tv Environmental and Energy Study Inst. Holds a Briefing on the Impact of... CSPAN January 31, 2023 5:16am-6:44am EST
have one joining us remotely today for reasons but it's going to be well worth the 10-minute delay. hopefully that means everyone had extra time to get some doughnuts. before we dig into the show i want to say a special thanks to senator chris van hollen and his staff for helping us get the room today, we couldn't do it without him. i'm a marylander, proud to call him one of my senators. thank you, senator van hollen and staff. the environmental studies institute tates back to 198 -- dates back to 1984. one of these days the slide will move. there we go. we were founded in 1984 on a partisan basis by members of congress to provide policymaker education resource our focus is congress. thgh a lot of other people use our materials like joualts, members of the public, students and our fuss really climate change. we started out environmental and energy and in 1988 our board board of directors decided
climate chan was the topic that would drive all our work. today we provide all sorts of resources. this is just a snapshot of some of tm. we do briefings like this. probably our highest profile things we do. we cover all sorts of issues in briefings. for example, in december, the last briefing of the year we did was about cops 27. we did what we call the recops we where we had experiments come in and help congressional staff understand what had just happened in egypt and why that was important. we are here today doing climate camp, we also do a lot of writing, the best way to keep up with our materials is to sign up for our biweekly newsletter, climate change solutions. articles, fact sheets, podcasts, we try to come up with all sorts of materials that are widely and easily accessible. everything is available for free online. www.esi.org. i encourage everyone, if you're not already, not just to sign up
for the newsletter but follow us on social media. i mentioned that we cover a lot of ground. for the next couple of weeks our focus is going to be on congressional climate camp. so we have a session today. two weeks from today we'll be back to talk about public polling and public attitudes about climate change and how those have changed. two weeks after that we'll be back talking about greenhouse gas emissions that aren't carbon dioxide so flour nateed gases and methane. then two weeks after that we wrap up the series talking about the implementation status of the infrastructure investment jobs act and inflation reduction act. that will be a really all-star panel. all our panels are all-star panels but that one i know will be on everyone's mind as we move forward. if you haven't signed up for the whole series, i encourage you to do so. if you sign up and can't attend, we've got you covered. we always have a live webcast. sometimes we're on c-span. and we make sure all our presentation materials and
summary notes are available within a few weeks of when we hold the briefings. so never fear, you'll never miss anything. we do our best to take care of you. i want am one of 15 people at e.s.a., i'm joined by many of my colleagues. we are all around the room, most of us are wearing our lapel pins so if you have any questions, we have the room for a little while after we're done our session today. find us. talk to us. we'll do our best to find you and talk to you. if you have questions about climate change topics we'd love to meet with you or point you in the right direction or help you meet the right -- meet the right experts from other organizations. after climate camp we're going to do farm bill. my colleague, savannah, is working hard. my colleague miguel is here working really, really hard on agriculture climate solutions including financing solutions, grant, rebaits, all the great stuff the farm bill does. before i turn it over to the panel, i want to say we will
have time for questions today. and there are two -- for folks in the room we'll have a roving microphone. my colleague,allson, will be wandering around, we'll do our best to get everybody's questions. if you're in our online audience and many of you are in our online audience today, you can still ask questions. we'll do our best to get to all of them. you can send us an email. use firstname.lastname@example.org to email us. or follow us on social media, twitter and tweet us. what's the saying where if you had a desert island what's the one thing you'd want? this is, who are the three people you would want to learn about budget and appropriations from? we have them for you today. the first of our panelists is angela jones. angela is an analyst in environmental policy at the congressional research service. it provides nonpartisan research and analysis to moaives congress, their staff and congressional committees.
her policy portfolio includes the environmental policy, carbon capture and storage issues. before c.r.s. she provided regulaer toir analysis to government consulting and nonprofit sectors. i'm looking forward to your presentation. angela: thank you. just to recap for those of you not familiar with c.r.s., we are part of the library of congress and as dan mentioned we provide congress with nonpartisan, authoritative, objective, timely research and analysis. so today i'm going to provide an overview of the annual appropriations process and discuss recent appropriations at a high level and with a focus on u.s. environmental protection agency or e.p.a. proapgs.
appropriations. the annual appropriations cycle in a nutshell. the step presented here assume the process is occurring in a normal year or cycle. that's not always the case. in step one the president submits the budget to congress. so the president submits the annual, starts the annual budget cycle with a submission of annual budget proposals for the upcoming fiscal year to congress. the president is required to submit this annual budget on or before the first monday in february. so congress has provided deadline extensions before, both statutorily and sometimes informally. for the past year, president biden submitted his fiscal year 2023 budget proposal to congress on march 28 of 2022. so in the budget, the president recommends spending levels for various programs and agencies within the federal government in the form of a budget authority.
budget authority refers to the authority provide bhid federal law to enter into contracts or obligations. budget authority is authorized in the period authorized by statute. this could be one year, multiple years or what's called no year. but outlays on the other hand, or fons cial -- financial expenditures may occur over time. after the president submits the budget proposal to congress, each agency generally provides additional detailed justification materials to the house and senate appropriations subcommittees with jurisdiction over its funding. so in step two, congress adopts a budget resolution. made a reference to budget enforce. or limits for appropriations measures. under the congressional budget process enforcement has both statutory and procedural elements. so for example, in prior years, in statutory elements, derived from the budget control act of 2011, were imposed that limited
discretionary spending for each fiscal year from fiscal year 2012 to fiscal year 2021. so the procedural elements of budget enforcement generally stem from requirements under the congressional budget act of 1974 or the c.b.a. so the budget resolution is congress' response to the president's budget. it's a concurrent resolution but it's not law. it's an agreement between the house and senate that establishes the overall budgetary and fiscal policy to be carried out by subsequent legislation. and through the c.b.a. process the appropriations che in each chamber as well as their subcommittees received a procedural limit on the total amount of the budget authority for the upcoming fiscal year. the budget resolution must cover at least five fiscal years. there's the upcoming fiscal year, referred to the budget year, plus four subs kent fiscal years. so the budget resolution sets total new budget authority andout lay levels for each
fiscal year covered by the resolution. it also allocates federal spending among 20 functional categories such as national defense, agriculture, transportation. it sets budget authority for each function. within each chamber the total new budget authority andout lays for each fiscal year are also allocated amongst the committees with jurisdiction over spending, setting spending ceilings for each committee. so the house and nat committees on appropriations receive allocations only for the upcoming fiscal year because appropriations measures are annual. once the appropriations committee receives their spending ceil they separately subdivide the account among the receptive subcommittees providing spending ceilings for each subcommittee. the c.b.a. established april 15 as the target deadline for congressional adoption of the bunnell resolution, although congress has frequently not met this date. but there's in penalty if the budget resolution is not completed by april 15 or even if it's in the completed at all.
