H.R.4837 - Comprehensive Budget Process Reform Act of 1998105th Congress (1997-1998)
Summary: H.R.4837 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
Introduced in House (10/14/1998)
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Title I: Budget With Force of Law
Title II: Reserve Funds for Emergencies
Title III: Enforcement of Budgetary Decisions
Subtitle A: Application of Points of Order to
Subtitle B: Compliance with Budget Resolution
Subtitle C: Justification for Budget Act Waivers
Subtitle D: CBO Scoring of Conference Reports
Title IV: Accountability for Federal Spending
Subtitle A: Prohibitions on Indefinite Spending
Subtitle B: Enhanced Congressional Oversight
Subtitle C: Strengthened Accountability
Title V: Budgeting for Unfunded Liabilities and Other Long-
Subtitle A: Budgetary Treatment of Federal Insurance
Subtitle B: Reports on Long-Term Budgetary Trends
Title VI: Baselines, Byrd Rule, and Lock-Box
Subtitle A: The Baseline
Subtitle B: The Byrd Rule
Subtitle C: Spending Accountability Lock-Box
Subtitle D: Automatic Continuing Resolution
Title VII: Budgeting in an Era of Surpluses
Comprehensive Budget Process Reform Act of 1998 - Makes this Act effective for fiscal years beginning after September 30, 1999.
Title I: Budget With Force of Law - Amends the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (CBA) to require the Congress, by April 15 of each year, to complete action on a joint (currently, concurrent) resolution on the budget for the fiscal year beginning on October 1 of such year. Requires such resolution, in addition to items required under existing law, to set forth for the fiscal year and at least the four ensuing fiscal years: (1) subtotals of new budget authority and outlays for nondefense and defense discretionary spending, direct spending, and other subsets of such spending, if necessary; and (2) subtotals of new budget authority and outlays for emergencies for fiscal years to which the amendments made by title II of this Act apply.
Revises matters which may be included in the budget resolution. Authorizes the resolution to change the statutory limit on the public debt if the amendment is submitted by the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives or the Senate Finance Committee to the appropriate Budget Committee.
Revises required elements of the report accompanying the budget resolution. Includes within such report: (1) new budget authority and outlays for each major functional category based on allocations of total levels; (2) a measure, as a percentage of gross domestic product, of total outlays, total Federal revenues, the surplus or deficit, and new outlays for nondefense discretionary, defense, and direct spending; (3) a justification for allocating any new budget authority and outlays for any new program or activity to a committee for which such new authority and outlays would not be subject to discretionary appropriations; (4) a description of committee spending allocations; and (5) a justification for not subjecting any program or activity for which an allocation is made to an annual discretionary appropriation if the resolution includes any committee allocation (other than the Appropriations Committees) exceeding current law levels.
Amends Federal provisions concerning elements of the President's required budget submission to the Congress. Requires such submission to include, for the affected fiscal year and at least each of the four ensuing fiscal years: (1) totals of new budget authority and outlays; (2) total Federal revenues and the amount by which the aggregate level of revenues should be increased or decreased by reported bills and resolutions; (3) the budget surplus or deficit; (4) subtotals of new budget authority and outlays for nondefense and defense discretionary spending and direct spending and other subsets of such spending, if necessary; (5) the public debt limit; and (6) subtotals of new budget authority and outlays for emergencies for fiscal years to which title II of this Act applies.
Amends the CBA to provide a point of order against consideration of any budget resolution or related amendment or conference report that contains matter not specified in content requirements.
(Sec. 104) Removes an exception which allows general appropriations bills in the House, after May 15, to be considered before the budget resolution has been agreed to.
Applies a specified pay-as-you-go exception in the House to certain legislation that would not increase the deficit only after the date of enactment of the budget resolution (currently, April 15).
Requires a three-fifths majority in the Senate to waive or suspend provisions requiring the budget resolution to be adopted before budget-related legislation is considered.
