DoD Appeals (Feb-Sep)
DAU GLOSSARY DEFINITION
A request for reconsideration of an action taken to adjust, reduce, or delete funding for an item during the congressional review of the defense budget (authorization and appropriation).
As the authorization and appropriations committees mark up the President’s Budget (PB) request, DoD tracks the mark-up and may submit appeals to these marks. Appeals may be made on the basis of committee changes to the dollars, quantities, manpower and/or language as originally requested in the PB. DoD appeals are transmitted under cover of a letter prepared by Under Secretary of Defense (USD) (Comptroller) and signed by the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF).
During this appeals process, DoD components are requested to provide candidate programs for incorporation into the SECDEF letter. Only the component's highest priority appeal candidates are generally submitted, and all material must be unclassified. While responsibility for consolidation and coordination of all appeal materials resides with the USD (Comptroller), all impacted offices are responsible to ensure materials submitted in support of appeal candidates remain up-to-date. Appeals are addressed to the chair of the next committee to take action on the budget request, or in the case of appeals to conferees, to the chairs of both the House and Senate committees - NOT to the chair of the committee that made the actual adjustment.
Nominally, the authorization and appropriations processes proceed in a relatively parallel fashion. Consequently, by agreement with Congress, DoD appeals marks made in one of those processes only within that process' chain. In other words, marks made by authorizers are only appealed to an authorizing committee or conference, while marks made by appropriators are only appealed to an appropriations committee or conference. When marks to budget amounts are appealed, the appeal will be to the amount that is closest to (but does not exceed) the PB request within the last two marks. If only one mark has been made, or if one or more marks exceed the PB request, then the appeal will be back to the amount of the PB request. Appeals to marks should consider the most recent floor action on the committee mark, since amendments may have changed the mark.
Assuming that the House committees have completed their mark-ups first (which is generally the case in Congressional matters that involve funding), the sequence of appeals is usually as follows:
In the Authorization Process:
- To Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC). This appeal is based on the actions of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), as modified by House floor action.
- To Authorization Conference. This appeal is based on the actions of both the HASC and SASC, as modified by House and Senate floor action.
In the Appropriations Process:
- To Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC). This appeal is based on the actions of the House Appropriations Committee (HAC), as modified by House floor action.
- To Appropriations Conference. This appeal is based on the actions of both the HAC and SAC, as modified by House and Senate floor action.