Dewonkify: 302(b) Allocation

Term: 302 (b) Allocation

Definition: Each year, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees receive an overall funding allocation for the coming federal fiscal year. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees then, respectively, decide on how to apportion the overall amount to each of their corresponding 12 subcommittees. The amount assigned to each of the 12 subcommittees is known as a 302(b) allocation and taken together the 12 assigned amounts are known as 302(b) allocations. From this funding allocation starting point, the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees distribute federal spending authority throughout the specific departments, agencies, and programs under their  jurisdiction.

Used in a sentence:  “[Senator] Mikulski said that she and [Congressman] Rogers have discussed allotments, which appropriators call ‘302(b) allocations,’ for their section in the 1974 budget act. ‘I know what his are, but ours will be different,’ she said.”

-The Hill

 History:  The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 is a law that modifies Congress’ role with respect to the federal budgeting process. (Government Printing Office Public Law 93-344) The main provisions of the law created a process whereby both chambers of Congress agree on a single concurrent budget resolution. which is not signed by the President. Additionally, during budget debates members may raise budget points of order to have specific language removed from underlying legislation. (Senate Budget Committee) The final agreed upon Concurrent resolution passed in both chambers sets an overall top level spending figure (302(a) allocation) to guide appropriators as they craft the 12 individual appropriations bills. The chairs of the Appropriations Committees of the House and Senate then each release a document setting their respective top line numbers for each of the 12 appropriations bills, known as  302(b) allocations, named after section 302(b) of the Congressional Budget Control Act. The 302(b) allocations outline the maximum spending levels for each of the 12 individual spending measures. It is not uncommon for the House and Senate to apportion funding differently and for the 302(b) allocations between the chambers to diverge. These differences usually get resolved during either a formal or informal conference committee between House and Senate Appropriators.

 

The Power of the Executive Branch – Obama Administration – More, Less, or the Same?

In both Democratic and Republican administrations, the President’s use of executive power and actions – or inaction – by federal agencies have been criticized and scrutinized by members of Congress and the courts.  Throughout his presidency, like his predecessors, President Obama has used his executive authority on recess appointments, executive orders, and to implement policy priorities.  Federal agencies also have used their power to take actions in response to a deadlocked Congress.  In his recent state of the union, President Obama made clear his intention to exercise his executive power to the maximum.

Are you curious about how the Executive Branch – the White House and federal agencies – is exerting power and influence over programs and policies, especially in the context of the current Congress and President Obama’s indication he plans to issue numerous executive orders?  My colleagues, Scott Coffina and Charlie Rose, will provide a peek behind the curtain of the Executive Branch and share their respective experiences working in the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Please join us this Tuesday, March 25th – either in person or online – to learn about how interest groups can respond to both threats and opportunities stemming from the power being exerted by the Executive Branch.  To RSVP, please click here.