|Long title||An Act to establish a new congressional budget process; to establish Committees on the Budget in each House; to establish a Congressional Budget Office; to establish a procedure providing congressional control over the impoundment of funds by the executive branch; and for other purposes.|
|Enacted by||the 93rd United States Congress|
|Effective||July 12, 1974|
|Statutes at Large||88 Stat. 297|
|Titles amended||2 U.S.C.: Congress|
|Budget Control Act of 2011|
|United States Supreme Court cases|
The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (Pub.L. 93–344, 88 Stat. 297, 2 U.S.C. §§ 601 – 688) is a United States federal law that governs the role of the Congress in the United States budget process.
Titles I through IX of the law are also known as the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Title II created the Congressional Budget Office. Title III governs the procedures by which Congress annually adopts a budget resolution, a concurrent resolution that is not signed by the President, which sets fiscal policy for the Congress. This budget resolution sets limits on revenues and spending that may be enforced in Congress through procedural objections called points of order. The budget resolution can also specify that a budget reconciliation bill be written, which the Congress will then consider under expedited procedures.
The act has been amended several times, including provisions in the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The original 1974 legislation, however, remains the basic blueprint for budget procedures today.
The limitation on debate that prevents a budget reconciliation bill from being filibustered in the Senate (requiring a three-fifths vote to end debate) led to frequent attempts to attach amendments unrelated to the budget to the reconciliation bills. In response, the budget reconciliation acts of 1985, 1986, and 1990 adopted the "Byrd Rule" (Section 313 of the Budget Act).The Byrd Rule allows Senators to raise points of order (which can be waived by a three-fifths majority of Senators ) against provisions in the reconciliation bills that are "extraneous".
Provisions are considered extraneous if they:
Since the reconciliation bill may cover as many as ten years, the fifth provision can have the effect of requiring that any tax cut or spending increase be approved by a three-fifths majority, or else the law must return to its previous state after ten years. This is responsible for the use of sunset clauses in several recent budget acts, when proposed tax cuts commanded majority support but not the necessary three-fifths majority to suspend the Byrd Rule. For example, many of the provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 would have expired as soon as fiscal year 2010 if not extended. The provisions that were to expire included the $1000 per child tax credit, the 10% income tax bracket for low-income workers, and the deduction for state and local sales taxes paid. The expiration dates in those Acts were inserted in order to avoid Byrd Rule points of order. Provisions against which a Byrd Rule point of order is sustained are colloquially referred to as "Byrd droppings".[ citation needed ]
Title X of the Act, also known as the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, specifies that the President may request that Congress rescind appropriated funds. If both the Senate and the House of Representatives have not approved a rescission proposal (by passing legislation) within 45 days of continuous session, any funds being withheld must be made available for obligation. Congress is not required to vote on the request, and has ignored most Presidential requests. [ who? ] have called for a line item veto to strengthen the rescission power and force Congress to vote on the disputed funds.In response, some
The Act was passed because Congressional representatives thought that President Nixon had abused his power of impoundment by withholding funds for programs he opposed. The Act, especially after Train v. City of New York (1975), effectively removed the presidential power of impoundment.
Violations of the Act are occasionally recognized and documented by the U. S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) after Congressional representatives request an investigation. In 2011 GAO found that a White House office had violated a budget law that forbade use of a particular budget for partnerships with Chinese representatives. The amount of money was small but a mandate from Congress was violated.
In late November 2019, the Impoundment Control Act made news during the Trump impeachment investigation, as two budget office staffers resigned over their concerns over apparent improprieties regarding the hold of approved Ukraine military funds. Among the concerns was the questionable transfer of decision-making authority to Michael Duffey, a political appointee.Further emails released showed that Acting Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Elaine McCusker emailed the White House Office of Management and Budget expressing her concerns beginning in July 2019 that the White House withholding fund from Ukraine could be violating the Impoundment Control Act.
On 16 January 2020, the GAO issued a decision on the "Matter of: Office of Management and Budget- Withholding of Ukraine Security Assistance." The GAO report found that, "In the summer of 2019, OMB withheld from obligation approximately $214 million appropriated to DOD for security assistance to Ukraine. (...) OMB withheld amounts by issuing a series of nine apportionment schedules with footnotes that made all unobligated balances for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) unavailable for obligation. (...) Pursuant to our role under the ICA, we are issuing this decision. (...) we conclude that OMB withheld the funds from obligation for an unauthorized reason in violation of the ICA.1 See 2 U.S.C. § 684. We also question actions regarding funds appropriated to the Department of State (State) for security assistance to Ukraine."The Center for Public Integrity found that, "OMB’s actions did not comply with any of the exceptions to the law’s demand that a president carry out congressional spending orders, the GAO said in its nine-page report. 'OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted,' the report states. 'Therefore we conclude that OMB violated' the act."