the act prohibits both house and senate floor consideration of the appropriations measures for the upcoming fiscal year before congress completes the budget resolution and in the senate it actually prohibits it before the senate appropriations committee receives its spending ceiling. so if congress delays completion of the annual budget resolution or doesn't adopt one, each chamber may adopt what is calling a deeming resolution to address these procedural difficulties. ok. so in step three, congress considers appropriations measures. so traditionally the house has initiated considerations of regular appropriations measures and the senate would then consider and amend the house-passed bill. more recently the senate appropriations subcommittee have sometimes not waited for the house. instead they reported original senate bills. so under this approach the house and senate appropriations committees and their subcommittees have often considered the regular bills
simultaneously. so the house appropriations committee reports 12 regular appropriation bills separately to the full house. the committee reports the bill in may and june and generally the house starts floor considerations of these regular appropriation bills in may or june as well. the senate appropriations committee typically begins reporting bills in june and generally completes committee consideration prior to the august recess. the senate typically begins floor consideration beginning in june or july. consideration by the full house and senate could continue through the fall. when congress has traditionally considered and approved regular appropriations bills separately, delays in the process mean that one or more ploaptions measures may not receive a separate initial consideration. instead several appropriations bills may be brought into a single legislative vehicle prior to enactment. this is typically referred to as an omnibus appropriations measure. if this whole process is not
completed prior to act 1, which is the start of the fiscal year, congress may need to enact one or more measures to provide temporary funding authority to prevent a funding gap. this is tra -- this has traditionally been provided in a joint resolution to allow them to continue to obligate funds at a particular rate, this may be the rate for the previous fiscal year for a specific period of time. these measures are known as continuing resolutions or c.r.'s. and they can range from a single day to an entire fiscal year. moving on to step four, house and senate confer to resolve the differences. so this is -- after they approved the measure the constitution requires that the house and senate for any measure approve the same, precisely the same form and the same measure before it may be presented to the president for his signature or veto. the appropriations committee in each chamber will try to
negotiate a resolution that resolves the differences. it has generally been that convene a conference committee to address the differences but it can be reached through amendments. in the final step the president may sign or veto the measure. so as i mentioned, the house and senate committee on appropriations have jurisdiction over the annual appropriations measures, an each committee is organized into 12 parallel subcommittees that would ring on 2006. here you're seeing the names of the house appropriations subcommittees. there's parallel committees in the senate and a couple of them have slightly different titles just to be aware. so after the president subts a budget, the house and senate propriations subcommittees hold hearings on the seg. s of the budget under their jurisdiction. they focus o the dethiefs agency's justification which
provides the supporting material for the budget's mission. the agency officials often testify at the hearing anime be supplemented by meetings and communications between subcommittee staff and agency officials. subcommittees can also solicit information and input from members of congress as far as programmatic levels and language to be included in the appropriations bills and accompanied -- accompanying report. the bills provide direction to aingecys. additional guidance is usually contained in the report language. after conducting the hearing, the house and senate appropriations committee makes their suballocations and the subcommittees themselves begin to draft and mark up and report the regular bills under their jurisdiction to the respective full committee. so both appropriations committees consider each subcommittee's recommendations separately. the committee mace adopt amendments to the subcommittee's
recommendations prior to reporting the bills and making them available for further consideration by the respective chambers. so for example, e.p.a. appropriations, they're contained in the interior environment and related agecies bill. and so the funding, the recommendations for various programs within e.p.a. are contained with the accompanying report language or explanatory statement to the interior environment and related agencies bill. the report language does not have the same effect as law though the agencies usually follow much of what is contained in the report. for the rest of the presentation i'll illustrate how the process works for one agecy again focusing on e.p. ample appropriations. as i mentioned, since fiscal year 2006, congress s funded e. p.a. in the entiror environment and related agencies appropriations bill. this figure provides an oriole breakdown of the funding. other agencies in this bill
include the department of interior, the forest service, the indian health serve. so in providing this exampl for fiscal year 2021 and 2022 just to illustrate how appropriations ha been dtributed within this subcommittee in recent years, fiscal year 2023 appropriations were just recently enacted so they're not actually included in this particular figure. i'm going to point that out. it provides a good overview. e.p.a. appropriations are included in the green sections of the graph in the middle there. a little more information on e.p.a. e.p.a.'s rules have evolved over time, they include water quality, air quality and commerce. the disposal of hazardous waste.
