The Budget Process Explained: What Just Happened?

What Just Happened?  

Last week, both the House and the Senate passed individual versions of the FY2016 Budget Resolution. Within both versions, we see employees forced to increase their contributions by an additional 6%. In addition, the House version decreased the workforce of non-security agencies by 10% by restricting agencies’ abilities to fill vacancies when employees leave or retire, and created vouches for employees’ healthcare plans. 

As the two versions contain differences, there will be a Budget Resolution Conference starting in mid-April to reconcile differences. The Budget Resolution Report will then be sent back to the House and Senate for a final vote. The ultimate product will still be non-binding; it does not go to the President for signature. 

But it’s very important because it lays the groundwork for future legislation and sets the scene for future veto fights with the President. So thank you to all of those who made calls and sent emails in opposition to these budget resolutions. It was important for all members of Congress to hear our opposition to these bills. 

What’s Next?  

The final budget resolution will do two major things:

  1. Tell the House/Senate appropriations committees how much they can spend on agency funding; and
  2. Send budget reconciliation instructions to House/Senate authorizing committees, which will require savings in mandatory programs (like federal employee retirement). 

Once appropriation bills start to move to the floor of either the House or the Senate, we can probably expect attacks on official time and dues deduction. 

Our message is clear: No other group has given more towards reducing the deficit ($159 billion dollars). It’s time for Congress to look elsewhere for ways to save money and to end sequestration. 

Please continue to check the AFGE website and watch your home emails and text messages. We will be contacting you immediately once we see any movement on any of these issues.

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