How Long Would Budget Reconciliation Take (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 5 months

The period for the completion of the Budget Reconciliation Process extended from 27 days for the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, 384 days for the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005. The entire process of the budget reconciliation takes on an average of 155 days ( 5 months).

Under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, there is an elective mode that is known as Budget Reconciliation Process. The main aim of the Budget Reconciliation Process is to develop the ability of congress to changes the law. The change in law will bring revenue and spending levels into compliance with policies of the budget resolution.

How Long Would Budget Reconciliation Take?

The entire reconciliation process helps Congress to use an expedited procedure. In the reconciliation process, the reconciliation instructions are added to the budget resolution. Congress has the most persuasive budget enforcement tool available in the form of reconciliation.

Since 1980, the time record experience indicates that the variation in the time required to process the complete reconciliation manner from the date of the reconciliation instructions to conclude the final adoption. It majorly depends upon the approval or denial of the President.

With the help of this chief tool since 1980, congress has executed major changes in the budget policy. Since FY1987 under a revised timetable, the final adoption of the budget resolution is scheduled by the House and Senate by April 15. The duration of the reconciliation process can be long and drawn out.

Here are the major stages of the Budget Reconciliation Process –

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EventTime
President Submits Budget 1st Month in February
CBO Submits Budget Outlook Report To Budget Committees15th February
Senate Budget Committee Reports Budget Resolution1st April
Congress Completes Action On Budget Resolution15th April
Committees Submit Views and Estimates Reports To Budget CommitteesSix Weeks Later
Fiscal Year Begins1st October
House Completes Action on Appropriation Bills and Reconciliation30th June
House Appropriations Committee Reports Last Regular Appropriations Bill10th July

Why Would Budget Reconciliation Take So Long?

The Budget Reconciliation process takes so long because there is a certain procedure that needs to follow for the conclusion. Some major stages are set for the reconciliation of the budget. The above table is describing the different steps of the process efficiently. The steps will help in expanding or limiting federal revenues, spending levels, or the debt ceiling.

Budget reconciliation is an arbitrary procedure that acts as an auxiliary to the budget process. It is a multi-step process that cannot be completed by leaving any step. In the very first step, the individual committees get budget resolution with reconciliation directives passed by every chamber. All the committees advance and summarize legislative language in response to the reconciliation directives.

The committee has the right to decide on policy changes so that the budgetary targets set by the reconciliation directives are achieved. There is also a possibility that if more than one committee in the House or Senate proposes legislative changes.

Then all the recommendations regarding the reconciliation will be combined into the Omnibus Bill by the Budget Committee. It means that the bill is ready for taking into the study in the full House or Senate. For passing the bill in the Senate, the reconciliation bill requires only a simple majority rather than specific 60 votes.

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After the implementation of certain directives, the Budget committee combines all the responses and prepares a report. The final report bill sends to the full chamber. The reconciliation bill is considered by every chamber. Now the chamber has the responsibility to settle the issue and provide opinions on the differences. In the final stage, the president enacts or prohibits the reconciliation bill.

Conclusion

The Budget Reconciliation Process has been concluded and critiqued through different stages. Go through these stages ensures that all the errors have been detected and resolved thoroughly. Each department that is involved in the framing and making of the budget addresses the areas where loopholes are found. If the particular department neglected to do it then auditors put their opinions.

The auditors have all the authority to evaluate the budget, based on Reconciliation Guidelines. Consolidating all the responses and making changes in the reconciliation bill makes the process lengthy. Getting consent from the different Committees consumes time.

Reference

  1. https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/1-22-15bud.pdf
  2. https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/files/crs33030.pdf
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