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


A detailed statement of anticipated revenues and expenditures during an accounting period. For the federal government, the term “budget” often refers to the President’s budget submission to Congress early each calendar year in accordance with the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, as amended, and represents proposals for congressional consideration. The President’s budget includes requests for budget authority for federal programs and estimates of revenues and outlays for the upcoming fiscal year and, with respect to budget authority requests in some cases, for future fiscal years. By law, elements of the budget, such as the estimates for the legislative branch and the judiciary, must be included without review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) or approval by the President. In the context of individual federal agencies and their programs, the term “budget” also may be used to refer to their budget submissions or, in response to Congress passing laws providing budget authority, the agencies’ plans for spending the funds they were provided. (See also President’s Budget; app. I.)

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Biennial Budget


Budget Act