though e.p.a. sets uniform pollution control standards on the national level the implementation and enforcement of these are delegated to states and tribes. this will be important because e.p.a. provides financial assistance to states, tribes and local governments to aid them in administering these programs and complying with certain federal environmental requirements. this figure presents trends over time, the amount requested by the administration and enacted regular discretionary and supplemental appropriations since fiscal year 2014. i want to point out that this graph does include supplemental information while the graph on the previous did not include supplementals. just something to keep in mind they're not exactly showing the same amount but they're good illustrations of the general trend. so for fiscal year 2022 you may notice the infrastructure,
investigation. and job act provided an additional $14 billion in e.p.a. in emergency sup lemmal appropriations on top of regular appropriations. you can see the jump on the graph there. in addition, the inflation reduction act of 2022 is a measure usually called provided an additional $21.47 billion in permanent or mandatory appropriations on top of regular annual appropriations. so for fiscal year 2023, the current fiscal year, congress appropriated $10.14 billion in regular annual appropriations to e.p.a., an additional $1.67 billion in supplemental appropriations. these appropriations were enacted as part of a consolidated or omnibus appropriations bill. so going one step further in detail, the funding for discretionary spending for e.p.a. is annually appropriated among 10 statutory accounts by congress over time. this figure shows the trends in
2014 as well as the distribution of funding among e.p.a.'s accounts. for e.p.a. historically the state and tribal assistance grants which is the bright blue portion of the graph, and the environmental program and management accounts, that's in dark blue at the bottom, have received the largest share of funding followed by the superfund and science and technology accounts. so in recent years the number of e.p.a. funding issues have been the subject of congressional debate and reflected in appropriations bills and explanatory statements. these issues are likely continue to be the sun of discussion in the 118th congress and fiscal year 2024 appropriations. the examples i have up here, this is not intended to be a comprehensive list of potential issues, there are many, these are just some examples. including financial assistance.
congress appropriates funds to e.p.a. to support the agency's primary responsibles in coordination with states and tribes. the adequacy of the fund og of these financial assistance and grans has been a perennial issue. this is one -- just as one example the consolidated appropriations act of 2023, congress appropriated funding to e.p.a. for multiple water infrastructure programs intended to address concerns about the condition of the nation's local drinking water and waste water infrastructure and the financial challenges that communities are facing in this. another issue is pfas. so policymakers and various stake holders urged federal agencies including e.p.a. to act more quickly to address pfas a group of flawr dated compounds used for various purposes. they use specific criteria to take action on pfas.
also the adequate funding to remediate or clean up sites has been a long-standing issue among states, local governments and communities located near contaminated sites. several e.p.a. air quality and climate change typically receive a lot of attention in annual appropriations discussions. these activities include things like regulations under the clean air act to address the emissions of greenhouse gases. air pollution and climate change science and also environmental justice. in recent explanatory statements, congress is supported increased funding for e.p. ample for vierpal justice related activities. the amount of funding for these programs across the agency continues to be an issue of interest. and finally, although congress does not set specific staffing levels for e.p.a. in annual appropriations act, the size and
structure of e.p.a.'s work force has continued to be a topic of discussion in annual appropriations debates. so thank you for your time. if you'd like to learn more about the appropriations process or other legislative topics please visit our crs reports website at crs.reports.gov. thanks very much. [applause] dan: thank you. that was a great presentation. c.r.s. staff person's best friend. and yes la is an expert on her issues, but there are many, many people at c.r.s. who are experts on pretty much anything you can think of. i look forward to coming back to these issues in q&a. our second panelist is frans, he's had the privilege of working for several senators
from north dakota and delaware as well as the senate appropriations committee. his portfolio includes environment, science and tech knowledge and general appropriations issues. he's sought to find common ground approaches and advance major legislative initiatives and continues to engage in that work at the bipartisan policy center by focusing on efforts to build bipartisanship and improve discourse and funds the advisory board which we are very, very grateful for. it's awesome to see you. join me at the lectern and i'll turn it over to you. here's your clicker. what i thoo today is, i know in number of members are in the audience, that many of those of you might be online, staff or on capitol hill. i want to let you know that as a former staffer, a lot of what i
am going to say is directed to you. the types of things you might be dealing with. i have been there and i know some of the challenges you have dealt with on an everyday basis. i love this little cartoon. i have used it for a number of years. basically it is the challenge of governance, the challenge of legislating. in the bottom right is the tire swing. in the middle bottom is how it is understood by t public, and reported by the media. >> this is a complex challenge we are talking about today. angela did a great job of explaining the budget process. this is not to scare you. sometimes people put this up, but is to explain that much what we are talking about today began in the 1974 budget act.
this occurred under president nixon and it empowered post-watergate democratic congress to reform and come up with the very system we are talking about today. when we talk about budget resolutions and the appropriations process, much of that is founded in this very process. this legislation created the cbo, the budget committees and all of that. i would say many of the debates we are having today about deficit spending, budget authority, these are the thane -- these are the same things we were talking about 50 years ago. this still requires bipartisan support to move through the congress. the president submits the bget . on the left is the general anoversight.committee process
on the far right in your love the appropriations process. in the middle is the budget committee process. angela also went through the different subcommittees and that is helpful. a couple of things i would like to point out, appropriations is the same thing as discretionary spending. this is the part that has to happen on the annual basis. the president submits the unified budget to congress. my understanding is that the state of the union is going to be on february 7 that there has not been a decision made if the president is going to be submitting the budget yet. that budget, when it comes to capitol hill, is divided. the mandatory site goes to committees in congress. the finance committee, the health committee, the aggie committee. several of their counterparts. the tax side would go to ways and means, or finance committee.
