Order Code RS22302
October 18, 2005
CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Reconciliation Instructions in the FY2006
Mary Frances Bley
Information Research Specialist
Knowledge Services Group
Specialist in American National Government
Government and Finance Division
The House and Senate reached final agreement on April 28, 2005, on a budget
resolution for FY2006 (H.Con.Res. 95) which included reconciliation directives
expected to lead to the consideration of three different reconciliation bills during the
session: (1) an omnibus spending reduction measure, incorporating submissions from
eight House and eight Senate committees; (2) a revenue reduction measure; and (3) a
public debt limit increase measure. The omnibus spending bill is intended to reduce
outlays by $1.519 billion for FY2006 and $34.658 billion for the five-year period
covering FY2006 through FY2010; the revenue bill is intended to reduce revenues by
$11 billion for FY2006 and $70 billion for the period FY2006-FY2010; and the third
bill is intended to increase the public debt limit by $781 billion.
This report will be updated as developments warrant.
On April 28, 2005, the House and Senate reached final agreement on a budget
resolution for FY2006 (H.Con.Res. 95).1 The budget resolution included reconciliation
directives that are expected to lead to the consideration of three different reconciliation
bills during the session: (1) an omnibus spending reduction measure, incorporating
submissions from eight House and eight Senate committees; (2) a revenue reduction
measure; and (3) a public debt limit increase measure.
As Table 1 shows, the omnibus spending bill is intended to reduce outlays in
mandatory programs by $1.519 billion for FY2006 and $34.658 billion for the five-year
period covering FY2006 through FY2010. The revenue bill is intended to reduce
revenues by $11 billion for FY2006 and $70 billion for the period FY2006-FY2010.
See Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2006, conference report to accompany
H.Con.Res. 95, Apr. 28, 2005, H.Rept. 109-62.
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
Taken together, the two measures would result in an increase in the deficit of about $35
billion over the FY2006-FY2010 period. In addition, a third reconciliation bill is intended
to increase the public debt limit by $781 billion.
Table 1. Three Reconciliation Bills Contemplated by the FY2006
Omnibus Spending Reduction
Public Debt Limit Increase
Source: Prepared by the Congressional Research Service.
Under the terms of the FY2006 budget resolution, the eight House and eight Senate
committees instructed to reduce spending within their jurisdiction were to submit their
recommendations to their respective Budget Committees by September 16.
(Reconciliation procedures require that the Budget Committees incorporate the legislative
submissions of instructed committees into an omnibus bill without any substantive
revision.2) By informal agreement in the Senate, however, the deadline for committee
submission was postponed to the week of October 17-21. The House also has adopted
informally a delayed time frame.
The other two reconciliation bills, for revenue reductions and an increase in the
public debt limit, are to be reported directly to the House and Senate by the House Ways
and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, respectively. (Unlike in the
case of omnibus legislation, committees that receive a sole instruction report their
recommendations directly to their chamber rather than submitting them to their respective
Budget Committee.) Under the terms of the budget resolution, the two committees were
to report the revenue bill by September 23 and the debt limit bill by September 30. By
informal agreement in the two chambers, however, the two committees are expected to
report the bills several weeks later in the session, after the omnibus spending legislation
has been reported.
Additional detail on the reconciliation instructions, including an identification of
saving amounts by committee, is provided in Table 2.
For an explanation of reconciliation procedures, see CRS Report RL33030, The Budget
Reconciliation Process: House and Senate Procedures, by Robert Keith and Bill Heniff Jr.
Table 2. Reconciliation Instructions in the Conference Agreement
on the FY2006 Budget Resolution
Spending (Mandatory Outlays)
House Education and the Workforce a
House Energy and Commerce
House Financial Services
House Transportation and Infrastructure
House Ways and Means b
Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions a
House Ways and Means Committee
Senate Finance Committee
Total for House Committees
Senate Energy and Natural Resources
Senate Environment and Public Works
Total for Senate Committees
Statutory Debt Limit
House Ways and Means Committee
Senate Finance Committee
Source: Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2006 (conference report to accompany
H.Con.Res. 95), H.Rept. 109-62, Apr. 28, 2005, pp. 11-14 and 68-71.
The reconciliation instructions to the House Education and the Workforce Committee and the
Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee for FY2006 and FY2006-FY2020 also
The reconciliation instructions to the Ways and Means Committee are “to reduce the deficit,”
which may include reductions in outlays, increases in revenues, or a combination of the two.