm disaster assistance, farm loans, and overseas food aid. Congress is expected to consider a multi-billion financial assistance package for farmers sometime this year.
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Earmarks and Limitations in Appropriations Bills

Earmarks and Limitations in Appropriations Bills

Date: February 11, 1999
Creator: Streeter, Sandy
Description: An annual appropriations act is generally made up of separate paragraphs, each of which provides funding for specific agencies and programs. Generally, each paragraph corresponds to a unique account and provides appropriations for multiple projects and purposes as a single lump sum. Earmarks and limitations are two devices regularly used in annual appropriations acts to restrict, or more precisely direct, the availability of funds for specific projects or purposes of an account. Sometimes an earmark or a limitation may generate more interest or controversy than the total appropriation.
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The Entitlements Debate

The Entitlements Debate

Date: January 28, 1998
Creator: Koitz, David Stuart
Description: Federal entitlement programs make payments directly to recipients who meet eligibility criteria set by law. There are about 400 of them with Social Security being the largest. Generally, entitlement spending is not subject to control through annual appropriations, and once an entitlement program is established, its scope can be altered only by amending the law that created it.
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The Executive Budget Process Timetable

The Executive Budget Process Timetable

Date: April 8, 1999
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr
Description: The executive budget process is a complex set of activities that includes formulation of the President’s budget, interaction with Congress, and execution of the budget. Table 1 provides a timetable of the major steps in the year and a half process. The initial development of the President’s budget begins in the individual federal agencies approximately 10 months before the President submits it to Congress (17 or 18 months before the start of the fiscal year).
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Budget Reconciliation in the 105th Congress: Achieving a Balanced Budget by 2002

Budget Reconciliation in the 105th Congress: Achieving a Balanced Budget by 2002

Date: September 11, 1997
Creator: Koitz, David Stuart & Nuschler, Dawn
Description: Achievement of a balanced federal budget by 2002 was a high priority for the 105th Congress and the President. After months of negotiations and debate, starting in February 1997 and ending in July 1997, congressional leaders and the White House forged a consensus on legislation to accomplish this goal. The legislation, signed into law by President Clinton on August 5, 1997, sets “caps” on discretionary spending, constrains entitlement programs, and on balance reduces federal taxes.
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