SUBJECT: Revision of Circular No. A-19, Revised, Dated July 31, 1972:
Legislative Coordination and Clearance
This transmits a revision of Circular No. A-19, Revised, dated July
1972: Legislative Coordination and Clearance.
The attached revision updates the Circular generally and makes explicit
several long-standing practices. It does not change the basic aspects of the
legislative coordination and clearance requirements and process.
a. Submission to OMB. Each agency shall prepare and submit to OMB
annually its proposed legislative program for the next session of Congress. If
an agency has no legislative program, it should submit a statement to this
* The terms "proposed legislation" and "report"
do not include materials submitted in justification of appropriation requests
or proposals for reorganization plans.
b. Purposes of legislative program submission. The essential purposes
for requiring agencies to submit annual legislative programs are: (1) to assist
agency planning for legislative objectives; (2) to help agencies coordinate
their legislative program with the preparation of their annual budget
submissions to OMB; (3) to give agencies an opportunity to recommend specific
proposals for Presidential endorsement; and (4) to aid OMB and other staff of
the Executive Office of the President in developing the President's legislative
program, budget, and annual and special messages.
c. Timing of submission to OMB. (1) Each agency shall submit its
proposed legislative program to OMB at the same time as it initially submits
its annual budget request as required by OMB Circular No. A-11. Timely
submission is essential if the programs are to serve the purposes set forth in
(2) Items that are not included in an agency's legislative program
and have significant upward budget impact will not be considered after the
budget is prepared unless they result from circumstances not foreseeable at the
time of final budget decisions.
d. Number of copies. Each agency shall furnish 25 copies of its
proposed legislative program to OMB. These copies will be distributed by OMB
within the Executive Office of the President.
e. Program content. Each agency shall prepare its legislative program
in accordance with the instructions in Attachment A. Agency submissions shall
(1) All items of legislation that an agency contemplates proposing to
Congress (or actively supporting, if already pending legislation) during the
coming session, including proposals to extend expiring laws or repeal
provisions of existing laws. These items should be based on policy-level
decisions within the agency and should take into account the President's known
legislative, budgetary, and other relevant policies. Agencies' proposed
legislative programs should identify those items of sufficient importance to be
included in the President's legislative program.
(2) A separate list of legislative proposals under active
consideration in the agency that are not yet ready for inclusion in its
proposed legislative program. For each item in this list, the agency should
indicate when it expects to reach a policy-level decision and, specifically,
whether it expects to propose the item in time for its consideration for
inclusion in the annual budget under preparation.
(3) A separate list of all laws or provisions of law affecting an
agency that will expire between the date the program is submitted to OMB and
the end of the two following calendar years, whether or not the agency plans to
propose their extension.
(4) All items in the submissions that are proposed, or expected to be
proposed, for inclusion in the annual budget shall be accompanied by a
tabulation showing amounts of budget authority and outlays or other measure of
budgetary impact for the budget year and for each of the four succeeding fiscal
years. See section 201(a)(5),(6), and (12) of the Budget and Accounting Act,
1921, as amended (31 U.S.C. 11(a)(12)). Criteria in OMB Circular No. A-11 shall
be used in preparing these tabulations.
(5) All items covered by section 6e(4) above shall also be
accompanied by estimates of work-years of employment and of personnel required
to carry out the proposal in the budget year and four succeeding fiscal years.
f. Relationship to advice. Submission of a legislative program yto
OMB does not constitute a request for advice on individual legislative
proposals. Such requests should be made in the manner prescribed in section 7
of this Circular.
7. Submission of agency proposed legislation
a. Submission to OMB. Before an agency transmits proposed legislation
or a report (including testimony) outside the Executive branch, it shall submit
the proposed legislation or report or testimony to OMB for coordination and
b. Agency scheduling of submissions. Agencies should not commit
themselves to testify on pending bills or to submit reports or proposed
legislation to Congress on a time schedule that does not allow orderly
coordination and clearance. To facilitate congressional action on
Administration proposals and to forestall hasty, last-minute clearance
requests, agencies should plan their submissions to OMB on a time schedule that
will permit orderly coordination and clearance. Particular care should be given
to ensuring that draft legislation to carry out Presidential legislative
recommendations is submitted promptly to OMB to allow sufficient time for
analysis and review.
c. Timing of agency submissions.
