Letter to the Honorable Patty Murray Regarding CBO’s Schedule to Issue the Unauthorized Appropriations and Expiring Authorizations Report

January 14, 2014

Section 202(e)(3) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 specifies that, on or before January 15 of each year, CBO should submit a report to the Congress listing (1) unauthorized appropriations—that is, all programs and activities that are funded for the current fiscal year for which authorizations of appropriations have not been enacted for that year, and (2) expiring authorizations—that is, all programs and activities for which authorizations of appropriations will expire during the current fiscal year. In January of each year, therefore, CBO issues such a report, entitled Unauthorized Appropriations and Expiring Authorizations.

Ordinarily, this report identifies the programs whose authorization has expired and shows the total amount that the Congress has provided in appropriation acts for the current year for those programs. However, at this time, no full-year appropriation acts have been signed into law for fiscal year 2014. All programs covered by such acts are currently funded under a continuing resolution. Thus, no information is available about unauthorized funding for 2014 as a whole.

However, enactment of full-year appropriations appears to be imminent, as an agreement on a final omnibus appropriation bill is about to be considered. Therefore, in order to make this year’s report complete and up-to-date, and thus as useful to the Congress as possible, and after consulting with the House and Senate budget committees, CBO will delay the issuance of the report until February in order to incorporate information about the full-year appropriations for 2014.