GAO Glossary of Terms Used in the Federal Budget Process (September 2005)

Biennial Budget

A budget covering a period of 2 years. The federal government has an annual budget, but there have been proposals to shift to a biennial budget. The 2-year period can apply to the budget presented to Congress by the President, to the budget resolution adopted by Congress, or to the frequency and period covered by appropriations acts. The Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1986, Pub. L. No. 99–145, required the Department of Defense to submit 2-year budgets beginning with the budgets for 1988 and 1989. However, to date, appropriations have been made on an annual basis.

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Benefit-Cost Analysis