An advance appropriation is generally an amount of budget authority included in a general appropriation bill for a fiscal year that becomes available for obligation in a fiscal year after the fiscal year for which the bill is making general appropriations.
CRS Report: Advance Appropriations, Forward Funding, and Advance Funding: Concepts, Practice, and Budget Process Considerations, Congressional Research Service (R43482) October 8, 2015
Budget authority provided in an appropriation act that becomes available 1 or more fiscal years after the fiscal year for which the appropriation act was enacted. For example, a fiscal year 2005 appropriation act could provide that the budget authority for a specified activity would not become available until October 1, 2005 (the start of fiscal year 2006), or later. The amount is not included in the budget totals of the year for which the appropriation act is enacted but rather in those for the fiscal year in which the amount will become available for obligation. In the example above, the budget authority would be recorded in fiscal year 2006. (For a distinction, see Advance Funding; Forward Funding; Multiple-Year Authority under Duration under Budget Authority.)
Budget authority provided in an appropriation act that becomes available one or more fis- cal years after the fiscal year for which the appropriation act was enacted. The amount of the advance appropriation is included in the budget totals for the year in which it will become available.
The Budget Process Law Annotated (1993), the outstanding annotated reference document prepared by former Chief Counsel of the Senate Budget Committee William G. Dauster, includes a discussion on advance appropriations. The following is the text of Note #652 from his annotated section 401 (CBA):
Note # 652. In determining whether “budget authority … is … provided for in advance by appropriations Acts,” the Parliamentarian’s office will examine the likely real world consequences of legislation on a case-by-case basis, and will not rely exclusively on the form of language in the legislation.
In one case, the Presiding Officer advised that even if an amendment creates benefits for qualifying individuals, it will not create entitlement authority within the meaning of section 401(c)(2)(C) if it also provides that no payments shall be made except subject to appropriations. 130 Cong. Rec. 57070-71, 57108, 57110 (1984) (parliamentary inquiry of Sen. Cohen): Senate Precedent PRL19840613-002 (June 13, 1984) (Legis, Rules database). This is so even if the language creating the benefits says “an individual shall be entitled”. Id.
The Parliamentarian’s office has advised that the following language would ensure that a program would be subject to appropriations, and therefore not an entitlement under section 401(c)(2)(C):
In any fiscal year the administrator or this program shall limit the value or any benefits conferred by this program to an amount not in excess or the appropriation for such fiscal year and if the requirements or this program exceed the limitations set herein the benefits shall be reduced to the extent necessary to comply with the provisions of this subsection.
Senate Precedent PRL19840613-002 (June 13, 1984) (Legis, Rules database). For an example of an application of language similar to this, see, e.g., National and Community Service Act of 1989, § 250(a), S. 1430, 101st Cong. 2d Sess., 136 Cong. Rec. S1672, S1684 (daily ed. Feb. 17, 1990) (§432A(c) of the material proposed to be inserted).
To avoid a point of order caused by the creation of new entitlement authority, however, it is not necessarily sufficient to include language that the payments must come out of an appropriated account; the language must make the payments themselves subject to appropriations. See 130 Cong. Rec. 87107, 87109-10 (daily ed. June 13, 1984) (parliamentary inquiry and statement of Sen. Domenic ruling of the Vice President). Some thus refer to appropriated entitlements that fall within the meaning of section 401(c)(2)(C). (See, e.g., infra note ·1245 (listing “Appropriated Entitlements and Mandatories”).) Even though the Government pays such appropriated entitlements out of appropriated funds, annual appropriations do not truly control them. That the entitlement is paid from appropriated funds cannot, without more, move the entitlement from the definition of section 401(c)(2)(C), for, as the Constitution requires, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of Appropriation made by Law.” U.S. Const. art. I, § 9, cl. 7. Thus, all entitlements provide for appropriations, either implicitly or explicitly.
Section 3(5) defines appropriation Act by reference to 1 U.S.C. § 105. See supra p. 16. The text of 1 U.S.C. § 105 (1988) (see supra note 36) deals with regular appropriations bills. Section 401(c)(2)(C) thus refers to authority that regular appropriations acts do not control.