Provides for expedited procedures upon presidential veto of the budget resolution. Authorizes the Budget Committees to introduce a concurrent or joint budget resolution upon such veto. Discharges such committees from further consideration of the resolution if such resolution is not reported within three days of referral. Deems any agreed-to concurrent resolution to be the budget resolution for the applicable fiscal years.
(Sec. 105) Excludes outlays and revenues of the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Program under the Social Security Act from surplus or deficit totals required by this Act or other specified Federal public finance provisions.
Bars receipts and disbursements of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors and Disability Insurance Trust Funds from being counted as new budget authority, outlays, receipts, or deficit or surplus for purposes of the President's budget submission, the congressional budget, or the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act).
Makes it out of order to consider legislation in the House that would provide for specified increases in OASDI benefits or decreases in OASDI taxes.
Title II: Reserve Funds for Emergencies - Repeals provisions of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act regarding: (1) discretionary spending limits and emergency appropriations; and (2) direct spending and emergency legislation.
Amends rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives to repeal a provision which prohibits a provision from being reported in appropriations legislation containing an emergency designation if such provision is not designated as an emergency, with specified exceptions.
(Sec. 206) Amends the CBA to require adjustments to be made only to allocations with respect to emergencies in amounts not to exceed those in reserve funds established by this Act.
Sets forth the amounts for discretionary budget authority, direct spending, and outlays to be contained in reserve funds for emergencies.
Directs the chairman of the Budget Committee, in the case of legislation that provides budget authority for any emergency, to make an adjustment only to the applicable allocation if the chairman certifies that such outlays or budget authority and the resulting outlays are for an emergency meeting the definition under this Act.
Sets forth procedures for the consideration of legislation that provides budget authority for an emergency exceeding the amount provided for in the budget resolution.
(Sec. 207) Requires committees, when reporting legislation that provides budget authority for any emergency, to identify all provisions that provide such authority and the resulting outlays in the accompanying report or joint explanatory statement of managers.
(Sec. 208) Includes: (1) up-to-date tabulations of amounts remaining in the reserve funds for emergencies in summary budget scorekeeping reports provided by the Budget Committees; and (2) the average annual enacted levels of discretionary and direct spending budget authority and the resulting outlays for emergencies for the five fiscal years preceding the fiscal year of the budget resolution in the report accompanying the resolution.
(Sec. 210) Makes it out of order to consider an amendment to a budget resolution which changes the amount of budget authority and outlays set forth for emergency reserve funds.
Permits limitations on the contents of the budget resolution and the point of order against changing the budget authority and outlays for emergency reserve funds to be waived or suspended only by a three-fifths majority in the Senate.
(Sec. 211) Makes the amendments of this title effective only after the enactment of legislation changing or extending for any fiscal year any of the discretionary spending limits set forth in the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act.
Title III: Enforcement of Budgetary Decisions - Subtitle A: Application of Points of Order to Unreported Legislation - Applies a certain point of order against the consideration of unreported legislation in the House before the adoption of the budget resolution.
Subtitle B: Compliance with Budget Resolution - Amends rule XIII of the Rules of the House to require committee reports to include a budget compliance statement prepared by the chairman of the Budget Committee.
Subtitle C: Justification for Budget Act Waivers - Amends rule XI of the Rules of the House to provide a point of order against consideration of any resolution from the Committee on Rules to consider any reported legislation which waives specified provisions of the CBA unless the report contains certain information on the provision proposed for waiver.
Subtitle D: CBO Scoring of Conference Reports - Amends the CBA to provide for Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis and scoring of conference reports. Requires such analysis to include, for reported legislation and conference reports, a determination of whether the measure provides indefinite spending authority.
Title IV: Accountability for Federal Spending - Subtitle A: Prohibitions on Indefinite Spending - Provides a point of order in the House and the Senate against consideration of legislation that provides direct spending for a new program unless such spending is limited to a period of ten or fewer fiscal years. Removes provisions regarding points of order and legislation providing new entitlement authority.
Amends rule XXI of the Rules of the House to make it out of order to consider any legislation that authorizes the appropriation of new budget authority unless such authorization is specifically provided for ten or fewer fiscal years.