(1) Agencies should submit proposed legislation, reports, and
testimony to OMB well in advance of the desired date of transmittal to
(2) Agencies should include in their submissions to OMB of proposed
reports and testimony a copy of any committee request for such reports and
testimony, if the request calls for special information or includes specific
questions to be covered in the reports or testimony.
(3) Depending on the complexity and significance of the subject
matter, the policy issues involved, and the number of agencies affected, an
adequate period for clearance by OMB may range from several days to a number of
months. Agencies shall consult with OMB staff as to necessary periods for
clearance, particularly in cases of major or complex legislation.
(4) On occasion, very short periods for clearances may be unavoidable
because of congressional time schedules or other factors. Nevertheless,
agencies should make every effort to give OMB a minimum of five full working
days for clearance of proposed reports or testimony.
(5) Agencies shall state in their transmittal letters to OMB any
information on congressional schedules or other special circumstances that may
require expedited clearance.
d. Number of copies. Agencies should furnish to OMB 10 copies of
proposed legislation and supporting materials and six copies of draft reports
or testimony. If wide circulation or expedited action is required, the
originating agency shall consult informally in advance with OMB staff on the
number of copies to be supplied. Similarly, agencies should furnish to OMB six
copies of their views letters on other agencies' proposed legislation, reports,
e. Submission of legislation authorizing the enactment of new budget
Section 607 of P.L. 93-344, the Congressional Budget Act of 1974,
requires year-ahead requests for authorizing the enactment of new budget
authority, as follows:
"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any request for the
enactment of legislation authorizing the enactment of new budget authority to
continue a program or activity for a fiscal year (beginning with the fiscal
year commencing October 1, 1976) shall be submitted to the Congress not later
than May 15 of the year preceding the year in which such fiscal year begins. In
the case of a request for the enactment of legislation authorizing the
enactment of new budget authority for a new program or activity which is to
continue for more than one fiscal year, such request shall be submitted for at
least the first 2 fiscal years."
Attachment B sets forth instructions, necessitated by section 607 of
P.L. 93-344, for the preparation and submission to Congress of legislative
proposals authorizing additional appropriations or providing new budget
authority outside of appropriation acts.
f. Items to be included in agency submissions.
(1) Agencies should identify proposed legislation submitted to OMB by
using the number assigned to the proposal in the agency's legislative program
submission; e.g., Agriculture, 96-12 (see Attachment A). Each legislative
proposal shall include a draft transmittal letter to the Speaker of the House
and the President of the Senate as well as background information and
justification, including where applicable:
(a) a section-by-section analysis of the provisions of the proposed
(b) comparison with existing law presented in "Ramseyer" or "Cordon"
rule form by underscoring proposed additions to existing law and bracketing the
text of proposed deletions (This need be done only when it would facilitate
understanding of the proposed legislation.);
(c) budgetary and personnel impacts as described in sections 6e(4)
and (5), including a statement of the relationship of these estimates to those
previously incorporated in the President's budgetary program. (Public Law
89-554, 5 U.S.C. 2953, requires in certain cases that agencies, in proposing
legislation and in submitting reports favoring legislation, provide estimates
of expenditures and personnel that would be needed. Public Law 91-510, sections
252(a) (2U.S.C. 190j) and 252(b) imposes similar requirements on congressional
(d) comparison with previous agency proposals or related bills
introduced in the Congress;
(e) an identification of other agencies that have an interest in the
(f) an indication of any consultation with other agencies in the
development of the proposal; and
(g) information required by statute or by Administration policies,
as, for example, that noted in section 7h below.
