Budget Process:

Issues in Biennial Budget Proposals

T-AIMD-96-136: Published: Jul 24, 1996. Publicly Released: Jul 24, 1996.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO discussed several proposals to change the budget process from an annual to a biennial cycle. GAO noted that: (1) many congressional members believe a biennial budget cycle would streamline the budget process, provide longer-term funding levels, enhance agencies' ability to manage their programs, and provide more time for congressional oversight; (2) preparation and analysis for the annual budget process is time-consuming and burdensome for program managers; (3) although eight states have biennial budget cycles, state budgets fill a different role and are sensitive to different outside pressures; (4) the state agencies with the largest budgets submit annual budget requests, since these budgets are the most volatile and dependent on federal funding; (5) the state agencies that are on biennial budget cycles are typically small, single-program agencies that are funded by fees rather than general fund revenues; (6) budget agreements, authorizations, and budget resolutions do not have to cover the same time period; (7) Congress has routinely provided multiyear appropriations for those programs on the annual appropriation cycle; and (8) a 2-year budget cycle could lessen congressional control over program and spending matters.

Oct 12, 2017

Sep 20, 2017

May 3, 2017

Jan 18, 2017

Jan 17, 2017

Jan 12, 2017

Dec 20, 2016

Dec 8, 2016

  • budget icon, source: GAO

    State and Local Governments' Fiscal Outlook:

    2016 Update
    GAO-17-213SP: Published: Dec 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 8, 2016.

Dec 1, 2016

Nov 17, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here