the discretionary part goes to the appropriations committee. those are the -- the appropriations committee in the senate and house are parallel. that is not the same for the authorizing committees, per se, which do not always have the same jurisdiction another thing you may hear about his defense and nondefense. not exclusively, but the big defense bubble, and the slightly smaller one which is the military and veterans affairs, that is known as the defense side of the budget. these other 10 bubbles are nondefense. that is not exactly how it breaks down, but that will give you a basic. another aspect that a lot of people do not get a sense of is that there are three coequal branches of government. something we are supposed to learn and basic civic spirit if you look at the broader -- if you look at the bottom right,
the legislative branch is about half of a percent. above that is the fiscal -- financial services general government subcommittee. within that is the judiciary, the third branch of government. the legislative branch and the judiciary together make up 1% of discretionary spending. that means the executive branch is the other 99%. i am not advocating for major changes, i just wanted to point that out because most people don't get what the differences are there. some of these subcommittees make sense. defense, homeland security. at the same time, there are different agencies that are dropped together in a seemingly artificial way such as commerce, justice and science. why do we do that? i do not remember. they are there that way and you need to know that because you need to know which agency to go to and which accounts to look at
. you need to know those 12 subcommittees. and who has jurisdiction. angela has gone through some of this. i want to point out, those bullet points up there are slightly delivered i that the first part of that is with the executive branch does. and then therrs are what happens on the congress side. there e cles that are happening simultaneously. the union inanry, and afterte of that if -- the budget is submitted. these cycles arening at the same time and one of the differences is onhexecutive branch side and the budget offices of the various agencies, congress is dealing with one budget typically at the same time agencies are dealing with multiple.
as you get into some of this where you are looking at july, federal agencies are binning to formulate the next fiscal year. congress may be thinking about fy 2024. federal agenci a starting to think about fy 2025 they are trying to pair pete -- prepare things for their debates thmb. at the e of the day, omb makes those decisions. i just want to make sure you are understanding those various cycles that are happening both in congress as well as within the executive branch. it has been the case that there have been individual per individual appropriationbills enacted by september 30. there is a period of time now there were many buses, now it has moved on to at is known as the omnibus approach, which often stretches into december.
in fiscal02 was ultimately enacted march of 2020. march of 2022. that took a couple more months. you may be asking, how does this affect me? these are way that you in your office, and primarily thinking about -- but if you might be on a committee of jurisdiction also to be involved in this process. i would offer a couple of ideas. first, your office should think about being involved in submitting requests to the appropriations committee. and the committees are the ones, they put out deadlines. they indicate what they are looking for. that has not happened yet because there is still a little bit of a delay in the process for this year. the three most important things to be aware of are you are
making a funding request committee report language request or a bill language request. they are slightly different. appropriations committees will indicate that as you are trying to put ideas forward. to do that, another opportunity too is what are known as multi-member letters. a member may store a letter on an important topic and others can sign on. your member can make individual requests through letters to the appropriations subcommittees, or lead or sign on to some of these multimember letters. additionally then after that, the oversight process. the federal agencies, for congress and they have to testify on behalf of their budget. that could be the secretary, another senior official. they go before the authorizing committees of jurisdiction on
the house and senate side. usually one budget hearing. and then they go before subcommittees. the pending on what committee your member serves on is an opportunity to be able to ask questions at those various hearings. to be honest, it is sometimes hard. you get five minute question rounds. you have to think about two or three questions to get in during that time period. an additional opportunity is questions for the record. those are questions that are submitted to the agencies for them to respond to afterwards for also sometimes it is uncertain when those questions are going to be coming about. the oversight process is another opportunity. following on, and this again is just to be honest, the appropriations bills have not really been on the floor. the senate appropriations bills do not get debated on the floor. not as many house bills have.
but, there are ways to put forward amendments and hopefully that continues to improve over time. finally, there are various ways that if an idea is in the present budget, that has actually more power than if it does not exist and you're trying to push it into an appropriations bill. letting the executive branch know through the agencies and other means that this is an idea that is important, if those ideas get added into the present budget request, then it exists and you are advocating on behalf of it rather than trying to get it added to that fiscal year cycle. again, thinking about what is important forn office. ki sure you have a good orgazational system. were beginning the fly in season. organizations tend to have a lot
of their events in washington from february through may a lot of constituents may wanting to become intimate with you and learn. expressing tirnterest and priorities. knowing the deadlesnd requirements for the appropriations process. those ha n come out yet, but they aremptant to know. they are pragmatic requests as well as individual mber requests. both are important. obviously, knowing whi subcommittee to go to. keeping your constituents up to dates ing on. that can be online newsletters. at the end of the day, whenever some bill is passed into law and your boss pushed for it, make sure you highlight those on social media. often this seems confusing. where do i find things? this is kind of a rundown. along the calendar. different documents you need to
know about. the president submitting the budget request. congressional justifications are basically just the individual agency breakout of the unified federal budget. the budget committee resolution and the 302. in addition, what the subcommittees have in their marks. and then the omnibus examples. when it becomes omnibus, the reports change names and becomes a joint explanatory statement. i am happy to answer questions but i just wanted to give you some insight. >> thank you. that was great. i saw a lot of people breakout their pens. it is great you wanted to write that down, but we have slides available today. there will be posted online. if you would like to go back at -- thank you. actually, i guess molly is going to do hers. if you want to go back and
revisit slides, compare the academic version of the process and the reality version of the process, you can put them side-by-side. also, there will be additional material there too we will be linking to. we are usually able to post the webcast quickly. a little while later, we will have summary notes. if you feel like you missed something here in the moment, no problem. our third panelist is joining us remotely. molly reynolds. molly is a senior fellow in governance studies that clippings. she studies congress with an emphasis on how procedure affects domestic policy outcomes. she is the author of the book "exceptions to the rule: the -- filibuster in the senate," which explores the better reconciliation process and other things that prevent the filibuster appeared molly was a panelist on climate camp two years ago talking about budget reconciliation.
