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Timeline of Federal Budget Process

Early fall
Agencies send initial budget requests to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

OMB reviews, modifies, and sends back to agencies.

Agencies make final appeals to OMB.

OMB resolves appeals and assembles the final budget request.

February to March
President submits budget request to Congress.
Administration and agency officials testify in support of the budget request.
Appropriations subcommittees (House and Senate) hold hearings with agency heads and outside public witnesses.

House and Senate adopt budget resolutions prepared by Budget Committees.
Appropriations Committees (House and Senate) make 302(b) allocations*.

House Appropriations Subcommittees prepare appropriations bills.
Senate Appropriations Subcommittees revise the House-passed bills.

House passes spending bills; Senate passes revised bills.

House-Senate conference committees resolve differences and agree on final versions of spending bills.
President signs or vetoes final bills.

October 1
Beginning of fiscal year.
Congress passes continuing resolutions to maintain funding for any agencies affected by appropriations bills that have not been passed and signed by the beginning of the fiscal year.

*After the Budget Resolution sets the overall level of discretionary spending, each appropriations committee divides the total among its thirteen subcommittees; "302(b)" refers to the section of the law governing this procedure.

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