H.R.4285 - Budget Process Reform Act104th Congress (1995-1996)
Summary: H.R.4285 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)
Introduced in House (09/28/1996)
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Title I: Statement of Congressional Purpose
Title II: Binding Budget Law
Title III: Enforcement of Budget Discipline
Subtitle A: Supermajority Required to Break Budget Law
Subtitle B: Line Item Reduction
Subtitle C: "Blank Check" Appropriations Prohibited
Subtitle D: "Pay-as-You-Go" Requirement for New
Subtitle E: "Lock-Box" for Savings From Spending
Title IV: Sustaining Mechanism
Title V: Protection of Social Security
Title VI: Technical Amendments to Federal Law to Carry Out
Title VII: Definitions and Rules of Interpretation
Budget Process Reform Act - Title I: Statement of Congressional Purpose - Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Federal budget process should focus the attention of policymakers and the public on the aggregate impact of Federal spending on the economy, and on the tradeoffs that must be made among priorities in order to control overall levels of spending. Declares that the budget process should contain safeguards against delay and inaction, so that temporary shut-downs of the Government may be avoided.
Title II: Binding Budget Law - Requires the Congress to enact a binding budget law, in the form of a joint resolution, by April 15 of the calendar year before that in which the fiscal period commences.
(Sec. 202) Makes it out of order in the House of Representatives or the Senate to consider any spending bill affecting spending in a major functional category unless and until a joint resolution on the budget is enacted.
Amends the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (CBA) to require a two-thirds majority vote in the House and the Senate to consider any spending bill prior to the enactment of the budget law. Repeals authority for consideration of spending bills prior to adoption of the budget resolution.
(Sec. 203) Prohibits baseline budgeting. Requires objective year- to-year comparisons under budget law, with the starting point for both Presidential and congressional budgets the levels of budget outlays for the current fiscal year.
(Sec. 204) Amends the CBA to establish a rainy day fund for natural disasters. Requires budget law to include a major functional category for natural disasters, under specified conditions.
(Sec. 205) Amends Federal law relating to the contents of the President's annual budget submission to the Congress to require the President to submit: (1) a budget of the U.S. Government for the following fiscal period on a single page, which sets forth specific budget ceilings in each major functional category, by the first Monday in February of each year before that in which a fiscal period commences; and (2) a detailed budget for that fiscal period, on or before the 15th day after a joint resolution on the budget for the following budget period is enacted.
Title III: Enforcement of Budget Discipline - Subtitle A: Supermajority Required to Break Budget Law - Amends CBA to require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to provide to the Congress an estimate of the costs in each major functional category of each spending bill before being voted on by the Senate or the House.
(Sec. 301) Requires a two-thirds affirmative vote in the House and the Senate to consider over-budget spending bills.
(Sec. 302) Requires a two-thirds affirmative vote in the House and the Senate to waive any provision of this Act.
Subtitle B: Limited Enhanced Rescission Authority - Amends the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 to authorize the President to exercise line-item reduction authority if the Congress exceeds the budget ceilings in the binding budget law or an automatic continuing resolution for a fiscal period. Declares that such authority shall permit the reduction of over-budget spending in a major functional category to the level established in the binding budget law or automatic continuing resolution.
Sets forth procedures for congressional introductions of line-item bills after the President transmits a special message to rescind an item of budget authority. Prohibits amendments to such bills.
Subtitle C: "Blank Check" Appropriations Prohibited - Declares the intent of the Congress to end open-ended, "blank check" appropriations which typically authorize spending "such sums as may be necessary."
(Sec. 306) Amends CBA to require fixed-dollar appropriations for every account except Social Security and interest on the debt. Prohibits open-ended appropriations.
(Sec. 307) Requires Executive agencies to adjust expenditures, including program eligibility requirements and benefit levels, to ensure that appropriations for entitlement programs are not exceeded.
(Sec. 308) Restricts budget authority and entitlement authority to one fiscal period.
Subtitle D: "Pay As You Go" Requirement for New Spending - Amends CBA to prohibit the Congress from considering any legislation which exceeds the budget ceiling unless it offsets such increased spending with an equal amount of reductions. Requires a two-thirds affirmative vote in the House or in the Senate to waive such prohibition.
Sets forth special rules in the case of legislation that exceeds a budget ceiling for the natural disaster functional category.
Repeals a CBA provision for an exemption in the House from pay-as- you-go rules.
Subtitle E: "Lock-Box" for Savings From Spending Reductions - Amends CBA to: (1) establish "lock-box" procedures to ensure budget savings from House and Senate amendments to appropriations bills result in actual spending cuts; (2) require Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports on such procedures; and (3) mandate reduction of spending allocations to House and Senate committees and subcommittees to meet "lock-box" levels.
Title IV: Sustaining Mechanism - Makes appropriations to provide for an automatic continuing resolution if for any account an appropriation for a fiscal period does not become law before the beginning of such period.
(Sec. 402) Provides for contingency regulations for automatic continuing resolutions. Grants each State the option of receiving an aggregate amount for the fiscal period for social safety net programs equal to the allocation to the State for such programs in the preceding fiscal period.
(Sec. 403) Restricts consideration of legislation providing budget or spending authority to only that reported by the Committees on Appropriations. Makes such restriction inapplicable in the case of Social Security benefits.
Title V: Protection of Social Security - Provides that nothing in this Act shall be construed to require or permit reductions in otherwise payable Social Security benefits.
(Sec. 502) Provides that no reduction in benefits under title II of the Social Security Act (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) shall be made as a consequence of this Act.
Title VI: Technical Amendments to Federal Law to Carry Out This Act - Makes various technical and conforming amendments, including changing references to a concurrent resolution on the budget to references to a joint resolution on the budget.
Title VII: Definitions and Rules of Interpretation - Sets forth definitions for specified terms.
Changes the definition of budget authority to exclude offsetting receipts.