i recommend going back to check out that briefing if you would like to learn more. her current research projects include work on the oversight and house congressional reform and budget process. she supervises the maintenance of brookings -- vital statistics on congress. this is the moment of truth. i'm going to turn it over to you remotely pared i am looking forward to your presentation. [indiscernible] >> can you -- again? i do not know where the microphone is. >> test. can you hear me? great. i will get started. thanks everyone for inviting me to be with you. i apologize i cannot be there in person. i do not know if there are other parents of young children in the
room. but, i have one. who is a german vector. what the esi folks have asked me to do today's provide a little context on the forces shaping this year's budget and appropriations process. i'm going to talk about three things both separately, but you will see as i talk about them, the ways in which they relate to one another. besides government, i'm going to talk about the debt limit and changes in congress over time. first, let's talk a little about divided government. one thing that we know from the past several decades of congress' experience with discretionary for creations -- appropriations is that we live in an era of small congressional majorities. the republicans enjoy a five
seat majority in the house, about the same size as the democrats majority was in the house in the last congress. in the last congress, the democrats had a 50-50 tie-in the senate. now, senator sinema continues to organizationally associate herself with the democratic caucus. they have a 51 vote. we have small majorities. we have polarized parties. parties in both chambers are quite far apart from one another. when he put these things together, especially but not exclusively in the senate, you end up with a situation where it is difficult to adopt individual appropriations bills on the floor of the senate. when the senate wants to consider an appropriations bill that is attractive to party leaders to do them either all in one or several minibus packages because it is difficult to build those coalitions in an era of small majorities in the filibuster. we also right have divided government.
we have a particular flavor of divided government with the house controlled by republicans in the senate by democrats. it democrat president in the white house. that produces different spending priorities across that set of actors. carol talked a little about prevalent -- relevant previous experiences. in 2011, we had this same configuration and a new house republican majority that had been fueled by the tea party. that wave was much larger than the wave we ultimately saw in 2022, but there are similarities. a resurgent new republican house majority. in 2011, house republicans tried to play hardball on some continuing resolutions. before ultimately coalescing around a position where they were going to insist on any debt ceiling increase would be matched dollar for dollar by spending reductions in the 10 year budget window.
it produced the budget control act which created what we now refer to as a supercommittee which tried and failed to produce additional deficit reduction. the two parties learned very different lessons from this experience. on one hand, i think republicans saw it as one of the few times when they really helped out for a change and got something. we can debate the long-term consequences of the budget control act, but i think republicans see it one way and democrats see it as an example of why you should not let republicans take the debt limit hostage. from an institutional perspective, it is an important reminder that budget agreements are only as good as the political will to enforce them. starting in 2013, we periodically raised the discretionary spending caps. it reminds us of what is
necessary to enforce agreements. in 2013, we saw similarly divided government house controlled by government and senate controlled by democrats. in may of 2013, we saw the suspension of the debt limit expire. action was needed by october. because action was needed by october, that put the resolution of the debt limit increase on roughly the same calendar as keeping the government open. when the fiscal year ended, there was no agreement to keep the government open and we had a 16 day partial government shutdown. the deal to ultimately reopen the government also addressed the debt limit because those two issues ended up tied in time. i talked about the death amid a couple times. i'm going to talk about it more now. first, federal debt has always been such a -- modern debt
limit. it has been in place since 1939 and it is the legal maximum amount of debt the government can accrue. as the level of debt approaches to ceiling, the treasury department prepares to use what we call extraordinary measures. these can push back the date by which action by congress is needed, but not forever. there are major consequences for actually bridging the debt the mitt, making it harder for the treasury to borrow. that has consequences on global markets because actors are where the u.s. may not pay its bills, and the down grading of our credit rating. a default would trigger bigger concert insist that what we would call an ordinary government shutdown, since many more payments beyond those would be in danger. it is the case that sometimes we have seen fights over discretionary spending get linked to a fight over the debt limit. in 2011, the way out of the debt
limit crisis involved an agreement to fund cuts to discretionary spending. in 2013, the timing of keeping the government open and addressing the data limit meant to negotiations cap linked. we have seen reporting that suggests republicans this year may actually try and bring the two deadlines together. and perhaps do some short-term addressing of the debt limit over the summer, such that putting the debt limit on -- to be linked to the end of the fiscal year. but it is important to note that the debt limit is about fulfilling promises already made. while there have been efforts to cut discretionary or mandatory spending in exchange for votes to raise the debt limit, the debt limit is fundamentally about past choices, not future choices. we can see these things get linked politically. we can see them get linked by the calendar.
but conceptually, they are not linked. i think sometimes people try to make them. i want to talk about change over time. here i mean literal change in humans who serve in the chambers. in the house, 30% of democrats and 22% of republicans were in congress for the big 2011 debt limit fight. in the senate, it's about half of democrats and 35% of republicans. if you include the next two years, 2013 92014, you get higher numbers. 43% of democrats were here in that period. 30% of the houses republican. two thirds of senate democrats and 43 sent of senate republicans. i point this out to mean two important things. one, particularly on the republican side of the ilb have fewer of the old guard members who may have very strong preferences about lower
discretionary spending in some areas, but oftentimes strong preferences about higher discretionary spending in some areas, particularly on defense. and having a functional appropriations process. thinking about folks like richard shelby, the recently retired top republican. there are those individuals in the two chambers and also there are relatively few individuals who were actually here, especially in 2011, -- what can happen when there is a hostagetaking involving the debt limit and what those consequences are. i will stop there and i think i will stay on for questions, if the technology is in our favor. >> i do not want to jinx it, but the technology seems to be in our favor. we heard you loud and clear and saw your slides.
please. [applause] hopefully you can hear the applause. it is rapturous. we are going to turn to cumin day. my colleague has a microphone and she will come around. while people are putting questions together, i will toss one out to get us started. we like to ask questions that all of our panelists can answer appeared i will direct the set fronds cover that i would love to hear from angela and molly. i lost my notebook. i only had like four words written down. i should be able to remember. earmarks. this is something that when i worked in the senate 20 years ago, earmarks were a big thing. and then they kind of went away for a while. and now they are kind of back. i am curious, molly talked a little about how things have changed and i am curious,
fronds, if you can say some words about how the return to earmarking might affect the process this year and tell maybe that is a little different than it was in some of the years molly has outlined and angela, if you have anything to outline, i am interested in hearing what you have to say. >> thanks. i am happy to cover that a little bit. there is a lot of aspects to this question. dan mentioned earmarks. on the house side, it is community project funding. on the senate side, it is -- spending. it has been put back in place. at the end of the day, it is about article one authority. congressional authority over the president's budget requests. for 10 years, there was a moratorium on this, in that it was brought back in the 117th congress. the argument for taking it away it was that it was going to help reduce deficit and reduce cost.
