Summary: H.R.5272 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.5272. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (05/27/1992)

Balanced Budget Enforcement Act of 1992 - Title I: Balancing the Budget - Part A: Purpose - Repeals provisions of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act) with respect to: (1) emergency powers to eliminate deficits in excess of the maximum deficit amount; (2) budgetary treatment of social security trust funds; and (3) miscellaneous and related provisions.

Declares the purpose of this Act to balance the budget by FY 1997 and each year thereafter.

Part B: The Deficit Elimination Act of 1992 - Deficit Elimination Act of 1992 - Establishes the amounts by which the deficits in the deficit reduction base shall be reduced by changes in law for FY 1993 through 1997. Declares that changes in law do not include the resulting debt service changes or any incidental changes in intragovernmental receipts of Federal trust funds.

Increases the basic deficit reduction requirements for FY 1996 and 1997 if the baseline assuming deficit reduction projects a deficit for either fiscal year.

Provides for preventing deficits starting with FY 1998, if the current policy baseline projects a deficit for the budget year after excluding any amounts resulting from the prior enactment of specific excesses.

Declares the shortfall in deficit reduction to be the amount by which the deficit reduction required for that year exceeds the deficit reduction achieved for that year.

States that the amount to be sequestered for any budget year is the amount of the shortfall in deficit reduction for that year (general sequestration). Requires: (1) one-half of the amount to be sequestered to be derived by the imposition of a surtax; (2) one-quarter to be derived from reductions in direct spending programs; and (3) one-quarter to be derived from reductions in discretionary programs. Requires additional sequestration based on outyear shortfall (any of the four fiscal years that follow the budget year).

Allows the enactment of a spin-off law, through the congressional budget process or any other means, for any budget year that separately specifies the proportions of deficit reduction required for that year (categorical sequestration) that is to be achieved from: (1) changes in direct spending law; (2) changes in receipts law; and (3) changes in outlays for discretionary programs. Requires such law to specify a cap on the amount of discretionary new budget authority that may be appropriated for the budget year. Sets forth formulae for determining amounts of sequestration in each category. Requires additional sequestration based on outyear shortfall.

Sets forth the method of sequestering direct spending programs. Provides that such sequestration will occur only if direct spending in the current policy baseline exceeds $250 million.

Provides for sequestration of revenues through a tax surcharge to reduce the deficit. Amends the Internal Revenue Code to impose such tax surcharge on individuals and corporations.

Sets forth the method of sequestering discretionary programs. Provides that such sequestration will occur only if discretionary new budget authority in the current policy baseline exceeds $250 million.

Requires within-session sequestration if any law is enacted containing provisions that would: (1) cause there to be a greater amount of direct spending or lower total receipts that allowed in the spin-off law, or a breach in the cap on discretionary new budget authority under the spin-off law; or (2) cause a shortfall in deficit reduction if no spin-off law has been enacted.

Lists the budget accounts or activities exempted from sequestration. Subjects Federal administrative expenses to sequestration orders, with specified exceptions. Grants the President the option to exempt military and civilian personnel.

Declares that automatic spending increases are increases in outlays due to changes in indexes in the National Wool Act and the special milk program. Exempts all amounts under such programs from any sequestration order other than the automatic spending increases.

Sets forth the method of making reductions for: (1) the guaranteed student loan program; (2) foster care and adoption assistance programs; (3) low-income entitlements; (4) Federal retirement and veteran programs; (5) the Medicare program; (6) Federal pay; (7) the child support enforcement program; (8) extended unemployment compensation; (9) the Commodity Credit Corporation; (10) the JOBS portion of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program (AFDC) under the Social Security Act; and (11) the Postal Service Fund.

Requires budgetary resources sequestered from any account other than an entitlement trust, special, or revolving fund account to revert to the Treasury and be permanently canceled.

Requires the same percentage sequestration to apply to all programs, projects, and activities within a budget account.

Requires administrative regulations or similar actions implementing a sequestration to be made within 120 days of the order.

Requires that obligations in sequestered direct spending accounts be reduced in the fiscal year in which a sequestration occurs and in all succeeding fiscal years.

Provides that if an automatic spending increase is sequestered, the increase that was disregarded shall not be taken into account in any subsequent fiscal year.

Requires sequestration in accounts for which obligations are indefinite to be taken in a manner to ensure that obligations in the fiscal year of a sequestration and succeeding fiscal years are reduced from the level that would actually have occurred, by the applicable sequestration percentage.

Establishes a scorecard for the recording of the estimated increase or decrease in deficit reduction for the current year, the budget year, and each fiscal year through 1997 due to enactment (after May 15, 1992) of any law, or the imposition of any sequestration, affecting the level of direct spending or the level of receipts. Treats deficit reduction as a positive and deficit increase as a negative on such scorecard. Divides the scorecard between changes in outlays for direct spending and changes in receipts.

Provides for scoring deficit reduction achieved in prior sessions.

Provides for determining deficit reduction achieved in the current session and for calculating savings in discretionary programs.

Sets forth assumptions to be used in calculating the baseline for the budget year and each outyear with respect to direct spending and receipts and discretionary programs.

Requires the deficit reduction base to be a current policy baseline for FY 1992 through 1997. Provides for determining direct spending and receipts for such base and sets forth the level of outlays for discretionary appropriations. Requires adjustments to the discretionary deficit reduction base for each budget year and each outyear through 1997 to reflect changes in budget accounting concepts, changes in inflation, and specific excesses.

Declares that a baseline assuming deficit reduction shall be a projection of current policy baseline deficits that is adjusted in aggregate by assuming compliance with basic deficit reduction requirements and excluding amounts designated as specific excess.

Sets forth the timetable for estimating assumptions and filing reports and orders by the President, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Board of Estimates (established by this Act). Requires the making of sequestration preview reports, sequestration update reports, within-session sequestration reports, and low-growth reports by CBO and OMB. Establishes the administrative procedures relative to such reports.

Establishes a Board of Estimates to choose the applicable report from OMB or CBO to submit to the President.

Establishes a deposit fund in the Treasury a Stabilization Reserve Fund to accumulate balances during years of comparative prosperity, which may later be used to cover the loss of receipts and the increase in outlays that occur during comparative economic distress. Requires annual surpluses to be paid into the Fund. Requires starting with FY 1997 that an additional $2 bilion be paid to the Fund. Prohibits Fund balances from receiving interest. Requires the enactment of a law to transfer balances to the General Fund of the Treasury.

Establishes congressional procedures in the event of a low-growth report or a declaration of war.

Provides judicial review procedures for provisions of this title.

Title II: Technical and Conforming Amendments - Makes technical and conforming amendments to the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Standing Rules of the Senate, and specified other laws.