Amends rule XXIII of the Rules of the House to provide that, in the Committee of the Whole, an amendment to subject a new program providing direct spending to discretionary appropriations if offered by the chairman of the Budget or Appropriations Committees may be precluded from consideration only by the specific terms of a special House order.
Declares that the purpose of such amendment is to hold the discretionary spending limits and allocations made to the Appropriations Committee harmless for legislation that offsets a new discretionary program with a designated reduction in direct spending.
Amends the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act to require, if a provision of direct spending legislation is enacted that decreases direct spending for any fiscal year and is designated as an offset and specifically identifies an authorization of discretionary appropriations for a new program, the reductions in new budget authority and outlays resulting from such provision to be designated as an offset in specified CBO pay-as-you-go estimates. Excludes such offsets from such estimates.
Requires, if an authorization Act includes provisions reducing direct spending and identifies those provisions as offsets, the adjustments to be an increase in the budget authority and outlay caps in each fiscal year equal to such authority and reductions, respectively, achieved by the specified offsets. Prohibits the adjustments for the first fiscal year in which the offsetting provisions take effect from exceeding the amount of discretionary new budget authority enacted for the new program in an Act making discretionary appropriations and the resulting outlays.
Provides for: (1) adjustments to discretionary spending limits, allocations, and budgetary allocations resulting from programs for which offsets were designated and resulting outlays; and (2) reductions of committee allocations of new budget authority and outlays with respect to reported legislation containing provisions that decrease direct spending and are designated as offsets.
Subtitle B: Enhanced Congressional Oversight Responsibilities - Amends rule X of the Rules of the House to require House committees, in developing oversight plans, to provide a specific timetable for review of laws, programs, or agencies within their jurisdiction and require such timetable to demonstrate that such laws, programs, or agencies will be reauthorized at least once every ten years.
Removes a provision of such rule pertaining to procedures for consideration of legislation providing new entitlement authority which exceeds the appropriate allocation of budget authority.
Requires the House Appropriations Committee to report at least once each Congress (currently, from time to time) on recommendations for terminating or modifying provisions of law which provide permanent budget authority.
(Sec. 422) Amends the CBA to require the joint explanatory statement accompanying a conference report on a joint budget resolution that includes an allocation to a committee (other than the Appropriations Committee) of levels exceeding current law levels to set forth a justification for not subjecting any program to annual discretionary appropriations. Makes conforming amendments to provisions regarding the presidential budget submission and to House rules regarding committee consideration of legislation.
(Sec. 424) Requires the Budget Committees, during the 106th Congress, to report results of a study on budget reform proposals.
Subtitle C: Strengthened Accountability - Requires certain reports on legislation providing new budget authority or increases or decreases in revenues or tax expenditures to include CBO projections of how such legislation will affect levels of budget authority, outlays, revenue, or tax expenditures for the affected fiscal year and the ensuing nine (currently, four) fiscal years. Provides for ten-year (currently, four) CBO cost estimates of reported legislation as well.
Amends rule XIII of the Rules of the House to require committee reports to contain cost estimates for each of 11 fiscal years.
(Sec. 432) Repeals rule XLIX (relating to the establishment of the statutory limit on the public debt) of the Rules of the House.
Title V: Budgeting for Unfunded Liabilities and Other Long-Term Obligations - Subtitle A: Budgetary Treatment of Federal Insurance Programs - Amends the CBA to establish a new title known as the Federal Insurance Budgeting Act of 1998.
Requires the President's budget, beginning with FY 2005, to be based on the risk-assumed cost of Federal insurance programs. Defines "risk-assumed cost" as the net present value of the estimated cash flows to and from the Government resulting from an insurance commitment or modification.
