Each year, Congress appropriates funds for cancer research and prevention by allocating money to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The entire process takes about eight to nine months and involves input from the President, Congress and advocates like you. For information on how you can impact cancer research funding, visit our Colorectal Cancer Action Center.
January: The President Submits a Budget
The President’s Budget, which must be submitted on or before February 1st, serves as the starting point for Congress. Congress is not required to take any of the President’s recommendations. However, since the President ultimately has to approve the budget, Congress uses the recommendations as a blueprint in considering funding levels for federal agencies and programs.
February: House and Senate Budget Committees Report the Budget Resolution
The Budget Resolution is a Resolution passed in both the House and the Senate, but does not require the President’s signature. The Budget Resolution is an opportunity for Congress to offer its plan for spending, revenue, borrowing and economic goals for the coming fiscal year, as well as the next five fiscal years.
March: Each Chamber marks-up their respective versions.
The Budget Committees report their final Budget Resolution for consideration by the full House and Senate by April 1st.
April: Full House and Senate Consider Budget Resolution
The full House and Senate debate the Budget Resolution reported to them by their Budget Committees. The final Budget Resolution agreed to by both the House and the Senate must be approved by April 15th.
April: House and Senate works out differences in Conference
Both Chambers appoint Conferees (negotiators) who work out the differences between the two Budget Resolutions. The final single version is approved by at least half the conferees from both the House and the Senate.
April: Full House and Senate Consider Conference Agreement
By April 15, both the House and Senate approve by majority votes the final version of the Budget Resolution reported by the conference committee.
May: Discretionary Spending Allocations are set by Congress
Discretionary funding is money provided each year through the Allocation Process. Non-discretionary funding is congressionally-mandated (Ex: Medicare funding).
May: Appropriations Committees Develop the 13 Spending Bills
The Appropriations Committees take the total in Discretionary Funds and divide them amongst the 13 subcommittees.
- Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and related agencies.
- Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and related agencies.
- Department of Defense.
- Operations of the government of the District of Columbia.
- Energy and water resources development.
- Foreign operations, export financing, and related programs.
- Homeland Security.
- Department of the Interior and related agencies.
- Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies.
- Legislative Branch.
- Military construction, family housing, and base realignment and closure for the Department of Defense.
- Department of Transportation, Treasury, the United States Postal Service, the Executive Office of the President, and certain Independent Agencies.
- Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and for sundry independent agencies, boards, commissions, corporations, and offices.
June: House and Senate Consider 13 Annual Spending Bills
By June 10th the Full House and Senate begin consideration of the 13 Annual Spending Bills.
October: House and Senate work out differences in Conference
House and Senate versions go through the same Conference Process as the Budget Resolution.
October: Full House and Senate Considers the 13 Appropriations Bills
The Conference Committees report their agreement to the full House and Senate, who must approve them by a majority vote.
December: President May Sign or Veto Any or All of the Appropriations Bills
January: The Process Begins Again