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(See Budget Resolution.)

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Budget Surplus

The amount by which the Government's revenues exceed its outlays for a given fiscal year. (See Outlays; Revenues.)

Congressional Budget

Continuing Resolution

Appropriations legislation enacted by Congress to provide temporary budget authority for Federal agencies to keep them in operation when their regular appropriation bill has not been enacted by the start of the fiscal year. A continuing resolution is a joint resolution, which has the same legal status as a bill.

A continuing resolution frequently specifies a maximum rate at which obligations may be incurred, based on the rate of the prior year, the President's budget request, or an appropriation bill passed by either or both chambers of the Congress.

A continuing resolution is a form of appropriation act and should not be confused with the budget resolution.

Credit Authority

Authority to incur direct loan obligations or to incur primary loan guarantee commitments. Under the Budget Act, new credit authority must be approved in advance in an appropriation act.

Crosswalk

Also know as "committee allocation" or "section 302 allocation." The means by which budget resolution spending totals are translated into guidelines for committee action on spending bills. The Budget Committees allocate the budget resolution totals among the committees by jurisdiction. Those committees, in turn, subdivide their allocations among their subcommittees or programs. Crosswalk allocations to the committees appear initially in Budget Committee reports on the budget resolution and finally in the joint explanatory statement accompanying a conference report on the budget resolution.

Current Services Budget

A section of the President's budget, required by the Budget Act, that sets forth the level of spending or taxes that would occur if existing programs and policies were continued unchanged through the fiscal year and beyond, with all programs adjusted for inflation so that existing levels of activity are maintained. (See Baseline.)

Deferral of Budget Authority

An action by the executive branch that delays the obligation of budget authority beyond the point it would normally occur. Pursuant to the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, the President must provide advanced notice to the Congress of any proposed deferrals. A deferral may not extend beyond the end of the fiscal year in which the President's message proposing the deferral is made. Congress may overturn a deferral by passing a law disapproving the deferral. (See Impoundment Resolution.)

Entitlements

Programs that are set up in a way that obligates the U.S. Government to make specific payments to qualified recipients.

Excess Deficit

The amount by which the projected baseline deficit for a fiscal year exceeds the maximum deficit amount (deficit target) for that fiscal year. The amount of excess deficit, as estimated by OMB, will be the outlay amount eliminated through the President's sequester order, with some exceptions. (For fiscal years 1988 and 1989, see Unachieved Deficit Reduction.)

(See Outlays.)

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Expenditures

Federal Debt

Consists of all Treasury and agency debt issues outstanding.

Fiscal Policy

Federal Government policies with respect to taxes, spending, and debt manage ment intended to promote the nation's macroeconomic goals, particularly with re spect to employment, gross national product, price level stability, and equilibrium in balance of payments. The budget process is a major vehicle for determining and implementing Federal fiscal policy. The other major component of Federal macroeconomic policy is monetary policy. (See Monetary Policy.)

Fiscal Year

A fiscal year is a 12-month accounting period. The fiscal year for the Federal Government begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 1986 is the year beginning October 1, 1985, and ending September 30, 1986.

Functional Classification

A system of classifying budget resources by major purpose so that budget authority, outlays, and credit activities can be related in terms of the national needs being addressed (for example, national defense, health) regardless of the agency administering the program. A function may be divided into two or more subfunctions depending upon the complexity of the national need addressed by that function. (See Budget Authority; Outlays).

Impoundment

A generic term referring to any action or inaction by an officer or employee of the U.S. Government that precludes the obligation or expenditure of budget authority in the manner intended by Congress. (See Deferral of Budget Authority; Rescission of Budget Authority.)

Impoundment Resolution

Section 1013(b) of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 previously permitted either chamber of Congress to adopt an impoundment resolution to veto a deferral of budget authority proposed by the administration. In 1983, however, the Supreme Court held that a one-House legislative veto is unconstitutional because it constitutes a legislative action without having been passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by the President. (See INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919 (1983).) As a result, Congress now disapproves deferrals in appropriations laws.

Mark-Up

Meetings where congressional committees work on the language of bills or resolutions. At Budget Committee mark-ups, the House and Senate Budget Committees work on the language and numbers contained in budget resolutions.

Maximum Deficit Amount

The fixed deficit target for a fiscal year that may not be exceeded by the projected budget deficit for that fiscal year (FY 1990-FY 1993 only). In FY 1988, $23 billion in deficit reduction must be achieved regardless of the fixed target. In FY 1989, the deficit must be reduced to the fixed target or by $36 billion below the budget baseline, whichever is easier. A $10 billion cushion is allowed in FY 1988 through FY 1992, but not in FY 1993.