Requires the program accounts for such programs to pay: (1) the risk-assumed cost borne by the taxpayer to the financing account; and (2) actual insurance program administrative costs. Requires the financing accounts to: (1) receive premiums and other income; (2) pay all claims for insurance and receive all recoveries; and (3) transfer to the program account at least annually amounts necessary to pay administrative costs. Provides that a negative risk-assumed cost shall be transferred from the financing to the program account and from the program account as a nonexpenditure transfer to the general fund. Requires all payments by or receipts of the financing accounts to be treated in the budget as a means of financing.
Permits insurance commitments to be made for FY 2005 and thereafter only to the extent that new budget authority to cover the risk-assumed cost is provided in advance in an appropriations Act. Prohibits modification of an outstanding commitment in a manner that increases the risk-assumed cost unless budget authority for the additional cost has been provided in advance. Makes such requirements inapplicable to insurance programs that constitute entitlements.
Provides for re-estimations of risk-assumed cost in each subsequent year.
Requires agencies with responsibility for Federal insurance programs to develop models to estimate risk-assumed cost by year through the budget horizon and to submit such models, all relevant data, justifications for critical assumptions, and annual projected risk-assumed costs to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with budget requests each year starting with the request for FY 2001.
Directs OMB and CBO, after a comment period for interested persons, to revise the models, data, and major assumptions they would use to estimate the risk-assumed cost of Federal insurance programs.
Requires the President's budget submissions and budgets and CBO's reports on the economic and budget outlook for FY 2002 through 2004 to estimate, for display purposes only, the risk-assumed cost of existing or proposed Federal insurance programs.
Requires OMB, CBO, and the General Accounting Office to report to the Budget Committees on the advisability and appropriate implementation of this section.
Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999 through 2004 to OMB and each agency responsible for administering a Federal program to carry out this title.
Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to borrow from, receive from, lend to, or pay the insurance financing accounts appropriate amounts.
Establishes a financing account for each Federal insurance program on September 30, 2004. Appropriates to such accounts the amount of the unfunded risk-assumed cost of outstanding Federal insurance commitments as of the close of September 30, 2004.
Terminates this section on the last day of FY 2006.
Subtitle B: Reports on Long-Term Budgetary Trends - Requires the President's budget submission to include: (1) an analysis based upon current law and one based upon the policy assumptions underlying the submission for every fifth year of the period of the 75 fiscal years beginning with the affected fiscal year of the estimated levels of total new budget authority, outlays, estimated revenues, surpluses, and deficits and, for each major Federal entitlement program, estimated levels of total new budget authority and outlays; and (2) a specification of underlying assumptions and a sensitivity analysis of factors that have a significant effect on the projections made in each analysis and a comparison of the effects of the two analyses on the economy. Establishes a conforming requirement for CBO's annual report to the Budget Committees on fiscal policy.
Title VI: Baselines, Byrd Rule, and Lock-Box - Subtitle A: The Baseline - Revises required elements of the President's budget submission to include percentage changes between the current year and the fiscal year for which the budget is submitted for: (1) estimated expenditures and appropriations which are necessary to support the Government, with an exception for detailed budget estimates; (2) laws in effect when the budget is submitted and proposals in the budget to increase revenues as well as for each of the four ensuing fiscal years; and (3) certain proposed appropriations and expenditures for legislation that would establish or expand Government activities or functions, with an exception for detailed budget estimates.
Includes within the submission: (1) a comparison of levels of estimated expenditures and proposed appropriations for each function and subfunction in the current fiscal year and the fiscal year for which the budget is submitted, along with the proposed increase or decrease of spending in percentage terms for each function and subfunction; and (2) a table on sources of growth in total direct spending under current law and as proposed in the submission for the budget year and the ensuing four fiscal years.
(Sec. 612) Amends the CBA to require the report accompanying the budget resolution to include a comparison of levels for the current fiscal year with proposed spending and revenue levels for subsequent fiscal years along with the proposed increase or decrease of spending in percentage terms for each function.
(Sec. 613) Includes similar requirements in certain CBO reports.
(Sec. 614) Requires the OMB and CBO Directors, in making budgetary projections for years for which there are no discretionary spending limits, to assume discretionary spending levels at the levels for the last fiscal year for which such levels were in effect.
