Reconciliation / Reconciliation Instruction (

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms


Reconciliation by Josefina de Vasconcellos at Coventry Cathedral
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ben Sutherland

Reconciliation: Process by which Congress changes existing laws to conform revenue and spending levels to the limits set in a budget resolution. Limited to twenty hours of debate in the Senate.

Reconciliation Instruction: A provision within a Budget Resolution directing committees to report legislation changing existing law. Such instructions are a precondition to the consideration of a reconciliation bill.


Amendment Would Require Reconciliation Instruction For Health Care Savings


The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 provides for a “reconciliation” procedure for bringing existing tax and spending laws into conformity with ceilings enacted in the congressional budget resolutions. Under the procedure, Congress instructs designated legislative committees to approve measures adjusting revenues and expenditures by a certain amount. The committees have a deadline by which they must report the legislation, but they have the discretion of deciding what changes are to be made. The recommendations of the various committees are consolidated without change by the budget committees into an omnibus reconciliation bill, which the must be considered and approved by both houses of Congress. The orders to congressional committees to report recommendations for reconciliation bills are called reconciliation instructions, and they are contained in the budget resolution.


Budget Reconciliation Recommendations to Repeal and Replace Obamacare


Also see







The Federal Budget Process 2E

The Federal Budget Process 2E

Pocket Constitution

Pocket Constitution

Citizen's Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials

Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates

Congressional Procedure

Congressional Procedure, from TheCapitol.Net

For more than 40 years, TheCapitol.Net and its predecessor, Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences, have been teaching professionals from government, military, business, and NGOs about the dynamics and operations of the legislative and executive branches and how to work with them.

Our custom on-site and online training, publications, and audio courses include congressional operations, legislative and budget process, communication and advocacy, media and public relations, testifying before Congress, research skills, legislative drafting, critical thinking and writing, and more.

TheCapitol.Net is on the GSA Schedule, MAS, for custom on-site and online training. GSA Contract GS02F0192X

TheCapitol.Net is now owned by the Sunwater Institute.

Teaching how Washington and Congress work ™

Select publications from TheCapitol.Net