(2) Similarly, in their letters to OMB requesting advice on reports
or testimony, agencies should identify related bills and set forth any relevant
comments not included in the report or testimony itself. As indicated in
section 7f(1)(c), certain reports or testimony favoring legislation are
required by law to include budget and personnel estimates. Where such estimates
are not included in other reports or in testimony favoring or opposing
legislation, agencies should provide in their letters to OMB a statement of
budgetary and personnel impacts as described in sections 6e(4) and (5),
including a statement of the relationship of these estimates to those
previously incorporated in the President's budgetary program.
(3) In cases where legislation carries out a Presidential
recommendation, agencies should include in the proposed report or the letter
transmitting proposed legislation a statement identifying the recommendation
and indicating the degree to which the legislation concerned will carry it out.
g. Views letters. In views letters to OMB, an agency should indicate
whether it supports, opposes, or has no objection to all or part of a pending
bill or of another agency's proposed legislation, report, or testimony and
should state the reasons for its position. If an agency proposes changes to a
pending bill or to another agency's submission, its views letter should
recommend, insofar as practicable, specific substitute language.
h. Certain statutory and other requirements and Administration
policies. Agencies shall carefully consider and take into account certain
requirements of existing statutes and Executive orders and Administration
policies and directives that are of general applicability. Agency reports and
proposed legislation shall, to the maximum extent possible, contain or be
accompanied by appropriate recommendations, statements, or provisions to give
effect to such requirements, including but not limited to:
(1) Civil rights
(2) Environmental impact
(4) Federal budgetary impact and personnel requirements
Federal and non-federal paperwork requirements
(6) State and local
(7) Urban and community impact
i. Drafting service. Agencies need not submit for clearance bills
that they prepare as a drafting service for a congressional committee or a
Member of Congress, provided that they state in their transmittal letters that
the drafting service does not constitute a commitment with respect to the
position of the Administration or the agency. Agencies shall advise OMB of
these drafting service requests while the requests are being complied with, and
supply a copy of the request, if in writing. A copy of each such draft bill and
the accompanying letter should be furnished to OMB at the time of transmittal,
together with an explanatory statement of what the bill would accomplish if
that is not contained in the transmittal letter.
j. Use of "no comment" reports. Agencies should submit no comment
reports only when they have no interest in the pending legislation or nothing
to contribute by way of informed comment. Agencies should submit such reports
for clearance, unless a different procedure is informally arranged with OMB. In
either event, they should furnish OMB with one copy of each such report at the
time it is transmitted to Congress.
8. Clearance of agency proposed legislation
a. OMB action on agency submissions.
(1) OMB will undertake the necessary coordination with other
interested agencies of an agency's proposed legislation or report. If
congressional committees have not requested reports from all of the interested
agencies, OMB will request other agency views within specified time limits. OMB
will consult with the President, when appropriate, and undertake such staff
work for him as may be necessary in cooperation with other Presidential staff.
OMB may request the originating agency to provide additional information or may
call interagency meetings to exchange views, resolve differences of opinion, or
clarify the facts.
(2) When coordination is completed, OMB will transmit advice to the
appropriate agencies, either in writing or by telephone. In transmitting
advice, OMB may indicate considerations that agencies should or may wish to
take into account before submitting proposed legislation or reports to
b. Forms of OMB advice. The exact forms of OMB advice will vary to
suit the particular case. The basic forms of advice that are commonly used are
set forth and explained in Attachment C.
c. Agency action on receipt of advice from OMB.
(1) Agencies shall incorporate the advice received from OMB in their
reports and in their letters transmitting proposed legislation to Congress.
Advice on testimony is usually not included in the testimony as delivered
unless it would be likely to have a significant effect on a committee's
consideration of particular legislation or would not otherwise be available to
a committee through a written report.
(2) In the case of reports, receipt of advice contrary to views
expressed does not require an agency to change its views. In such cases,
however, the agency will review its position. If it decides to modify its
views, the agency shall consult with OMB to determine what change, if any, in
advice previously received is appropriate. If, after the review, the views of
the agency are not modified, it shall incorporate in its report the full advice
(3) In the case of proposed legislation, the originating agency shall
not submit to Congress any proposal that OMB has advised is in conflict with
the program of the President or has asked the agency to reconsider as a result
of the coordination process. In such cases, OMB will inform the agency of the
reasons for its action.
