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S. 385 (114th): Biennial Appropriations Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 5, 2015.


Biennial Appropriations Act

This bill amends the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to change the annual appropriations process to a biennial process for nondefense spending. Congress must consider the defense appropriations bill annually and the remaining appropriations bills in either odd-numbered or even-numbered years. In each year that the appropriations bill for an agency is not considered, Congress must conduct oversight hearings.

The bill requires the congressional budget resolution to be accompanied by committee allocations for biennial appropriations and the President's budget to include details that reflect the biennial process.

It also creates a point of order against considering: (1) legislation authorizing appropriations for less than two years unless the program requires no further appropriations and will be completed after appropriations are expended, and (2) authorization or revenue legislation until Congress completes action on the budget resolution, appropriations bills, and reconciliation bills.

The Office of Management and Budget must report to Congress on the impact and feasibility of a biennial budget process.