Each fiscal year the UT System Office of Federal Relations solicits all 15 UT System institutions for research proposals that are not eligible for federal grant funding through existing grant mechanisms. Appropriations projects are research initiatives that stand to deliver a significant near-term benefit to the taxpayers of the State of Texas and the nation. The Office of Federal Relations works with each campus to develop institution priorities and to coordinate with the Texas delegation to fund each project through the federal appropriations process. The timeline below illustrates a typical chronology for the appropriations process, however, the exact timing of each step varies greatly each year.
The UT System Office of Federal Relations Submission deadline for campus appropriations requests.
The UT System Office of Federal Relations review of campus appropriations requests submissions.
The Chancellor of the UT System and the Chairman of the Board of Regents review campus appropriations requests submissions.
The President submits his annual budget to Congress on or before the first Monday in February.
Congress begins to analyze the Administration’s Budget and prepare for the Congressional Appropriations cycle in anticipation of the September 30th fiscal year end. The Congressional Budget Act requires Congress to adopt an annual Budget Resolution by April 15th. However, Congress often does not meet this deadline.
After the President submits his Budget, the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees hold hearings on the segments of the budget under their jurisdiction. They focus on the details of the individual agencies’ programmatic budget justifications, primarily hearing testimony from agency officials.
The Appropriations Committees schedule legislative “mark-ups” for each of the 12 annual spending bills. Funding for individual projects may be added in the form of “earmarks” to most of the appropriations bills. The House of Representatives generally initiates consideration of the annual appropriations bills.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees continue to consider and pass individual appropriations bills and send them to the full House and Senate for a vote.
Once a bill has passed both the House and the Senate, it must be “conferenced” to work out any differences between the bills. House-Senate conference committees meet to address these differences and make final determinations on funding levels for the various programs contained in each bill. Additional individual projects may be added to the bills at this time.
The final Conference Report is then passed by both the House and Senate and sent to the President for signature or veto, with the goal of passing all 12 annual appropriations bills by the end of the fiscal year on September 30th. This deadline is often missed and Congress must pass a “Continuing Resolution” to keep the Federal Government running until the bills are completed. Oftentimes several appropriations bills are packaged together in one conference report to speed the process; this is called an “Omnibus Spending Bill.”
The target date for adjournment is usually in October, although Congress often misses this target and is in session into November and possibly, December.