American Association for Cancer Research

The Federal Appropriations and Budget Process

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The federal budget reflects the nation's priorities by directing all government spending for the coming year. To ensure that cancer research is appropriately supported, your elected officials must hear from you throughout the year when they are making key decisions.

Congress directs all spending by the federal government. The House and Senate each have an Appropriations Committee that is divided into 12 subcommittees with jurisdiction over a portion of federal programs. The Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) specifically designates funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and other related agencies.

 

The Federal Appropriations Process:

The following chart outlines the federal appropriations cycle and recommends actions you can take during the fiscal year to most effectively influence the outcome.

(PDF attachment)

 

SUMMER-FALL

  • Federal agencies develop and submit budgets to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) , which advises the president on policy and budgetary matters.

  • DISCUSS RESEARCH PRIORITIES WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES AT NIH AND NCI

FIRST MONDAY IN FEBRUARY

  • The president submits a budget to Congress. This document highlights the administration's priorities and sets the tone for congressional debate.

FEBRUARY-MARCH

  • House and Senate Budget Committees decide how much can be spent and begin to divide spending totals into broad functional categories.
  • ASK YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO CONTACT THE BUDGET COMMITTEE ABOUT MAKING CANCER RESEARCH A PRIORITY

APRIL 15

  • The "budget resolution" that sets a broad framework for federal spending is finalized.
    (Congress rarely meets the April 15 deadline.)
  • ASK YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO CONTACT THE BUDGET COMMITTEE ABOUT MAKING CANCER RESEARCH A PRIORITY

MAY-JUNE

  • House and Senate Appropriations Committees set spending ceilings for their respective appropriations subcommittees.
  • ASK YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO CONTACT THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE ABOUT MAKING CANCER RESEARCH A PRIORITY

JUNE-JULY

  • Each appropriations subcommittee passes a bill to designate funding levels for specific programs and projects.
  • ASK YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO CONTACT THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE ABOUT MAKING CANCER RESEARCH A PRIORITY

 AUGUST

  • August Recess. Members of Congress return to their districts to meet with constituents.
  • INVITE YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO VISIT YOUR RESEARCH SITE OR LOOK FOR OTHER OPPORTUNITIES TO MEET IN PERSON ABOUT CANCER RESEARCH

SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER

  • Beginning of the new fiscal year and the deadline to pass funding bills. Congress must enact a "continuing resolution" (CR) if it fails to meet this deadline. A CR allows the government to temporarily continue operating at the previous year's funding levels.
  • ASK YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO SUPPORT FUNDING FOR CANCER RESEARCH IN THE  FINAL APPROPRIATIONS BILL