Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate amended (08/25/1988)

(Reported to Senate from the Committee on Governmental Affairs with amendment, S. Rept. 100-499)

Biennial Budget Act of 1988 - Amends the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, including provisions of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, to revise the Federal and congressional budget processes by establishing a two-year budgeting and appropriations cycle and timetable, beginning in the 101st Congress. Defines the budget biennium as the two consecutive fiscal years beginning on October 1 of any odd-numbered year.

Devotes the first session of any Congress to the budget resolution and to appropriations decisions, retaining current deadlines in most cases, specifying the year as the odd-numbered year. Changes relevant deadlines as follows to conform the congressional budget process to the biennial scheme: (1) from April 1 to March 31 for the Senate Budget Committee's report on the concurrent resolution on the budget; (2) from June 15 to September 30 for completion of congressional action on reconciliation legislation; and (3) from June 30 to September 30 for completion of congressional action on appropriations bills. Devotes each second session to authorization activity, subject to deadlines of: (1) May 15 for the submission of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report to the Budget Committees; and (2) the last day of the session for completion of congressional action on bills and resolutions authorizing new budget authority for the next biennium.

Changes from January 15 to February 15 of each year the date by which the CBO Director must submit to the Congress a report on authorizations.

Applies current law with respect to each year in the biennium in connection with: (1) CBO duties; (2) committee allocations, including restrictions on points of order; (3) the requirement prohibiting consideration of legislation providing new budget authority, spending authority, or changes in revenues or of the public debt limit prior to agreement on the concurrent budget resolution; (4) revisions of budget resolutions; and (5) procedures for consideration of budget resolutions.

Requires the Director of the CBO to issue four-year projections of congressional budget action. (Current projections are on a five-year basis.)

Amends provisions relating to the reconciliation process to: (1) increase from 20 hours to 100 hours the time of debate permitted in the Senate with respect to reconciliation measures; and (2) make it out of order in both the House and the Senate to consider any reconciliation legislation changing any provision of law other than one relating to new budget or spending authority, revenues, or the amount of the public debt limit.

Conforms to the biennial budget framework provisions concerning: (1) agreement of new budget authority, new spending authority, and revenue legislation with appropriate levels specified in the concurrent budget resolution; and (2) parallel agreement in connection with legislation providing entitlement authority.

Revises the extent of projections to be included in CBO analyses of reported bills.

Amends Federal law to require the President's budget for the biennium beginning October 1, 1989, to be set forth in the same accounts as those set forth in the table titled "The Federal Program by Agency and Account" in the budget submitted for FY 1989. Requires the President to consult with committees having jurisdiction over programs affected by proposed changes before any changes may be made in the budget tables. (Current law requiring consultation with the Budget and Appropriations Committees remains unchanged.)

Conforms provisions governing the President's budget, including maximum deficit amount requirements, to the biennial framework.

Changes the due date for the President's report on estimated budget outlays and proposed budget authority, making the report due at the same time as the President's budget. Requires the Joint Economic Committee to submit its evaluation of these estimates by February 25 of each odd-numbered year. (The current annual deadline is March 1).

Amends Federal law to conform to the biennial framework provisions relating to: (1) year-ahead requests for authorizing legislation; (2) budget information on consulting services; and (3) the title and style of appropriations Acts.

Directs the heads of Federal executive agencies, upon proper request, as well as congressional agencies, to provide studies, analyses, reports, and other documentation concerning program administration to assist the standing committees of the House and of the Senate having jurisdiction over the programs in question.

Amends the Rules of the House of Representatives to conform to the biennial framework.

Makes appropriations to continue projects and activities provided for under any regular appropriations Act not enacted by the beginning of a budget period at a rate of operations not exceeding the rate provided for the project or activity in the preceding budget period. Makes these continuing appropriations available until the earlier of the day after the regular appropriation bill for the specific program or activity is enacted or the last day of the budget period.