Monetary Policy

Management of the money supply, under the direction of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, with the aim of achieving price stability and full employment. Government actions in guiding monetary policy, include currency re

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valuation, credit contraction or expansion, rediscount policy, regulation of bank reserves and the purchase and sale of Government securities. (See Fiscal Policy.)

Net Deficit Reduction

Savings below the defined budget baseline achieved for the upcoming fiscal year because of laws enacted or final regulations promulgated since January 1. CBO and OMB independently estimate these savings in their initial and final sequester reports.

Offsetting Receipts

Income from the public that results from sale of products or services rendered (such as sale of timber from Federal lands or entrance fees for national parks). Offsetting receipts are deducted from total budget authority and outlays rather than added to Federal revenues even though they are deposited in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.

Outlays

Outlays are disbursements by the Federal Treasury in the form of checks or cash. Outlays flow in part from budget authority granted in prior years and in part from budget authority provided for the year in which the disbursements occur.

The term "expenditures" is frequently used interchangeably with the term outlays. (See Budget Authority.)

Outlay Rates

The ratio of outlays (actual government disbursements) in a fiscal year relative to new budgetary resources in that fiscal year. In estimating the budget baseline and baseline deficit for their sequestration reports, CBO and OMB use outlay rates for projecting levels of spending resulting from available budget authority. Under Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, OMB is required, for fiscal years 1989 to 1993, to use aggregate outlay rates for defense and non-defense programs that do not deviate by more than 0.5 percent from the aggregate outlay rates used in the previous year's sequestration report.

President's Budget

The document sent to Congress by the President in January or February of each year, requesting new budget authority for Federal programs and estimating Federal revenues and outlays for the upcoming fiscal year.

Revenues

Collections from the public arising from the Government's sovereign power to tax. Revenues include individual and corporate income taxes, social insurance taxes (such as social security payroll taxes), excise taxes, estate and gift taxes, customs duties, and the like.

Reconciliation Process

A process in which Congress includes in a budget resolution "reconciliation instructions" to specific committees, directing them to report legislation which changes existing laws, usually for the purpose of decreasing spending or increasing revenues by a specified amount by a certain date. The reported legislation is then considered as a single "reconciliation bill."

Gramm-Rudman-Hollings provides for an accelerated form of reconciliation in the Senate as a method for developing a congressional alternative to a presidential reduction order.

Rescission of Budget Authority

Cancellation of budget authority before the time when the authority would otherwise cease to be available for obligation. The rescission process begins when the President proposes a rescission to the Congress for fiscal or policy reasons. Unlike the deferral of budget authority which occurs unless Congress acts to disapprove the deferral, rescission of budget authority occurs only if Congress acts within 45 days

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of continuous session to enact the rescission. (See Deferral of Budget Authority; Impoundment.)

Scorekeeping

Procedures for tracking the status of congressional budgetary actions. Scorekeeping data published by the Congressional Budget Office include status reports on the effects of congressional actions and comparisons of these actions to targets and ceilings set by Congress in budget resolutions.

Sequester

That element of a presidential spending reduction order that occurs by reducing defense and non-defense spending by uniform percentages.

Sequestrable Resource

Federal funding authority (budgetary resources) subject to reductions under a presidential sequester order for achieving required outlay reductions (in non-exempt programs).

Supplemental Appropriation

An act appropriating funds in addition to those in the 13 regular annual appropriation acts. Supplemental appropriations provide additional budget authority beyond the original estimates for programs or activities (including new programs authorized after the date of the original appropriation act) in cases where the need for funds is too urgent to be postponed until enactment of the next regular appropriation bill. (See Appropriation Act.)

Tax Expenditures

Revenue losses attributable to a special exclusion, exemption, or deduction from gross income or to a special credit, preferential rate of tax, or deferral of tax liability.

Unachieved Deficit Reduction

The amount of additional savings needed to reduce the deficit by a total of $23 billion in fiscal year 1988 and $36 billion in fiscal year 1989 below the defined budget baseline for that fiscal year. The amount of unachieved deficit reduction, as estimated by OMB, will be the outlay amount sequestered in the President's final order in fiscal year 1988 and fiscal year 1989. In fiscal year 1989, the amount of unachieved deficit reduction will not be sequestered if the deficit is reduced to within $10 billion of the fixed target of $136 billion. (For fiscal years 1990 through 1993, see Excess Deficit.)

Unified Budget

Describes the way the Federal budget is currently displayed. This display includes revenues and spending for all regular Federal programs and trust funds except social security, which was removed from budget totals beginning with fiscal year 1987. Prior to the creation of the unified budget in 1969, all trust funds were excluded from budget totals.

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