(4) Agencies are expected to transmit reports and proposed
legislation to Congress promptly after receiving OMB clearance. Should
circumstances arise that make prompt transmittal inadvisable, the agency shall
immediately notify OMB. Similarly, in the case of cleared testimony, the agency
shall immediately notify OMB if its testimony has been cancelled or
(5) Agencies should observe the instructions in House and Senate
rules to forward proposed legislation or various reports required by law to the
Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate. Reports that have been
requested by committee chairmen on bills and resolutions pending before their
committees should be transmitted directly to the requesting committees.
(6) Agencies shall furnish to OMB two copies of all proposed
legislation, transmittal letters and accompanying materials, and reports
(including testimony) in the form actually transmitted to the Congress. If
reports or testimony cover more than one bill, agencies shall furnish two
copies for each bill.
d. Agency action where prior clearance has not been effected.
(1) Agencies shall not submit to Congress proposed legislation that
has not been coordinated and cleared within the Executive branch in accordance
with this Circular.
(2) If congressional time schedules do not allow an agency to send
its proposed report to OMB in time for the normal clearance and advice, the
agency shall consult informally with OMB as to the advice to be included in the
proposed report. OMB may advise the agency to state in its report that time has
not permitted securing advice from OMB as to the relationship of the proposed
legislation to the program of the President. Agencies shall send to OMB six
copies of such reports at the same time that they are transmitted to Congress.
Where appropriate, OMB will subsequently furnish advice on the report, which
the agency shall transmit promptly to Congress.
(3) In cases where an agency has not submitted a report for clearance
and its views on pending legislation are to be expressed in the form of oral,
unwritten testimony, OMB will undertake such coordination and give such advice
as the circumstances permit. In presenting oral testimony, the agency should
indicate what advice, if any, has been received from OMB. If no advice has been
obtained, the agency should so indicate.
e. Reclearance requirements. The advice received from OMB generally
applies to all sessions of each Congress, but it does not carry over from one
Congress to the next. Generally, agencies do not need to seek reclearance of
reports on which they have already received advice before making the same
reports on identical bills introduced in the same Congress, unless considerable
time has elapsed or changed conditions indicate that the need for reclearance
is appropriate or should be rechecked. Prior to transmitting such reports,
however, agencies shall consult informally with appropriate OMB staff to
determine whether reclearance is necessary. In cases where reclearance does not
take place, agencies shall include in the subsequent report appropriate
reference to the advice received on the original report. They shall also send
one copy of any subsequent report to OMB at the same time that it is
transmitted to Congress. The transmittal letter to OMB should identify the
related report that was previously cleared.
9. Interagency Consultation. In
carrying out their legislative functions, agencies are encouraged to consult
with each other in order that all relevant interests and points of view may be
considered and accommodated, where appropriate, in the formulation of their
positions. Such consultation is particularly important in cases of overlapping
interest, and intensive efforts should be made to reach interagency agreement
before proposed legislation or reports are sent to OMB. In order that the
President may have the individual views of the responsible heads of the
agencies, however, proposed legislation or reports so coordinated shall be sent
to OMB by the individual agencies involved, with appropriate reference to the
interagency consultation that has taken place.
10. Enrolled Bills. Under the
Constitution, the President has 10 days (including holidays but excluding
Sundays) to act on enrolled bills after they are presented to him. To assure
that the President has the maximum possible time for consideration of enrolled
bills, agencies shall give them top priority.
a. Initial OMB action. OMB will obtain facsimiles of enrolled bills
from the Government Printing Office and immediately forward one facsimile to
each interested agency, requesting the agency's views and its recommendation
for Presidential action.
b. Agency action. Each agency receiving such a request shall
immediately prepare a letter presenting its views and deliver it in duplicate
to OMB not later than two days (including holidays but excluding Sundays) after
receipt of the facsimile. OMB may set different deadlines as dictated by
circumstances. Agencies shall deliver these letters by special messenger to
c. Preparation of enrolled bill letters.