that really was not the case because the deficit has increased over that period of time. one of the aspects that is powerful is if we can touch on this briefly because i mentioned those subcommittees, 99% of that goes to the executive branch. 0.5% to the legislative and 0.52 judiciary. this is not additional funding on top of the 302-a this is a small amount of funding within the executive branch among the 99%. it has now been capped at 1%. it is 1% within that amount that would otherwise have gone to the executive branch to make. members of congress are able to make decisions that are beneficial to their districts and their various constituencies . additionally, reforms have been made to the process that have addressed a lot of the concerns that some critics had for example, members of congress
have to sign letters saying that they themselves, or members of their family do not have any direct interest. on the house side, members can make up to 15 work rests. the g ao has been asked to do a review of that process for fiscal year 22 and 2023. and then also, no for-profit entities can apply. there is a number of reforms that have been put in place. it is the understanding that that will continue in the 118th. there may be additional reforms. we will see about that. my understanding that the senate and the house are planning to go forward with that. it is in parallel with programmatic funding. that is funding that would generally go to the agency, or those accounts. in this case, parallel members can make their own individual requests that are on top of that. that explains that a little more. >> angela, anything to share on
the topic? >> i can give one example. what is this look like for what agency and one subcommittee. for eta, and to last appropriations cycle, the "earmarks" meant that for epa only there was over 100 different line items that were halved as earmarks. millions of dollars. what i was mentioning is you can see what are their congressional priorities. 95% of them were for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure. this is where the parties and how it gets reflected in what appropriations are. there were specific projects for these water projects that ended up through this earmarks process. >> molly. feel free to jump in.
>> one thing i would -- just on top of what they have already said is that one question people often have about earmarks is commit to what degree did they grease the wheels for the overall appropriations process? i tend to be a person who thinks that historically, they were moderately helpful. but, their abolition was not the cause of the breakdown in the appropriations process. that said, i think at the end of last year, there were -- there was some sense that when the debate was between, do we finish an omnibus or resort to a full-year continuing resolution? the idea that if the default was -- meant that no one would get their project funded. again, i don't want to say that
played a huge role in driving the omnibus to completion. but i think we should -- there are interesting questions to be asked and answered about the role of earmarks in trying to create a functional appropriations process, or what passes for a functional process, in the current political environment. >> thanks. anyone in our online audience is welcome to ask a question as well. send us an email. i will keep an eye out for questions in the room. we have a question there. the gentleman in the yellow shirt. i know him. he is a gentleman, take my word. >> when a continuing resolution is passed, it seems we him more -- how does that affect the agency's spending?
what impact does that have on them when they get those? >> angela, would you like to take this one first? >> the language of the cr will specify at what rate spending will be. the last two crs were equal to the operating rate of the previous fiscal year. that means the agency will have -- obligate funds at the same rate it did last year with the insinuation that money will be put through. but, it does not change any future or past appropriations. it depends partly on the language. sometimes it will say for this, except for this agency or this account or this program. generally, agencies, in recent history it has been they can spend out at the same rate they have been.
>> i would just add to that, it is very hard on federal agencies when there is continuing resolutions over time they have gotten used to it, but it is hard to do longer-term planning until you actually know you have your new budget. there's some aspects often included in the cr, anomalies. these are minor adjustments as needed for federal agencies that would not be spending exactly at the previous fiscal year rate. just know that there's often anomalies. it has become a pattern and practice that agencies have gotten used to. having one to three months crs is hard for longer-term planning. >> just to add to that, in addition to making it harder for agencies to plan, it generally creates uncertainty about what
is likely to happen for agencies. in situations where we are dealing with a series of short-term crs, and there is real conflict about whether another will be adopted in order to avoid shut down, -- will revoke resources to planning for potential shutdown. that they would not otherwise have to devote to that task, if they were not worried that there was not going to be action before the expiration of a continuing resolution. >> we have another question. while alice is making her way over. i think about it as getting off to a late start. but the end date is the same and it puts time pressure on the agencies to get spending done. so yeah. not a great way to go. but obviously, something we have to live with.
my name is aiden. we hear a lot about the budgets and debt levels, deficit spending whatever, but i almost never hear about the government's income. how much the government makes. is the funding and appropriations tied at all to how much the government made from presumably mostly tax revenue? or is that completely separate? >> this one can be a free-for-all. >> the president is the one who determines what the budget looks like when it is submitted to congress. they do cap you laid what the revenues are versus the outlays. there definitely have been greater expenditures and incomes.
i guess, it's not a question specifically for appropriations, how much is spent based upon income because there is a unified budget which also includes the mandatory side, which is at least two thirds of the overall budget, while appropriations is one third. all of that has to be taken into consideration. >> we just want to think about how these concepts fit together. particularly in the framework that i laid out before about past versus future spending choices. how much money the government takes in in a given year. the gap between that and the spending that goes out the door, both as a result of the discretion process and through the mandatory spending. the gap between those two amounts is what creates the annual budget deficit, which the
treasury department then has to borrow. >> i think we have another question on the others to the room. >> thank you. you talk about authorizations and appropriations, how often to the two actually lineup? particularly when you're talking about a multi-your authorization and annual appropriation. is there some variance or pattern you could point to? >> angela, this one feels like you. >> i do not have a data or study analysis at my fingertips to explain that. keep in mind, annual
discretionary appropriations is money going in the bank. agencies often spend over multi-years. a superfund project cleanup can go on for 20 to 30 years. each year the agency is taking in money, getting tax receipts, having different expenditures of different kinds. it is a little difficult to line-up. there is not a parallel between authorizing and appropriating money for this year, in that is so much got spent. although we do get a lot of questions about, where is this money that has been authorized for the next five years? where has it gone? it can be a little tricky to get the full picture. >> that is one of the fun challenges of the congress.
