Appropriations Watch: FY 2025

The appropriations process for Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 has begun, with action in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. 

The Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) caps total base discretionary spending at $1.606 trillion for FY 2025, 1 percent above the FY 2024 caps, with base defense spending capped at $895 billion and base nondefense spending capped at $711 billion. In addition to the official caps, lawmakers will need to contend with whether to adopt "side deals" agreed to alongside the FRA in June 2023 and then revised in January 2024.

As we did last year, we'll be tracking the bills as they move from committee to the House and Senate floor and onto the President's desk.

The table below shows the status of each appropriations bill. To learn more about the appropriations process, read our Appropriations 101 paper. 

Appropriations will be one of several deadlines Congress will face over the coming months. See a list of the upcoming fiscal deadlines here.

 
Item House Senate
Budget Resolution Approved by committee on March 7 by a 19-15 vote N/A
302(b) Approved by full committee on May 23 by a 30-22 vote N/A
Agriculture Approved by subcommittee on June 11
Scheduled for full committee markup on July 10
N/A
Commerce, Justice, Science Scheduled for subcommittee markup on June 26 
Scheduled for full committee markup on July 9
N/A
Defense  Approved by subcommittee on June 5 
Approved by full committee markup on June 13 by a vote of 34-25.
N/A
Energy and Water Development Scheduled for subcommittee markup on June 28 
Scheduled for full committee markup on July 9
N/A
Financial Services and General Government Approved by subcommittee on June 5 
Approved by full committee markup on June 13 by a vote of 33 to 24
N/A
Homeland Security Approved by subcommittee on June 4 
Approved by full committee markup on June 12 by a vote of 33-26
N/A
Interior, Environment Scheduled for subcommittee markup on June 28 
Scheduled for full committee markup on July 9
N/A
Labor, HHS, Education Scheduled for subcommittee markup on June 27 
Scheduled for full committee markup on July 10
N/A
Legislative Branch Approved by subcommittee on May 23 
Approved by full committee markup on June 13 by a vote of 33 to 24
N/A
Military Construction, VA Approved by subcommittee on May 21 
Approved by full committee markup on May 23 by a vote of 34-25 
Passed by a vote of 209-197 on June 5
N/A
State, Foreign Operations Approved by subcommittee on June 4 
Approved by full committee markup on June 12 by a vote of 31-26
N/A
Transportation, HUD Scheduled for subcommittee markup on June 27 
Scheduled for full committee markup on July 10
N/A

Sources: House Appropriations Committee, Senate Appropriations Committee, Congress.gov. All dates are in 2024 unless noted otherwise.

As we explain in Appropriations 101, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees approve 302(b) spending levels for each subcommittee after the topline 302(a) levels are determined by the Budget Committees. Below is an excerpt (click here to read the full report).

How does Congress determine the total level of appropriations?

After the President submits the Administration’s budget proposal to Congress, the House and Senate Budget Committees are each directed to report a budget resolution that, if passed by their respective chambers, would then be reconciled in a budget conference (to learn more, see Q&A: Everything You Need to Know About a Budget Conference).

The resulting budget resolution, which is a concurrent resolution and therefore not signed by the President, includes what is known as a 302(a) allocation that sets a total amount of money for the Appropriations Committees to spend. For example, the conferenced Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget between the House and Senate set the 302(a) limit for that year at $1.017 trillion.

In the absence of a budget resolution, each chamber may enact a deeming resolution that sets the 302(a) allocation for that chamber. Leaders of the House and Senate Budget Committees may propose deeming resolutions at whatever level they find necessary to fund discretionary priorities and to officially set 302(a) allocations for the fiscal year. Both the House and Senate top-line discretionary numbers for FY 2025 adhere to the $1.606 trillion level included in the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA). The House has approved interim 302(b) allocations and may forgo a formal process for setting 302(a) allocations. The Senate formally filed its 302(a) allocations at the $1.606 trillion level in May, with $895 billion for defense and $711 for nondefense, using deeming authority included within the FRA.