(1) Agencies' letters on enrolled bills are transmitted to the
President and should be written so as to assist the President in reaching a
decision. Each letter should, therefore, be complete in itself and should not,
as a general rule, incorporate earlier reports by reference.
(2) Agencies' letters on enrolled bills are privileged
communications, and agencies shall be guided accordingly in determining their
(3) Because of the definitive nature of Presidential action on
enrolled bills, agency letters shall be signed by a Presidential appointee.
(4) Agencies' letters shall contain:
(a) an analysis of the significant features of the bill including
changes from existing law. OMB staff will advise the agencies on which one
should write the detailed analysis of the bill where more than one agency is
(b) a comparison of the bill with the Administration proposals, if
any, on the same subject;
(c) comments, criticisms, analyses of benefits and shortcomings, or
special considerations that will assist the President in reaching a decision;
(d) identification of any factors that make it necessary or desirable
for the President to act by a particular date;
(e) an estimate of the first-year and recurring costs or savings and
the relationship of the estimates to those previously incorporated in the
President's budgetary program;
(f) an estimate of the additional number of personnel required to
implement the bill; and
(g) a specific recommendation for approval or disapproval by the
(5) Agencies recommending disapproval shall submit with their letters
a proposed veto message or memorandum of disapproval, in quadruplicate,
prepared on legal-size paper and double-spaced. Such messages or memoranda
should be finished products in form and substance that can be used by the
President without further revision.
(6) Agencies may wish to recommend issuance of a signing statement by
the President. Agencies so recommending shall submit with their letters a draft
of such statement, in the same form and quantity as required for a proposed
veto message. In some cases, OMB may request an agency to prepare a draft
(7) Agencies' letters on private bills shall cite, where appropriate,
precedents that support the action they recommend or that need to be
distinguished from the action recommended.
d. Subsequent OMB action. OMB will transmit agencies' letters to the
President, together with a covering memorandum, not later than the fifth day
following receipt of the enrolled bill at the White House.
11. Agency legislative liaison
officers. To assist in effecting interagency coordination, each agency
shall furnish OMB with the name of a liaison officer who has been designated by
the agency to handle the coordination of legislative matters under this
Circular. From time to time, OMB will send agencies lists of the liaison
officers so designated. Agencies should promptly notify OMB of any change in
their liaison officers.
12. Communications to OMB.
a. Written agency communications to OMB transmitting proposed
legislation, proposed reports, views letters on other agencies' proposed
legislation or reports, and letters on enrolled bills should be addressed to:
Director, Office of Management and Budget
Director for Legislative Reference
The envelope containing such communications should be addressed:
Legislative Reference Division
Office of Management and
Room 7203, New Executive Office Building
unless a different arrangement is made with an appropriate OMB staff
b. Questions on status of proposed legislation, reports, testimony,
or enrolled bills should be directed to appropriate OMB staff or to the
Legislative Information Center (telephone 395-3230).
Circular No. A-19
INSTRUCTIONS RELATING TO THE PREPARATION OF 1. Agencies' proposed legislative programs should be
divided into two parts:
PART I -- PRESIDENT'S PROGRAM PROPOSALS
Those items that the agency believes are of sufficient importance
to be included in the President's legislative program and given specific
endorsement by him in one of the regular annual messages, such as the budget
message, or in a special message.
PART II -- ALL OTHER PROPOSALS
2. Within each Part, agencies should list the items in order of
relative priority. Each item of proposed legislation should be given a separate
number for purposes of ready identification, using a numbering system which
identifies the Congress; e.g., Agriculture, 96-12.
3. With respect to each item, agencies should provide the following
a. A brief description of the proposal, its objectives, and its
relationship to existing programs. Agencies should include greater detail on
the specific provisions of proposals included in Part I or where the subject
matter of the proposal contains new policies or programs or raises complex
b. Pertinent comments as to timing and readiness of draft
c. Pertinent references to bills and reports concerning the subject
of the proposal in current or recent sessions of Congress;
d. An estimate for each of the first five fiscal years of (1) any
budget authority and outlays that would be required, (2) any savings in budget
authority and outlays, (3) any changes in budget receipts, and (4) work years
of employment and numbers of personnel. These estimates-should be prepared in
accordance with the instructions in OMB Circular No. A-ll.