Definition of Account from OMB Glossary
The following definition is found in the Analytical Perspectives volume of the President’s Budget. The “Glossary of Budget Terms” from that document carries definitions each year. Though updated each year, most definitions remain the same.
An advance appropriation is one made to become available one year or more beyond the year for which the appropriations act is passed. Advance appropriations in 2017 appropriations acts will become available for pro- grams in 2018 or beyond. Since these appropriations are not available until after 2017, the amounts will not be included in the 2017 totals, but will be reflected in the totals for the year for which they are requested.
The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (31 U.S.C. 1105(a)(17)) requires inclusion in the budget of ”information on estimates of appropriations for the fiscal year following the fiscal year for which the budget is submitted for grants, contracts, and other payments under each program for which there is an authorization of appropriations for that following fiscal year when the appropriations are authorized to be included in an appropriation law for the fiscal year before the fiscal year in which the appropriation is to be available for obligation.” In fulfillment of this requirement, the ac- companying table lists those accounts that have either received discretionary or mandatory advance appropriations since 2015 or will request, in 2017, advance appropriations for 2018 and beyond and cites the applicable authorizing statute.
Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2018: Analytical Perspectives (May 23, 2017), p. 88.
[Public Law 113–67; 127 Stat. 1165; December 26, 2013]
Budget Counsel Note: Concurrent Resolutions on the Budget began carrying limitations on advance appropriations. The language used for these limitations has varied since their first inception, and has differed between the House of Representatives and the Senate. As an example for the Senate, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 included section 112 which applied to the Senate and since a budget resolution was not adopted for fiscal year 2014, this provided a limitation on how much and what kinds of advance appropriations were allowable. The following is the text of the description included in the BBA 2013 House Committee Print for section 112 and the text of that section as it appears in law.
Sec. 112. Limitation on advance appropriations in the Senate.
Section 112 provides that a vote of sixty votes would be required to waive a point of order in the Senate against appropriations in 2014 bills that would first become effective in any year after 2014, and against appropriations in 2015 bills that would first become effective in any year after 2015. It does not apply against appropriations for veterans’ medical services, medical support and compliance, or medical facilities, or the Corporation for Public Broad- casting. Additionally, there is an exemption for each of 2015 and 2016 of up to $28.852 billion for programs identified in the Congressional Record. Those programs are:
LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS ACT
Employment and Training Administration Job Corps
Education for the Disadvantaged
Career, Technical, and Adult Education
FINANCIAL SERVICES AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT
Payment to Postal Service
TRANSPORTATION, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Tenant-based Rental Assistance Project-based Rental Assistance
Subsection 112(b) provides that the provisions of subsection (a) expire if a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2015 is agreed to by the Senate and the House.
SEC. 112. LIMITATION ON ADVANCE APPROPRIATIONS IN THE SENATE.
(a) POINT OF ORDER AGAINST ADVANCE APPROPRIATIONS IN THE SENATE.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—
(A) POINT OF ORDER.—
Except as provided in paragraph (2), it shall not be in order in the Senate to consider any bill, joint resolution, motion, amendment, amendment between the Houses, or conference report that would provide an advance appropriation.
In this subsection, the term “advance appropriation” means any new budget authority provided in a bill or joint resolution making appropriations for fiscal year 2014 that first becomes available for any fiscal year after 2014 or any new budget authority provided in a bill or joint resolution making appropriations for fiscal year 2015 that first becomes available for any fiscal year after 2015.
Advance appropriations may be provided—
(A) for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 for programs, projects, activities, or accounts identified in a statement submitted to the Congressional Record by the Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate under the heading “Accounts Identified for Advance Appropriations” in an aggregate amount not to exceed $28,852,000,000 in new budget authority in each fiscal year;
(B) for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and
(C) for the Department of Veterans Affairs for the Medical Services, Medical Support and Compliance, and Medical Facilities accounts of the Veterans Health Administration.
(3) SUPERMAJORITY WAIVER AND APPEAL.—
In the Senate, paragraph (1) may be waived or suspended only by an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members, duly chosen and sworn.
An affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members of the Senate, duly chosen and sworn, shall be required to sustain an appeal of the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under paragraph (1).
(4) FORM OF POINT OF ORDER.—
A point of order under paragraph (1) may be raised by a Senator as provided in section 313(e) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
(5) CONFERENCE REPORTS.—
When the Senate is considering a conference report on, or an amendment between the Houses in relation to, a bill, upon a point of order being made by any Senator pursuant to this subsection, and such point of order being sustained, such material contained in such conference report or amendment between the Houses shall be stricken, and the Senate shall proceed to consider the question of whether the Senate shall recede from its amendment and concur with a further amendment, or concur in the House amendment with a further amendment, as the case may be, which further amendment shall consist of only that portion of the conference report or House amendment, as the case may be, not so stricken. Any such motion in the Senate shall be debatable. In any case in which such point of order is sustained against a conference report (or Senate amendment derived from such conference report by operation of this paragraph), no further amendment shall be in order.
In the Senate, section 402 of S. Con. Res. 13 (111th Congress) shall no longer apply.
Subsection (a) shall expire if a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2015 is agreed to by the Senate and House of Representatives pursuant to section 301 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
Historical Information from the House Rules Manual
Budget resolutions have established a point of order against a measure that would cause the total level of discretionary advance appropriations to exceed a set amount (secs. 202, 203, H. Con. Res. 290, 106th Cong.; sec. 201, H. Con. Res. 83, 107th Cong.; sec. 301, H. Con. Res. 353, 107th Cong., deemed in place by H. Res. 428, 107th Cong., May 22, 2002, pp. 8675, 8676, and by sec. 3(a)(4), H. Res. 5, 108th Cong., Jan. 7, 2003, p. 10; sec. 501, H. Con. Res. 95, 108th Cong.; sec. 401, S. Con. Res. 95, 108th Cong., May 19, 2004, deemed in place by H. Res. 649, 108th Cong., May 19, 2004, p. 10105, and by sec. 3(a)(4), H. Res. 5, 109th Cong., Jan. 4, 2005, p. 44; sec. 401, H. Con. Res. 95, 109th Cong.; sec. 206, S. Con. Res. 21, 110th Cong.; sec. 302, S. Con. Res. 70, 110th Cong.; sec. 424, S. Con. Res. 13, 111th Cong. (carried forward by H. Res. 1493, 111th Cong.); sec. 402. H. Con. Res. 34, 112th Cong., deemed in place by H. Res. 287, 112th Cong., June 1, 2011; sec. 501, H. Con. Res. 112, 112th Cong., deemed in place by H. Res. 614, 112th Cong., Apr. 17, 2012; sec. 601, H. Con. Res. 25, 113th Cong., deemed in place by H. Res. 243, 113th Cong., June 4, 2013; sec. 3304, S. Con. Res. 11, 114th Cong.). Such point of order has also been established for a Congress in the absence of a budget resolution (sec. 3(e), H. Res. 5, Jan. 5, 2011, p. 80).
(Constitution Jefferson’s Manual and Rules of the House of Representatives of the United States; One Hundred Fourteenth Congress; page 1046, § 1127)
Advance Appropriation for Veterans Medical Programs
Title 38 of the U.S. Code is classified for “Veterans’ Benefits”. Section 117 of that title requires certain Veterans programs, as set forth below in the text of that section, receive advance appropriations in their funding.
§117. Advance appropriations for certain accounts
(a) In General.—For each fiscal year, new budget authority provided in an appropriations Act for the covered accounts of the Department shall-
(1) be made available for that fiscal year; and
(2) include, for each such account, advance new budget authority that first becomes available for the first fiscal year after the budget year.
(b) Estimates Required.—The Secretary shall include in documents submitted to Congress in support of the President’s budget submitted pursuant to section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, detailed estimates of the funds necessary for the covered accounts of the Department for the fiscal year following the fiscal year for which the budget is submitted.
(c) Covered Accounts of the Department.—For purposes of this section, the term “covered accounts of the Department” means the following accounts of the Department of Veterans Affairs account:
(1) Veterans Benefits Administration, Compensation and Pensions.
