Cyclopedia of Congressional Budget Law

Reconciliation Bill


A reconciliation bill is legislation generated from reconciliation instructions included in a budget resolution for a fiscal year. Such directives instruct one or more Congressional Committees to make changes effecting spending, revenue or the public  debt limit, falling in their jurisdiction. If more than on committee is so instructed, the Committees consider and vote on legislative text. If approved, the text is “submitted” to the Budget Committee, which then combines it with other submissions and considers the bill in committee. The Budget Committee of a House cannot make substantive revisions to the bill it considers but simply serves the ministerial function of overseeing its movement in the legislative process. 

GAO Glossary of Terms and Definition (September 2005)

Reconciliation Bill (GAO)

A bill reported pursuant to reconciliation instructions in a congressional budget resolution proposing changes in laws that if enacted, would achieve the budgetary goals set forth in the budget resolution. (See also Congressional Budget Act.)

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Congressional Budget Office Glossary of Terms

Reconciliation and Reconciliation Bill (CBO)

reconciliation: A process that the Congress uses to rec- oncile amounts determined by tax, spending, credit, and debt legislation for a given fiscal year with levels set in the concurrent resolution on the budget for the year. The budget resolution may contain reconciliation instructions, which direct Congressional committees to make changes in laws under their jurisdictions that affect revenues or direct spending to achieve a specified budgetary result.

The legislation to implement those instructions is usually combined into a comprehensive reconciliation bill, which is considered under special rules. Reconciliation affects revenues, direct spending, and offsetting receipts but usually not discretionary spending.

Senate Glossary

Reconciliation Bill (Senate Glossary)

reconciliation bill – A bill containing changes in law recommended pursuant to reconciliation instructions in a budget resolution. If the instructions pertain to only one committee in a chamber, that committee reports the reconciliation bill. If the instructions pertain to more than one committee, the Budget Committee reports an omnibus reconciliation bill, but it may not make substantive changes in the recommendations of the other committees.




Reconciliation Instruction