Summary: S.627 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (07/29/2011)

Budget Control Act of 2011 - Title I: Ten-Year Discretionary Caps with Sequester - (Sec. 101) Amends the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act) to revise sequestration requirements for enforcement of discretionary spending limits (spending caps).

Requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to conduct such a sequestration to eliminate a budget year breach, if any.

Eliminates specific formula requirements for adjustments to discretionary spending limits for: (1) highways, (2) allowances for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), (3) specified allowances for international arrearages, (4) the earned income tax credit (EITC) compliance initiative, (5) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adoption incentive payments, and (6) conservation.

Requires the OMB sequestration report and the President's budget to include adjustments to discretionary spending limits for the fiscal year and each succeeding year for: (1) emergency appropriations or Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism, and (2) health care fraud and abuse control.

Establishes discretionary spending limits for FY2012-FY2021.

(Sec. 103) Requires discretionary preview and final sequestration reports to specify estimates for the current year and each subsequent year through 2021 of the applicable discretionary spending limits for each category and an explanation of any adjustments in such limits.

(Sec. 104) Repeals the expiration of (thus making permanent) the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act).

(Sec. 105) Amends the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 to allow the chairman of the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives or of the Senate to make appropriate budgetary adjustments of new budget authority and outlays in the same amount required by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act.

Prohibits the chair of the Committee on the Budget from counting the budgetary effects of a reported bill or joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that contains a provision (designated as an emergency requirement) providing new budget authority and outlays or reducing revenue, for purposes of the CBA and the Rules of the House of Representatives.

Makes it out of order in both chambers to consider any legislation or motion that would cause the discretionary spending limits to be exceeded.

Title II: Vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment - (Sec. 201) Requires the House and the Senate, respectively, after September 30, 2011, and by December 31, 2011, to vote on passage of a joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

(Sec. 202) Prescribes legislative procedures for consideration of such a joint resolution in both chambers.

Title III: Debt Ceiling Disapproval Process - (Sec. 301) Authorizes the President, by December 31, 2011, to certify to Congress that the public debt is within $100 billion of the $14.294 trillion public debt limit and that further borrowing is required to meet existing commitments. Authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to borrow an additional $900 billion, subject to the enactment of a joint resolution of disapproval.

Increases the public debt limit by $400 billion after such certification.

Increases the debt limit by an additional $500 billion if the time for disapproval has lapsed without enactment by Congress of such a joint resolution.

Prescribes similar procedures for the Secretary to borrow an additional $1.6 trillion if the amount of deficit reduction achieved pursuant to the enactment of the balance budget amendment resolution is greater than $1.6 trillion and the Archivist of the United States has submitted such resolution to the states for their ratification.

Increases the debt limit by such additional amount if the time for disapproval has lapsed without Congress enacting the joint resolution.

Prohibits the debt limit from being raised (except for the $400 billion increase) if, within 60 calendar days after Congress receives a presidential certification or within 15 calendar days after Congress receives such additional certification (regardless of whether Congress is in session), there is enacted into law a joint resolution disapproving the President's exercise of authority with respect to such additional amount.

Prescribes legislative procedures for expedited consideration of the joint resolution in both chambers.

Requires OMB, if Congress overrides a veto of the joint resolution, to immediately sequester pro rata amounts from all discretionary and direct spending accounts (as in effect September 30, 2006) equal to $400 billion.

Exempts from a sequestration reduction order: (1) payments for military personnel accounts (within subfunctional category 051), (2) TRICARE for Life, (3) Medicare (functional category 570), (4) military retirement, (5) Social Security (functional category 650), (6) veterans (functional category 700), and (7) net interest (functional category 900).

Title IV: Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction - (Sec. 401) Establishes the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction whose goal shall be to reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion or more over FY2012-FY2021.

Requires the joint committee to provide recommendations and legislative language that will significantly improve the short-term and long-term fiscal imbalance of the federal government.

(Sec. 402) Prescribes legislative procedures for consideration in both chambers of the Joint Committee's recommendations.

Makes such legislative procedures inapplicable to the Joint Committee's bill if: (1) the Committee fails to vote on the report or proposed legislative language by November 23, 2011; or (2) the bill does not pass both chambers by December 23, 2011.

(Sec. 403) Derives funding for the Joint Committee in equal portions from: (1) the applicable accounts of the House, and (2) the contingent fund of the Senate.

Title V: Pell Grant and Student Loan Program Changes - (Sec. 501) Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to increase appropriations for federal Pell Grants for FY2012-FY2013.

(Sec. 502) Makes certain graduate or professional students ineligible to receive a Federal Direct Stafford loan after July 1, 2012.

Limits the maximum annual amount of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loans such a student may borrow in any academic year or its equivalent.

(Sec. 503) Prohibits the Secretary of Education from authorizing or providing any repayment incentive not otherwise authorized to encourage on-time repayment of a loan for which the first disbursement of principal is made on or after July 1, 2012, including any reduction in the interest or origination fee rate paid by the borrower. Authorizes the Secretary to provide for an interest rate reduction for a borrower who agrees to have payments on such a loan automatically electronically debited from a bank account.

(Sec. 504) Makes inapplicable to these amendments certain requirements for delay in specified circumstances of the effective date of regulatory changes, as well as for regional meetings and negotiated rulemaking with regard to such changes.