Congressional Budget Resolution

After the submission of the President’s budget request, Congress prepares a budget resolution. The budget resolution, which is drafted by the House and Senate Budget Committees each year, is an agreement between the two legislative chambers establishing both spending and revenue levels for at least the five upcoming fiscal years, as well as various rules and procedures governing the budget process in the House and Senate. By law, the budget resolution is considered in an expedited manner in both chambers. Most importantly, it cannot be filibustered in the Senate, allowing it to pass by a simple majority vote.

After the House and Senate pass a budget resolution it does not go the President; it is not actually legislation. The budget resolution is a set of self-imposed guidelines used to govern subsequent Congressional activity and procedures related to taxing and spending legislation. Nevertheless, it is a crucial step in establishing funding levels for education and other government programs. Spending and revenue decisions established in a budget resolution can pave the way for increases in education spending or make increases more difficult with procedural hurdles. The target date for adopting the budget resolution conference report is April 15th, though it is often adopted later. In some years, Congress fails to adopt a new budget resolution altogether.