4. The lists of (a) legislative proposals still under consideration
in an agency and (b) expiring laws (see section 6 of the Circular) should be
presented separately from Parts I and II. The following special instructions
apply to them:
a. Items still under consideration should be listed in approximate
order of priority and each briefly described in terms of subject matter and
b. Each expiring law should be described in terms of (1) the
subject, (2) the citation, (3) the date of expiration, (4) the agency's views
as to whether the law should be extended or permitted to expire, and (5) other
pertinent information. If an agency recommends extension, the proposal should
also be included in Part I or Part II, as appropriate.
5. The legislative program submission should be prepared on
letter-size paper. General conformance to the format of the attached exhibit
will greatly facilitate the use of these programs.
EXHIBIT FOR ATTACHMENT A
DEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT
Circular No. A-l9
PROPOSED LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM FOR THE ______ SESSION
(Items in each Part are listed in order of priority)
PART I -- PRESIDENT'S PROGRAM PROPOSALS
96-3 Amend the provisions of the 1902 Reclamation Act
regarding acreage limitation, residency, leasing, excess
land sales, the use of Class 1 Equivalency, contracts and
contracting procedures, and certain administrative
procedures. This proposal would modify and update the
acreage limitation provisions of Federal Reclamation law
to reflect and accommodate modern agricultural practices,
but at the same time retain the basic concept of the
Reclamation program--providing opportunities for family
The Department has recommended that legislation amending
the law reflect the following: Eligibility to receive
project water would be limited to adults--18 years of age
or older; Residency as provided in the Reclamation Act of
1902, and defined as a maximum distance of 50 miles from
the land, would be reimposed on both lessors and lessees
of project lands, with specific guidelines for phasing in
the requirement; the acreage entitlement for which project
water would be available would be increased to 320 acres
owned per adult individual, with an additional allowance
of 160 acres leased, or the entire 480 acres could be
leased (family corporations and multiple ownerships could
hold up to 960 acres without regard to the number of
people in the arrangement); Class 1 equivalency would be
authorized for general use for projects with a frost-free
growing season of 180-days or less and would be applied on
a project-by-project basis; contracts with districts
containing provisions for exemption from acreage
limitation provisions upon payout of construction charges
would be approved; Sale of excess land by the owner to
immediate family members, long-time tenants, employees, or
adjoining neighbors would be permitted; Charitable and
religious organizations holding project lands on
January 1, 1978, would be exempt from acreage limitations.
Cost: The estimated cost to the government of administering this
proposal would be comparable to the estimated cost of
implementing the compliance program under regulations
which are being promulgated at this time. The estimated
cost of the compliance program for the 5-year period after
the final rules are published (not including EIS costs
prior to the final rules) is:
FY 1980 FY 1981 FY 1982 FY 1983 FY 1984
(millions) 2.4 2.4 2.0 2.0 2.0
Personnel requirements: Estimated personnel requirements are:
FY 1980 FY 1981 FY 1982 FY 1983 FY 1984
(work-years) 76 76 64 64 64
(personnel) 85 85 70 70 70
PART II -- ALL OTHER PROPOSALS
96-14 Amend Federal Power Commission Act of 1920. This proposal
would amend the Federal Power Commission Act of 1920 to
provide that a license will be issued only after the
Secretary administering affected public lands makes a
determination that the license will not interfere or be
inconsistent with the purposes for which such lands are
reserved. The Federal Power Commission has interpreted
Section 4(e) to require only consideration of the affected
The proposal would also amend the act to provide for
extinguishment of withdrawals created by the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) applications if the
FERC has not responded to the applicant within 6 months or
as of date of denial or expiration, surrender, revocation,
or termination of the license. Most applications do not
result in FPC licenses; yet the land is withdrawn. The
administrative process of removing the withdrawals is
cumbersome and time consuming and constrains the land
managing agency from fully managing these lands for their
resource values or from using these lands in exchanges.