Subtitle B: The Byrd Rule - Removes the applicability of certain procedures with respect to extraneous matter in reconciliation legislation to conference reports.
Subtitle C: Spending Accountability Lock-box - Spending Accountability Lock-box Act of 1998 - Directs the chairmen of the Budget Committees to each maintain a Spending Accountability Lock-box Ledger, to be divided into entries corresponding to the subcommittees of the Appropriations Committees. Requires each entry to consist of three components: (1) the House Lock-box Balance; (2) the Senate Lock-box Balance; and (3) the Joint House-Senate Lock-box Balance.
Authorizes Members of the House or the Senate, when offering an amendment to an appropriation bill to reduce new budget authority in any account, to state the portion of such reduction to be: (1) credited to the House or Senate Lock-box Balance; (2) used to offset an increase in new budget authority in any other account; or (3) allowed to remain within the Appropriations Committees' subcommittee suballocation. Credits the amount of the reduction to either Lock-box Balance, as applicable, if the amendment is agreed to and no such statement is made.
Requires the Budget Committee chairmen, upon the engrossment of any appropriation bill by the House and upon the engrossment of that bill by the Senate, to credit to the applicable entry balance of that House amounts of new budget authority and outlays equal to the net amounts of reductions in new budget authority and in outlays resulting from amendments agreed to by that House to that bill. Specifies the amounts to be credited to the Joint House-Senate Lock-box Balance.
Requires a running tally to be available to Members of the House, during the consideration of any appropriations bill by the House, of the amendments adopted reflecting increases and decreases of budget authority in such bill as reported.
(Sec. 633) Provides for the downward adjustment, by the amounts credited to the applicable Joint House-Senate Lock-box Balance, of: (1) allocations for the House and Senate upon the engrossment of Senate amendments to any appropriation bill; and (2) suballocations, whenever a such a downward adjustment is made to an allocation.
(Sec. 634) Requires the CBO Director to include an up-to-date tabulation of the amounts contained in the Deficit Reduction Lock-box Ledger and each entry in periodic reports.
Requires the downward adjustment of discretionary spending limits set forth in the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act by amounts set forth in the final regular appropriation bill for the fiscal year or joint resolution making continuing appropriations through the end of such fiscal year.
Subtitle D: Automatic Continuing Resolution - Amends Federal law to make appropriations, if any regular appropriation bill for a fiscal year does not become law prior to the beginning of such year or a continuing appropriations resolution is not in effect, to continue any project or activity for which funds were provided in the preceding year: (1) in the corresponding regular appropriations Act for that year; or (2) in a continuing appropriations resolution for such year if the regular bill did not become law.
Makes such appropriations available: (1) at a rate of operations not to exceed the rate provided for the project in the preceding fiscal year; and (2) beginning with the first day of a lapse in appropriations and ending on the earlier of the date the regular appropriation bill, or continuing resolution, becomes law or the last day of the fiscal year. Subjects such appropriations to any conditions imposed in the preceding fiscal year or pursuant to current law.
Provides that nothing in this section shall be construed to affect Government obligations mandated by other law, including obligations with respect to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Title VII: Budgeting in an Era of Surpluses - Amends the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act to revise the purpose of pay-as-you-go provisions to declare such purpose to be to assure that direct spending or receipts legislation does not increase the deficit or exceed the on-budget surplus.
Reduces the amount of any sequestration for the budget year by any OMB estimate of excess receipts over outlays. Excludes outlays and receipts of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors and Disability Insurance Trust Funds, or any off-budget entity from such estimates.
Defines a net deficit, for purposes of sequestration provisions, as the amount by which decreases in revenues plus increases in outlays exceed increases in revenues plus decreases in outlays.
Includes within sequestration preview reports the estimated excess of receipts over outlays, if any, with specified assumptions and without taking into account the effect of direct spending and receipts legislation enacted after this Act. Requires actual levels of enacted discretionary spending limits to be used in the final pay-as-you-go report regarding information on excess receipts.