2015 United States federal budget
|Submitted||March 4, 2014|
|Submitted by||Barack Obama|
|Submitted to||113th Congress|
|Total revenue||$3.34 trillion (requested)|
|Total expenditures||$3.90 trillion (requested)|
|Deficit||$564 billion (requested)
3.1% of GDP
|Debt||$18.69 trillion (requested)
102.6% of GDP
The 2015 United States federal budget is the federal budget for fiscal year 2015, which runs from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015. The budget takes the form of a budget resolution which must be agreed to by both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate in order to become final, but never receives the signature or veto of the President of the United States and does not become law. Until both the House and the Senate pass the same concurrent resolution, no final budget exists. Actual U.S. federal government spending will occur through later appropriations legislation that is signed into law.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the federal budget is "a compilation of numbers about the revenues, spending, and borrowing and debt of the government. Revenues come largely from taxes, but stem from other sources as well (such as duties, fines, licenses, and gifts). Spending involves such concepts as budget authority, obligations, outlays, and offsetting collections."
The process of creating a federal budget often publicly begins with the President's budget proposal, a spending request submitted to the U.S. Congress which recommends funding levels for the next fiscal year. The fiscal year in the United States is the 12-month period beginning on October 1 and ending on September 30 of the next calendar year. Current federal budget law (31 U.S.C. § 1105(a)) requires that the President submit his or her budget request between the first Monday in January and the first Monday in February. In recent times, the President's budget submission has been issued in the first week of February.
Congress can, and often does, work on its own proposals independently of the President. The congressional budget resolutions are under the jurisdiction of the United States House Committee on the Budget and the United States Senate Committee on the Budget. Traditionally, after both houses pass a budget resolution, selected representatives and senators negotiate a conference report to reconcile differences between the House and the Senate versions. The conference report, in order to become binding, must be approved by both the House and Senate. Because the budget resolution is a concurrent resolution, it is not signed by the President and "does not have statutory effect; no money can be raised or spent pursuant to it."
The budget does not determine the actual spending of the federal government. Instead, the budget establishes the amounts that appropriations subcommittees are allocated to spend (called 302(b) allocations) on the various agencies, departments, and programs within the purview of each. The twelve regular appropriations bills or, in their absence, a continuing resolution or omnibus spending bill, must be enacted by October 1 in order to fund the government, regardless of whether a budget resolution is ever agreed to in Congress. House rules allow the House to begin considering appropriation bills after May 15 whether a budget resolution has been agreed to or not.
Obama administration proposal
President Barack Obama submitted his fiscal year 2015 budget request for $3.9 trillion in spending to Congress on March 4, 2014. His budget proposal was described as being full of "populist proposals" and as a "populist wish list." Some of the programs include more spending on pre-school education, tax credits for childless low-income workers, and more than $1 trillion in new and higher taxes. The President's proposal calls for the United States Army to decrease in size to the smallest it has been since before World War II. The President's proposal "would raise $651 billion by limiting tax deductions for the nation's highest earners" and by adding a "Buffett tax" that would set up minimum tax levies on the highest-earning Americans. Obama's budget would also increase the taxes on "large estates, financial institutions, tobacco products, airline passengers and managers of private investment funds."
The budget proposal was not expected to be taken seriously in Congress as an actual budget proposal, but was seen as a political statement that would "highlight" policy proposals and allow Democrats to contrast their plans with those of Republicans. Reuters referred to the yearly requirement that the President submit a budget proposal as an "annual ritual," saying that as soon as it is released, "lawmakers will promptly ignore it." Even the Obama Administration itself admitted that this budget proposal was not expected to be used to build a budget. Politico reported that "the White House isn't even pretending that this year's budget is a governing document" and that this is "a budget he would implement in an ideal world."
On April 9, 2014, Representative Mick Mulvaney (R) offered a proposal based on the Obama proposal as a substitute amendment in order to force a vote on the President's proposed budget bill. The President's proposal failed in a vote of 2-413, although Democrats were urged by their leadership to vote against this "political stunt."