(2) Veterans Benefits Administration, Readjustment Benefits.
(3) Veterans Benefits Administration, Veterans Insurance and Indemnities.
(4) Veterans Health Administration, Medical Services.
(5) Veterans Health Administration, Medical Support and Compliance.
(6) Veterans Health Administration, Medical Facilities.
(7) Veterans Health Administration, Medical Community Care.
(d) Annual Report.—Not later than July 31 of each year, the Secretary shall submit to Congress an annual report on the sufficiency of the Department’s resources for the next fiscal year beginning after the date of the submittal of the report for the provision of medical care. Such report shall also include estimates of the workload and demand data for that fiscal year.
Pub. L. 114–315 added par. (7).
Pub. L. 113–235, §244(a)(4), substituted “certain accounts” for “certain medical care accounts” in section catchline.
Pub. L. 113–235, §244(a)(2), struck out “beginning with fiscal year 2011,” after “each fiscal year,” in introductory provisions and “discretionary” before “new budget authority” in introductory provisions and par. (2).
Pub. L. 113–235, §244(a)(1), substituted “covered accounts of the Department” for “medical care accounts of the Department” in introductory provisions.
Pub. L. 113–235, §244(a)(1), substituted “covered accounts of the Department” for “medical care accounts of the Department”.
Pub. L. 113–235, §244(a)(1), (3)(A), (G), in heading, substituted “Covered Accounts of the Department” for “Medical Care Accounts” and, in introductory provisions, substituted “covered accounts of the Department” for “medical care accounts of the Department” and “accounts of the Department of Veterans Affairs account” for “medical care accounts of the Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs account”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 113–235, §244(a)(3)(B)–(F), inserted “Veterans Health Administration,” after enumerators for pars. (1) to (3), redesignated pars. (1) to (3) as (4) to (6), respectively, and added pars. (1) to (3).
Effective Date of 2016 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 114–315 applicable to fiscal years beginning on and after Oct. 1, 2017, see section 601(c) of Pub. L. 114–315, set out as a note under section 1105 of Title 31, Money and Finance.
Effective Date of 2014 Amendment
“Section 117 of title 38, United States Code, shall apply as follows:
“(1) With respect to an account described in paragraph (4), (5), or (6) of subsection (c) of such section, as redesignated by subsection (a) of this section, for each fiscal year beginning with fiscal year 2011.
“(2) With respect to an account described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of such subsection (c), as added by subsection (a) of this section, for each fiscal year beginning with 2017.”
Comptroller General Review of the Accuracy of VA Medical Care Budget Submission in Relation to Baseline Health Care Model Projection
Pub. L. 111–81, §4, Oct. 22, 2009, 123 Stat. 2138 provided that:
“(a) Review of Accuracy of Medical Care Budget Submission.-The Comptroller General shall conduct a review of each budget of the President for a fiscal year that is submitted to Congress pursuant to section 1105(a) of title 31 in order to assess whether or not the relevant components of the amounts requested in such budget for such fiscal year for the medical care accounts of the Department of Veterans Affairs specified in section 117(c) of title 38, United States Code, as added by section 3, are consistent with estimates of the resources required by the Department for the provision of medical care and services in such fiscal year, as forecast using the Enrollee Health Care Projection Model, or other methodologies used by the Department.
“(1) In general.-Not later than 120 days after the date of each year in 2011, 2012, and 2013, on which the President submits the budget request for the next fiscal year under section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, the Comptroller General shall submit to the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs, Appropriations, and the Budget of the Senate and the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs, Appropriations, and the Budget of the House of Representatives and to the Secretary a report on the review conducted under subsection (a).
“(2) Elements.-Each report under this paragraph shall include, for the fiscal year beginning in the year in which such report is submitted, the following:
“(A) An assessment of the review conducted under subsection (a).
“(B) The basis for such assessment.
“(C) Such additional information as the Comptroller General determines appropriate.
“(3) Availability to the public.-Each report submitted under this subsection shall also be made available to the public.”