Budget Brief 15-03
April 9, 2015

Before leaving for a two-week recess on March 27, the Senate approved its budget resolution for fiscal year (FY) 2016 (S. Con. Res. 11). The House approved its resolution (H. Con. Res. 27) on March 25. While similar in many respects, the two bills have several differences that will need to be resolved before a concurrent resolution can be introduced and adopted in both chambers.

A budget resolution is not a law and is not signed by the president. Instead, it is a blueprint that includes top-line discretionary spending levels and broad policy parameters that guide the legislative budget process. If the resolution includes reconciliation directives—as both the House and Senate versions do—these signal that Congress will consider changes to mandatory programs and/or tax policy. This Budget Brief summarizes the key points of the two budget resolutions.