in terms of what is the connection, and also the disconnect between authorizing and appropriations. i will use an anecdotal example, there was major energy legislation in 1992, followed by 2005 2007 and 2020. there have been other authorizing bills passed in between, but those would be four major energy authorizing bills. those are not directly aligned with the appropriations process. they can influence it. but in many cases, the amount that was intended to be on the authorized side of a specific idea cannot be fulfilled in appropriations. it is the intention that -- whether that is, for example, energy and water subcommittee. or the interior epa subcommittee. that might be relevant.
it is kind of challenging for someone to fully understand the differences of the authorizing versus the appropriations process. both are important, especially on oversight. but where the rubber hits the road is appropriations. >> molly echo -- molly? >> no. antoine covered it. >> one thing we talked about today was on the senate side there's only 100 members. in the house commit is much larger. there's a lot more potential for or for lap between authorizer's -- on the senate side than the house side. that creates all sorts of issues for personal offices, but also committees. i am not sure whether there is data to suggest that encourages function or dysfunction. just the reality of the numbers. i am scanning the audience for in person questions. we might have had one on the others. did you have a follow-up?
allison is coming around with the microphone. ok. sorry. >> following up my budget question, when you have a house and senate that are two different parties, those marks that come out are often wildly different. that is not often reflected in the continuing resolution. that seems to affect agencies as well. is there fear of overspending the mark? >> the federal agencies would not be able to spend beyond their authority from the previous fiscal year. the continuing resolution would usually be at the same amount for the fiscal year. so, the intention is that they would not overspend until they actually had the money in hand.
so come if they had a higher amount in the next fiscal year, they are not able to adjust for that until it actually has been enacted and signed by the president. >> thanks for we are going to move. we are going to move to another question. i got a good one from our online audience that we are going to do first or this is going to get to something we were thinking about. the question is, how can an administrative rule be affected by appropriations? the gist of the question is, if congress does not want something to happen in the executive branch, can they use the appropriations process to squash it? their words. it is an important issue. >> what potential is there for that? molly, we can start with you. >> sure. i suspect that france may have
some concrete examples and experience. typically what we would refer to the kind of thing the question is asking about as a form of limitation rider. basically, we can and do see individual appropriations bills, standalone measures or together in an omnibus that says a federal agency cannot use funds to promulgate or finalize all kinds of things. certain federal regulations. when i teach about this, there is an example i use from the fda , in the aftermath of the passage of affordable care act, involving the menu labeling rules where -- have to be displayed on the fast food menus. that was the subject of one of these riders at one point.
it is something that can happen. we see it. riders in general are a place where we are seeing consistently high levels of conflict in the appropriations process, particularly between parties. if you think back to 2018, which was both the most productive appropriations year and more than a decade, there were several bills finished before the start and signed into law before the start of the fiscal year, and the year that brought us the partial government shutdown of record length, one of the things that the senate really helped get that process moving as smoothly as it did was that commitment by both sides of the aisle basically to advocate for new riders, and not try to pick fights about them. that is a way we can see this -- question. >> thank you.
we have a couple of responses from other panelists. >> molly hits the heart of it. they are called riders. comment being made like, we would like to pass a clean bill. a clean bill just means it is focusing on the appropriations to the federal agencies. the greater challenge has been over a period of years that because of the limitations in the authorizing process and continuing oversight process, appropriations bills have carried policy language. it usually is and what are called general provisions. in a way, those are a form of a rider, but they have been accepted as molly has pointed out. a no funds provisioned is no funds can be spent to do x, y or z. those are debated when there is divided government. democrats to have riders in bills that were opposed by the trump administration.
it goes both ways. sometimes, they can be successful appearance sometimes they get stripped out of the negotiating process, which would be with the white house saying we are not going to vote for a bill unless these things are taken out. it is a negotiation. >> to give one quick example, for epa for example, i happen to cover there has been one of these riders in the last several appropriations acts where there is an epa was prohibited from spending money on a certain collection of greenhouse gas reporting on a certain kind of agricultural facility. it is a very specific part of -- epa has not issued regulations. what comes down to for the agency as they cannot issue
regulations that cannot collect information. there is a blank when it comes to data for that particular type of facility within this program. as the agency is trying to collect information on greenhouse gas emissions from all industrial sectors of the united states, as directed by congress. >> another good example in the climate space i always think of is the light bulb rider, preventing dod from implementing lightbulb standards. it sort of work for a while, then ended up not working because technology started out pacing with the regulation was even going to accomplish. it still caused a lot of headaches. ultimately, it costs a lot of greenhouse gas to be admitted that probably didn't have to be. we have a question from someone in the back. >> thank you for all of this helpful information.
i am curious about the opportunities to engage in the appropriations process section. particularly if there are any unique elements in terms of opportunities or effective timelines for people approaching this from outside of congressional offices. >> like, as an outside organization trying to influence congress? i can touch on that. one of the most important things, in this is for the office as well, is knowing what deadlines are and any other requirements. that needs to be determined by the committee. as an outside organization, there is one way to get information. certainly you can be in touch with individual members. it can become are they on a certain committee? part of a certain delegation? identify what your priorities
are. and then what you want to lay on when you understand with the president's budget request might be. often all of that information is input through a process that many offices have set up. and then they filter through that. those are ways to sort of try to understand or make that first impact. offices can make decisions to accept, modify or reject that. and then those can be part of member requests that that are submitted to the appropriations subcommittee. >> angela, molly, comments? our briefings are educational. we are not here to advocate. one thing i learned the hard way when it was my job is not to assume subcommittees operate the same. or even structure their reports the same. interior is different from energy and water, which is different from agriculture.
