Summary: S.2317 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.2317. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (03/04/1992)

Budget Process Reform Act - Title I: Statement of Congressional Purpose - Declares that the purpose of this Act is to facilitate rational, informed, and timely decisions by the Congress. Declares 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. Requires the budget law to fit a single page, which sets forth specific budget ceilings in major functional categories.

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 until a joint resolution on the budget is enacted.

Amends the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to prohibit baseline budgeting. Makes the starting point for any deliberations on the budget in committee the estimated level of outlays for the current period in each function and subfunction. Requires the budget to include comparisons of current fiscal year and proposed subsequent fiscal year spending.

Requires the President to submit to the Congress on or before the fifteenth day after a joint resolution on the budget is enacted a detailed budget for the fiscal period beginning on October 1 of the current calendar year.

Title III: Enforcement Mechanics - Subtitle A: Supermajority Required to Break Budget Law - Requires a two-thirds majority vote in the House and the Senate to consider any spending bill prior to the enactment of the budget law.

Requires the Congressional Budget Office to provide to the Congress an estimate of the costs in each major functional category of any spending bill as soon as practicable after its introduction. Limits such estimates to those bills likely to result in costs of more than $10,000,000. Requires a two-thirds affirmative vote in the House and the Senate to consider over-budget spending bills.

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 limit the President's rescission authority to spending that is above the limits of the budget law.

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." Requires fixed-dollar appropriations for every account except social security and interest on the debt. Prohibits open-ended appropriations. Requires Executive agencies to adjust benefit levels to ensure that appropriations for entitlement programs are not exceeded.

Restricts budget authority and entitlement authority to one fiscal period.

Subtitle D: "Pay As You Go" Requirement for New Spending - Prohibits the Congress from considering any legislation which authorizes, requires, or provides new direct spending or 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 and the Senate to waive such prohibition.

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.

Restricts legislation providing funding to the Committees on Appropriations.

Title V: Protection of Social Security - 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: Timetable - Revises the timetable for the congressional budget process.

Title VII: Conforming Amendments - 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 VIII: Definitions and Rules of Interpretation - Sets forth definitions for specified terms.

Title IX: Effective Date - Declares the effective date of this Act to be January 1, 1993, applicable to fiscal years beginning after September 30, 1993. Applies to FY 1993 certain provisions of Federal law, including the Congressional Budget Impoundment Control Act of 1974 and the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act).