Revocation of the FERC withdrawal within a specified time
period would be consistent with the provisions of Title II
of the Federal Lands Policy and Management-Act relating to
No additional appropriations or outlays would be required.
Circular No. A-19
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE PREPARATION AND 1. Legislative proposals providing authorizations to
continue programs or activities.
SUBMISSION TO CONGRESS OF
PROPOSALS AUTHORIZING THE ENACTMENT OF ADDITIONAL
APPROPRIATIONS OR PROVIDING NEW BUDGET
AUTHORITY OUTSIDE OF APPROPRIATION
Under section 607 of P.L. 93-344, the Congressional Budget Act of
1974, legislative proposals to extend authorizations scheduled to expire at the
end of a given fiscal year should be transmitted to Congress by May 15 of the
fiscal year preceding that fiscal year. (For example, if an authorization
expired on September 30, 1979, draft legislation to extend the authorization
should have been transmitted to Congress by May 15, 1978.) If such proposals
were not transmitted or were not enacted, new or revised proposals with
language covering the budget year (i.e., the upcoming fiscal year) should be
included in the same bill as proposals for the budget year plus one and
a. Proposals for agencies and programs that are customarily
authorized on an annual basis (e.g., NASA, NSF, State, Justice, Peace Corps,
military procurement and construction) should cover, in the same bill, proposed
language for the budget year plus one and resubmittals or revisions of
previously proposed authorizations for the budget year. Subsequent years should
also be included if agencies deem it desirable and feasible.
b. Other legislative proposals to extend authorizations for the
enactment of new budget authority expiring at the end of the budget year should
cover, in the same bill, the budget year plus one and such subsequent years as
is customary or deemed desirable for the particular program or activity
c. Any proposals that provide for authorizations for the budget
year or the current fiscal year should be submitted to Congress immediately
after OMB clearance.
2. Legislative proposals providing authorizations for new programs
a. Proposals authorizing enactment of budget authority for a new
program or activity should include at least two fiscal years, unless such new
program or activity is proposed to be effective for only one fiscal year and to
terminate at the end of that year.
b. Proposals that provide for authorizations to begin in the budget
year plus one should, to the extent feasible, be prepared for submission to
Congress no later than May 15 of the current fiscal year.
3. General instructions for legislation authorizing the enactment
of new budget authority.
a. In keeping with the intent of section 401 of P.L. 93-344,
proposals including contract authority or borrowing authority should provide
that such authority is to be effective only to such extent or in such amounts
as are provided in appropriation acts. Backdoor financing provisions may be
proposed only when the exceptions set forth in section 401(d) of P.L. 93-344
b. As a general rule, bills submitted to Congress authorizing new
budget authority for the current fiscal year or budget year will contain
specific dollar amounts for those years. These amounts should be those approved
for the Budget. For subsequent years, the bills should include "such sums as
may be necessary" authorizations unless the agency and OMB agree that special
circumstances warrant inclusion of specific amounts.
(1) Where specific amounts are included for years beyond the
budget year, those amounts should be consistent with the five-year projections
of budget authority printed in the Budget pursuant to P.L. 93-344. Such amounts
will be based on the criteria provided for long-range projections in OMB
Circular No. A-11.
(2) Authorizing legislation covering principally salaries and
administrative expenses which heretofore has been enacted without specific
dollar amounts may continue to be proposed for "such sums as may be necessary"
for all fiscal years, including the current and budget fiscal years.
c. Agencies should draft their authorizing bills to incorporate the
highest feasible level of aggregation for new budget authority.
4. Required materials.
a. Budget year authorization extensions. Proposed
legislation authorizing the continuation of existing programs in the budget
year should have been submitted to Congress not later than May 15 of the fiscal
year preceding the current fiscal year. In cases where Congress did not enact
budget year authorizations, new or revised authorizations should be submitted
to Congress at the earliest possible date after the budget is published.
Accordingly, each agency will submit to OMB no later than
December 15 of each year 10 copies of drafts of proposed authorizing
legislation to extend programs and activities that are authorized through the
current fiscal year, but for which it will be necessary to propose new or
revised authorizations for the budget year and subsequent years.