understanding the proclivities of the subcommittees is important. even in the house and senate, there's often disagreement on how to approach things. for a while there were different tolerances of language generally. whether or not it was even appropriate to ask for something. there's a lot to learn about this process. climate is just dipping our toes into the water. >> building on that, one of the fun things in terms of i think about these 12 subcommittees, they are like siblings. they are coequal and they all have different personalities. you have some big kids and some small kids. you've got kids with different personalities. as dan indicated, definitely take into what the context is. what is their jurisdiction? they do have different personalities. it is possible to approach those subcommittee staff with your ideas. you don't just need to submit letters and work rests as staff
and be considerate, but you can approach them and explain what your priorities are for that given year. >> thanks. i'm keeping my eye out on the audience but i have another question. molly's slide talked about the 2011 and 2014 example. something else has happened, the infrastructure investment and jobs act and inflation reduction act. i am curious, what are some ways, the fact that those pieces of legislation have been enacted , both of those pieces of legislation involve many billions of dollars? sometimes new programs, sometimes existing programs. what are some of the effects that staff should be on the lookout for that those bills are making possible? molly, if you would like to go first. otherwise, franz and angela. >> i will offer brief observations.
taken together, the inflation reduction act contains some pretty significant additional discretionary funding for a number of different agencies and programs of interest to different kinds of folks in the audience. also the epa. d.o.e.. that sort of thing. some of that funding was for 2022 and some was also an advanced preparation for fy 2023 to 2026. the exact distribution of -- across agencies and programs. in the context of inflation reduction specifically, the reconciliation bill that was passed in august of 2022, several contain some funding that i think we should think of as other circumstances. funding that would have otherwise been handled through
the discretionary appropriations process. without going too far down into the weeds, there are ways to take funding that one would generally address through the discretionary appropriations process, through the appropriations committees of both chambers. and sort of dress it up as mandatory spending, to make it permissible to the -- and a reconciliation bill. for a long time, we did not see a lot of that. using reconciliation to allocate funding that kind of would have otherwise been handled to the discretionary process. in large part because it was a real jurisdictional sore point between the authorizing committees and appropriations committees. in 2021 and 2022 in particular, we reached a point where democrats, holding narrow majorities in both chambers and
a democratic president, saul reconciliation, which cannot be filibustered, as there pot of gold. there are one -- there one trick to get things done. we saw in both the american rescue plan in 2021 and the inflation reduction act in 2022 come in the climate space and beyond, the use of that legislative vehicle to do things in the appropriations space i think we would not have seen in earlier decades. >> comments? i am looking around for -- we are at the end of our time. apologies for getting a late start, but we will do our best to end on time. we know people have a busy day ahead of them. we do have one more. we can make an exception. fair enough.
>> i am from the wildlife conservation society. that is a conservation nonprofit. we run the climate adaptation fund. i am curious at how these two bills will impact my work and the grant partners work. i would love to hear more about what molly said, stressing this up as mandatory spending and therefore using this reconciliation process to understand, is the appropriations phase a place where, or to what extent will this money be influenced once it is spent or how it is through states and agencies if more of that determination happening once the money goes through the appropriations process. i am sorry if my question reveals a lot of ignorance. >> would you like to say a few more words? >> i think i was able to hear the question.
the short answer is, i do not have a great answer. again, because it is not something we have seen used as heavily historically. we just don't quite know what congress will try and do. i think it is also helpful to -- now in a period of divided government. anything that gets agreed on is going to have to have bipartisan support. but it is also important to remember over the medium-term, as long as the filibuster exists for other legislating of the senate, other places where senate majorities under unified party control are going to try to push the reconciliation envelope. and then i think we will just have to wait and see. >> any others?
thank you again for that and thanks for that extra question. that was a great way. we are at the point where we will conclude the first installment of climate camp. i have to say, huge thanks to our tremendous panelists. molly, i hope everyone feels better soon. they deserve a round of applause pair thank you for being here. [applause] >> i would also like to say a very special thanks to our friend in senator van hollen's office. we couldn't do it without shelby. thank you for helping us get the room and for just being generally agreeable sorts. always a pleasure to work with. thanks to them as well. i also know shelby. savannah too. i would also like to say it great things to everyone on team esi makes today possible. dan o'brien, and marie, molly,
allison, savannah, miguel, emma, tyler, our intern. first week. they're the ones who do all of the hard work bringing these briefings together. anna, john michael, lots of workers into this. i also wanted to mention them because if there are any donuts left over, they get to have them. the rule was only leftover donuts. help me keep the donuts away from my colleagues. take one on the way out. there may be napkins and plates. if you have someone who needs a doughnut. take one with you. and then we will allow my colleagues to have them. thanks to everybody. thanks to lynn and madeline. today is climate camp number one. in two weeks, we will be back for climate camp number two. that one is going to be about
public attitudes and polling. and then will would -- we will be back two weeks after that about co2 greenhouse gas emissions, earning about the wide range of pollutants we pump into the atmosphere that contribute to climate change. that is going to be great as well. coming back to the idea of ira, we will be talking with some great panelists about the status of the implementation of those bills. that will be march 9, the last of the series. and then we'll be back into all sorts of briefings on the farm bill. i know everyone is going to have to be a farm bill expert in a couple of months. our briefings will be ready for when that happens. the last slide -- do i have control of the slides? there we go up the last thing, everyone in our audience, this is a link to a survey. we read every response. it is an opportunity for us to get feedback. apologies for the late start, but we figured it out. it was great to be able to have
molly join us today, given the circumstances. if you would like to take the survey and you have ideas about briefing topics or there are any technical issues, let us know. it means a lot to us when we -- when you share your feedback. i think that does it paradigm sorry. curtis and catherine p our videographers at our friends at c-span who will be broadcasting this. thank you for joining us as well. they handle all of the webcasting and that great stuff and we couldn't do these briefings for our audience without them. thank you very much. we will wrap up. thanks again. hope everyone has a great thursday. we will be hanging out here for a few minutes, hopefully over a doughnut. we would love to meet you. thanks so much. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2023]
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