November 30, 2015
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 A Publication of The Federal Budget Group LLC, Charles S. Konigsberg, President



Overview of the FY 2016 Continuing Resolution

Appropriations Process

Continuing Resolutions: Components and Recent Practices

Causes and Effects of Government Shutdown

Funding Gaps and Government Shutdowns

Implications of a Full Year Continuing Resolution

Continuing Resolutions in a Nutshell (Treasury)

CRS Analysis of Federal R&D Funding (Across Federal Agencies)

2015 Shutdown Preparations:

Dept. of Labor





Conference Report



For details on Appropriations Bills:
Click on Bill Numbers for committee action
Click on Dates for Floor Action

Agriculture, Rural Dev, FDA & related

HR 3049

S. 1800




H.R. 2578




H.R. 2685




H.R. 2028



Financial Services
Gen. Gov't

S. 1910



Homeland Security

S. 1619




S. 1645




S. 1695



Legislative Branch

H.R. 2250



Military Construction-Veterans

H.R. 2029



State-Foreign Ops

S. 1725




H.R. 2577



1st Continuing Resolution

The $3.7 trillion Federal Budget breaks down as follows in FY 2015:

  • Affordable Care Act Subsidies: $37 billion

  • Other Mandatory (Entitlement) Spending: $389 billion:

    "Mandatory spending," as the words imply, is not discretionary, in the sense that Congress does not make annual decisions on how much to appropriate to these programs. Most mandatory spending is comprised of "entitlement programs," the costs of which are driven by benefit or payment formulas written into the law. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are the largest mandatory spending programs comprising more than half of the budget, as displayed in the pie chart above.

    Other mandatory spending comprises about 10% of the budget, the largest of which were projected to cost the following in FY 2015:

    • Federal Civilian Retirement: $97 billion
    • Food Stamps (now known as "SNAP"): $57 billion
    • Earned Income and Child Tax Credits: $85 billion (taxpayers receive "refunds" larger than their tax liabilities)
    • Unemployment Compensation: $33 billion
    • Veterans Benefits (Comp, Pensions and other benefits): $92 billion
    • Military Retirement: $57 billion billion
    • Supplement Security Income: $55 billion (minimum monthly benefit for aged, blind and disabled who are not covered by Social Security)
    • Highways $40 billion
    • Family Support and Foster Care: $31 billion (includes TANF, the state-administered program that replaced welfare in the 1990s; the child support enforcement program; and the child care entitlement)
    • Child Nutrition: $22 billion (includes school lunches, school breakfasts, and other child and adult care food programs)
    • Higher Education ( Direct Student Loan program): $21 billion
    • Farm programs: $18 billion
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): $17 billion (the state-administered program that replaced welfare in the 1990s)
    • Mass Transit: $12 billion
    • Federal Employee/Retiree Health Benefits: $12 billion
    • Children's Health Insurance Progarm (CHIP): $9 billion
    • Railroad Retirement: $8 billion
    • Foster Care and Adoption Assistance: $7 billion
    • Rehabilitation Services: $5 billion

  • Interest on the Debt: $218 billion

    (interest paid to holders of U.S. securities, about half of which are foreign-owned)

    Defense Spending: $583 billion
    War Funding and the Budget Control Act

  • Everything Else (Nondefense Discretionary): $579 billion

    Annual appropriations for a multitude of government operations and programs are often known as "non-defense discretionary" -- Including law enforcement, veterans health care, homeland security, education, prisons, NASA, disease and epidemic control, highways & bridges, food and drug inspection, disaster relief, airports, health research, housing assistance, and many other functions of government. Following are non-defense discretionary programs funded at over $1 billion in FY 2015.

Non-defense Discretionary Programs/Categories
funded at over $1 billion per year

Budget Function
(Category of Spending)
Program or Program Categories FY 2015
(rounded to nearest billion)
International Affairs  
  Development & Humanitarian $26 billion
  Embassies and related costs $14 billion
  Security Assistance $12 billion
  Foreign Information/Exchanges $1.5 billion
General Science, Space & Technology  
  NASA $17 billion
  NSF: funds basic research $7 billion
  Dept, of Energy Science Programs $5 billion
  Fossil, nuclear, renewable and efficiency $4 billion
Natural Resources & Environment  
  EPA (clear air, water, toxic wastes) $8 billion
  Corps of Engineers and other Water Projects $7 billion
  Forest Service $5 billion
  Recreational Resources $2.6 billion
  Fish & Wildlife Service $1,4 billion
  NOAA and USGS $7 billion
  Management of Public Lands (BLM) $2.6 billion
  Conservation Operations 0.9 billion
  Farm Income Stabilization $1.6 billion
  Research & Education $2 billion
  Animal and Plant Inspection $0.9 billion
  Science & Tech (NIST); and Economic Stats $2 billion
  Small and Minority Business Assist. $0.7 billion
  Highways, Mass Transit: see Mandatory spending  
  Airports and Airways (FAA) $12 billion
  Marine Safety and Transportation $8 billion
  Transportation Security Admin. $5 billion
Community Development & Disaster Relief  
  Disaster Relief $6 billion
  FEMA State and Local Grants $2.5 billion
  Community Development $4 billion
  Indian Programs $1.5 billion
  Rural and Regional Development $1.0 billion
  Disaster Assistance Grants $1.2 billion
Legislative, Executive Branches  
  Internal Revenue Service $10 billion
  House, Senate, GAO, Lib. of Congress, GPO $3.8 billion
  Executive Office of the President $0.4 billion
Education, Employment & Training, Social Services  
  Education for the Disadvantaged $16 billion
  Special Education (children w/disabilities) $12 billion
  School Improvement $4 billion
  Training and Employment Services $6 billion
  Innovation & Improvement $1 billion
  Higher Education and Student Aid $28 billion
  Library of Congress, СРВ, Smithsonian $3 billion
  Vocational and Adult Education $1.7 billion
  Indian Education $1 billion
  AmeriCorps, Senior Service Corps $1 billion
  Impact Aid (payments to states/cities) $1.3 billion
Health (other an Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP)  
  National Institutes of Health $30 billion
  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention $7 billion
  Indian Health $5 billion
  Mental Health, Substance Abuse (SAMHSA) $3.5 billion
  Access to health care and other HRSA programs $5 billion
  Ryan White AIDS Grants  
  Food and Drug Administration $2.6 billion
  Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA) $1 billion
  Occupational and Mine Safety and Health $1 billion
Social Security & Medicare (Administrative Costs)  
  Social Security Admin. $5 billion
  Medicare Admin, anti-fraud initiatives $6 billion
Income Security and Housing  
  Rental Housing Assistance (Section 8) $19 billion
  Public Housing and Project-Based Rental Assist. $16 billion
  WIC: Nutrition for Women, Infants, Children $6.6 billion
  LIHEAP: Low Income Home Energy Assistance $3.4 billion
  Unemployment Insurance: Admin. Expenses  
  Homeless Assistance $2 billion
  Child Care Block Grant $2.4 billion
Veterans Benefits and Services  
  Veterans Health Care (unlike other VA benefits, healthcare is part of the annual discretionary budget) $58 billion
  VA Administration $7 billion
Law Enforcement, Prisons, Administration of Justice  
  Border and Transportation Security $20 billion
  Federal Litigation and Judicial Activities $12 billion
  Federal Prison System $7 billion
  Criminal Investigations (FBI, DEA, DHS) $6.5 billion
  State and Local Law Enforcement Grants $1.2 billion
  Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) $1.4 billion
  Secret Service $1.6 billion


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