House Republican proposal
On April 1, 2014, House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan unveiled the Republican budget plan. The plan would cut $5 trillion in spending over 10 years, and envisions that increases in economic growth would increase tax revenue and balance the budget by 2024. Under the plan, 10-year military spending would increase by $483 billion, while nondefense discretionary spending would decrease by $791 billion. The budget would also repeal the Affordable Care Act, including reversing its expansion of Medicaid, and cap the food stamp program. Republicans had previously considered not drafting a budget plan because the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 was considered to have largely settled disputes about budget levels, but House conservatives had insisted that a plan be drafted that would support them in the upcoming 2014 elections. As of April 1, Senate democrats did not plan to draft their own budget. The Ryan plan used an accounting mechanism called dynamic scoring, which attempts to predict the macroeconomic fiscal impact of the policy changes, which is not typically included in budget proposals.
The Republican Study Committee offered their own budget proposal, one that would spend only $2.8 trillion. This budget proposal was defeated by a combination of all Democrats with 97 Republicans. The final vote total was 133-291. This budget proposal would balance the federal budget in four years, in comparison to the Ryan proposal, which balances in 10 years. Conservative advocacy group Heritage Action for America urged Representatives to vote for this budget, while Democrats argued that this proposal cut too much spending.
The Democratic Caucus in the House also offered their own budget proposal, one that was rejected in the House in a vote of 163-261 on April 10, 2014. The Democratic Caucus's budget proposal had 31 Democrats vote against it. The proposal would have spent $3.1 trillion in 2015 and was considered similar to the plan offered by President Obama. The plan had provisions to extend unemployment insurance for another year and raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) criticized the proposal, saying that Democrats are "encouraging us to borrow more, and borrow more, and borrow more, and never lay out any plan whatsoever for paying that money back to the children from whom we are borrowing it."
The Congressional Black Caucus's budget proposal would spend $3.26 trillion, reverting the cuts to food stamps and lengthening the time period over which people can receive unemployment insurance. Their proposal was voted against in a vote of 116-300. Of the six budget proposals that received votes in the House, this is the proposal that would have spent the most money in 2015.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus proposal would spend $3.2 trillion and included higher taxes on millionaires. It would also end the sequester. The House voted against this proposal 89-327 on April 9, 2014.
Total revenues and spending
These tables are in billions of dollars. A green cell represents an increase in spending, while a red one indicates a decrease in spending. Outlays represent funds actually spent in a year; budget authority includes spending authorized for this and future years.
* The Global War on Terror is broken out as a separate budget function in the House budget, but is included as part of National Defense in the Obama administration budget.
** Not included in the Obama administration budget.
By budget function
|970||Overseas Contingency Operations*||52.6|
|250||General Science, Space and Technology||28.718||30.839||27.9|
|300||Natural Resources and Environment||39.102||41.349||39.3|
|370||Commerce and Housing Credit||-82.283||-31.430||-15.8|
|450||Community and Regional Development||33.305||28.865||23.6|
|500||Education, Training, Employment and Social Services||100.460||117.350||91.8|
|700||Veterans Benefits and Services||151.165||158.524||153.0|
|750||Administration of Justice||53.102||55.843||54.3|
|950||Undistributed Offsetting Receipts||-90.740||-95.653||-95.6|
|Function||Title||2014 enacted||2015 Presidential
|970||Overseas Contingency Operations*||85.4|
|250||General Science, Space and Technology||29.356||29.307||27.9|
|300||Natural Resources and Environment||36.961||37.224||34.3|
|370||Commerce and Housing Credit||-61.420||-5.594||-4.3|
|450||Community and Regional Development||17.858||43.452||14.6|
|500||Education, Training, Employment and Social Services||96.339||119.387||73.9|
|700||Veterans Benefits and Services||151.325||161.189||153.0|
|750||Administration of Justice||54.561||54.036||54|
|950||Undistributed Offsetting Receipts||-90.740||-95.653||-95.6|
- United States budget process
- Appropriations bill (United States)
- 2014 United States federal budget
- Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013
- 2015 United States federal appropriations
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- "Table 28-1: Policy Budget Authority and Outlay by Function, Category, and Program". Analytical Perspectives, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2015. United States Office of Management and Budget. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- "The Path to Prosperity: Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Resolution". United States House House Budget Committee. April 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014.