The appropriations process for the current fiscal year, FY 2024, was completed in March 2024. While the House passed a FY 2023 deeming resolution by a simple majority vote, neither a deeming resolution nor 302(a)s were ever filed for FY 2024. The House Appropriations Committee, however, approved 302(b)s in June 2023 and reported out 10 of its 12 bills in June and July last year. The full House passed one appropriations bill over the summer and six more in the fall, three of which passed after the beginning of the new fiscal year.

For the current fiscal year, the Senate filed 302(a) allocations in June 2023 in accordance with the FRA. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved 302(b)s in June 2023 and reported out all 12 of its bills in June and July last year. The full Senate did not pass any bills before the new fiscal year, but it passed a three-bill minibus in November 2023 after the new fiscal year started. Lawmakers ultimately agreed to a laddered appropriations package with the enactment of two so-called “minibus” bills in March 2024 that provided $1.590 trillion in base discretionary spending, a decrease of 1 percent from the comparable FY 2023 level.

How does Congress allocate appropriations?

Once they receive 302(a) allocations, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees set 302(b) allocations to divide total appropriations among the 12 subcommittees dealing with different parts of the budget. The subcommittees then decide how to distribute funds within their 302(b) allocations. The 302(b) allocations are voted on by the respective Appropriations Committees, but they are not subject to review or vote by the full House or Senate. The table below lists the FY 2024 regular (non-emergency) appropriations along with the House and Senate FY 2025 302(b) allocations. The table will be updated as both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees release their 302(b) allocations for FY 2025.

 

The table below compares actual funding for FY 2024 with the FY 2025 302(b) allocations from the House and Senate.  

Budget Authority Allocations to Appropriations Subcommittees (billions)
Subcommittee FY 24 Enacted Level President's FY 24 Budget House FY 25 Senate FY 25
Agriculture $26.2 N/A $25.9 N/A
Commerce, Justice, Science** $66.5 N/A $78.3 N/A
Defense $824.5 N/A $833.1 N/A
Energy and Water Development $58.2 N/A $59.2 N/A
Financial Services and General Government** $13.7 N/A $23.6 N/A
Homeland Security** $61.8 N/A $64.8 N/A
Interior, Environment** $38.6 N/A $37.7 N/A
Labor, HHS, Education $194.4 N/A $186.6 N/A
Legislative Branch $6.8 N/A $7.1 ($5.5 House-only spending formally approved) N/A
Military Construction, VA $153.9 N/A $147.5 N/A
State, Foreign Operations** $55.8 N/A $51.7 N/A
Transportation, HUD** $89.5 N/A $90.4 N/A
Undistributed Changes in Mandatory Programs N/A -$23.2* N/A N/A
Total, Base Discretionary $1.590 trillion $1.6 trillion* $1.606 trillion^ $1.606 trillion^

Sources: House Appropriations Committee, Senate Appropriations Committee, CBO estimate of Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 (first FY 2024 six-bill minibus), CBO estimate of Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2024 (second FY 2024 six-bill minibus), Office of Management and Budget 
*The President's FY 2025 budget includes certain amounts designated as emergency requirements that are for base activities, described as nondefense "shifted base." 
^The House and Senate base discretionary totals are expected to adhere to the cap as enacted in the Fiscal Responsibility Act.  
**In addition to base discretionary spending, the two six-bill minibus packages provided for certain adjustments to Fiscal Responsibility Act caps, including $12.5 billion in total emergency spending, $2.65 billion for Interior-Environment for wildfire suppression, and a total of $20.4 billion for disaster relief ($20.261 billion to Homeland Security and $143 million to Financial Services). Emergency spending was distributed as follows: $2 billion for Commerce-Justice-Science, $2.5 billion for State-Foreign Operations, and $8 billion for Transportation-HUD. 

As Congress considers appropriations bills, it is important that lawmakers avoid budget gimmicks and contemplate the longer-term trajectory of discretionary spending.

If you have any questions about terminology or the appropriations process, please see our Appropriations 101 report, and stay tuned to our blog for continuing coverage.