Since the specific amounts of the authorizations to be included
cannot be determined until after decisions are made in connection with the
budget, the draft bills are submitted to OMB should contain blank spaces for
these amounts. When the budget decisions are final, OMB and the agencies will
agree on the figures to be inserted.
b. Authorization extensions for the budget year plus one.
Proposed legislation authorizing the continuation of existing programs in the
budget year plus one must be submitted to Congress not later than May 15 of the
current fiscal year. To meet this deadline, sufficient time must be provided
for the legislative coordination and clearance process.
Accordingly, each agency will submit to OMB as early as possible
but no later than February 28 of each year 10 copies of legislative
proposals for programs and activities that are authorized through the budget
year, but for which an authorization request is necessary for the budget year
plus one and subsequent years.
These draft legislative proposals should include "such sums as may
be necessary" authorizations, unless the agency and OMB agree that special
circumstances warrant inclusion of specific amounts. These figures should be
the amounts agreed on as a result of the budget review and should be consistent
with the five-year projections included in the Budget.
c. Authorizations of new programs or activities. In cases
where decisions have been made during the budget review calling for authorizing
legislation for new programs or activities proposed to begin in the budget year
plus one, draft bills reflecting those decisions should be submitted to OMB no
later than February 28 of each year, as in paragraph 4b of this Attachment.
Circular No. A-19
BASIC FORMS OF OMB ADVICE The basic forms of advice
and their implications are set forth below:
1. "In accord (not in accord) with the program of the
President." When an agency or a committee of Congress is advised that
enactment of a bill would be in accord with the program of the President, the
advice means that the bill is of sufficient importance for the President to
give it his personal and public support. That identification of the legislative
proposal with the President is made in a variety of ways; e.g., by inclusion in
one of his regular messages (State of the Union, Economic, Budget), a special
message, speech, press conference, letter, or leadership meeting.
"Not in accord" advice indicates that a bill is so contrary to the
President's legislative proposals or other policies or is otherwise so
objectionable that should it be enacted in its current form, a veto would be
considered. It is not, however, necessarily a commitment to veto.
2. /b> "Consistent with" advice is used where the relationship of
a legislative proposal to the Administration's objectives is direct and the
Administration's expressed support is desirable, but the item does not warrant
personal identification with, or support by, the President. "Not consistent
with" advice signals to Congress that there are major objections to a bill, but
does not indicate as clearly as "not in accord" advice that a veto would be
considered if it were enacted.
3. "No objection from the standpoint of the Administration's
program." Advice that there is no objection to a bill from the standpoint
of the Administration's program is given on the large number of agency draft
bills that deal with matters primarily of agency concern and do not bear a
direct or immediate relationship to the President's program or the
Administration's objectives. In effect, such advice indicates to Congress that
OMB knows of no reason why the President would not approve the bill if Congress
should enact it.
Advice to an agency that there is no objection from the standpoint of
the Administration's program to its submission of a report (or testimony) on a
bill to a committee of Congress does not indicate any commitment as to ultimate
Presidential approval or disapproval of the bill if it is enacted.
Nevertheless, such "no objection" clearance does set up certain presumptions.
If all agencies' views are favorable, the presumption is that no major
objection to the bill is known and that the agencies affected will recommend
Presidential approval if it becomes enrolled. If all agencies' views are
adverse, the presumption is that the agencies may wish to recommend a veto if
the bill becomes enrolled.
Infrequently, "no objection" clearance is given to agency reports
expressing divergent views on the same bill. When this is done, it normally
means that there is no objection to the bill if Congress acts favorably after
considering the adverse views. Occasionally, it means that the Administration's
position is being reserved pending resolution of the agencies' differences, and
this reservation may be explicitly stated. The interested agencies are advised
of each other's differing views in these cases.
4. Qualified advice. In some cases the advice given is
qualified. For example, the advice may be that there would be no objection to
enactment of the bill from the standpoint of the Administration's program, or
that the bill would be consistent with the Administration's objectives, if it
were revised in specified respects.