The national debt of the United States is the total debt, or unpaid borrowed funds, carried by the federal government of the United States, which is measured as the face value of the currently outstanding Treasury securities that have been issued by the Treasury and other federal government agencies. The terms "national deficit" and "national surplus" usually refer to the federal government budget balance from year to year, not the cumulative amount of debt. A deficit year increases the debt, while a surplus year decreases the debt as more money is received than spent.
The United States budget process is the framework used by Congress and the President of the United States to formulate and create the United States federal budget. The process was established by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, and additional budget legislation.
The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 was a major piece of tax legislation passed by the 107th United States Congress and signed by President George W. Bush. It is also known by its abbreviation EGTRRA, and is often referred to as one of the two "Bush tax cuts".
In public policy, a sunset provision or sunset clause is a measure within a statute, regulation or other law that provides that the law shall cease to have effect after a specific date, unless further legislative action is taken to extend the law. Most laws do not have sunset clauses and therefore remain in force indefinitely, except under systems in which desuetude applies.
Impoundment is an act by a President of the United States of not spending money that has been appropriated by the U.S. Congress. Thomas Jefferson was the first president to exercise the power of impoundment in 1801. The power was available to all presidents up to and including Richard Nixon, and was regarded as a power inherent to the office. The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 was passed in response to perceived abuse of the power under President Nixon. Title X of the Act removed that power, and Train v. City of New York, closed potential loopholes in the 1974 Act. The president's ability to indefinitely reject congressionally approved spending was thus removed.
Reconciliation is a legislative process of the United States Congress that expedites the passage of certain budgetary legislation in the United States Senate. The Senate filibuster effectively requires a 60-vote super-majority for the passage of most legislation in the Senate, but reconciliation provides a process to prevent the use of the filibuster and thereby allow the passage of a bill with simple majority support in the Senate. The reconciliation procedure also exists in the United States House of Representatives, but reconciliation has had a less significant impact on that body.
PAYGO is the practice in the United States of financing expenditures with funds that are currently available rather than borrowed.
The Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 (BEA) was enacted by the United States Congress as title XIII of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, to enforce the deficit reduction accomplished by that law by revising the federal budget control procedures originally enacted by the Gramm–Rudman–Hollings Balanced Budget Act. The BEA created two new budget control processes: a set of caps on annually-appropriated discretionary spending, and a "pay-as-you-go" or "PAYGO" process for entitlements and taxes.
The United States federal budget comprises the spending and revenues of the U.S. federal government. The budget is the financial representation of the priorities of the government, reflecting historical debates and competing economic philosophies. The government primarily spends on healthcare, retirement, and defense programs. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office provides extensive analysis of the budget and its economic effects. It has reported that large budget deficits over the next 30 years are projected to drive federal debt held by the public to unprecedented levels—from 98 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 to 195 percent by 2050.
The Antideficiency Act (ADA) is legislation enacted by the United States Congress to prevent the incurring of obligations or the making of expenditures (outlays) in excess of amounts available in appropriations or funds. The law was initially enacted in 1884, with major amendments occurring in 1950 and 1982. It is now codified at 31 U.S.C. § 1341. The Act is also known as Section 3679 of the Revised Statutes, as amended.
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 is an Act of Congress that requires the full disclosure to the public of all entities or organizations receiving federal funds beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2007. The website USAspending.gov opened in December 2007 as a result of the act, and is maintained by the Office of Management and Budget. The Congressional Budget Office estimates S. 2590 will cost $15 million over its authorized time period of 2007–2011.
In the United States Congress, a budget resolution is part of the United States budget process. It is in the form of a concurrent resolution passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate but is not presented to the President and does not have the force of law. It sets out the congressional budget.
The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 was landmark legislation that established the framework for the modern federal budget. The act was approved by President Warren G. Harding to provide a national budget system and an independent audit of government accounts. The official title of this act is "The General Accounting Act of 1921", but is frequently referred to as "the budget act", or "the Budget and Accounting Act". This act meant that for the first time, the president would be required to submit an annual budget for the entire federal government to Congress. The object of the budget bill was to consolidate the spending agencies in both the executive and legislative branches of the government.
Baseline budgeting is an accounting method the United States Federal Government uses to develop a budget for future years. Baseline budgeting uses current spending levels as the "baseline" for establishing future funding requirements and assumes future budgets will equal the current budget times the inflation rate times the population growth rate. Twice a year—generally in January and August—CBO prepares baseline projections of federal revenues, outlays, and the surplus or deficit. Those projections are designed to show what would happen if current budgetary policies were continued as is—that is, they serve as a benchmark for assessing possible changes in policy. They are not forecasts of actual budget outcomes, since the Congress will undoubtedly enact legislation that will change revenues and outlays. Similarly, they are not intended to represent the appropriate or desirable levels of federal taxes and spending.
Filibuster is a tactic used in the United States Senate to prevent a measure from being brought to a vote by means of obstruction. The most common form occurs when one or more senators attempt to delay or block a vote on a bill by extending debate on the measure. The Senate rules permit a senator, or a series of senators, to speak for as long as they wish, and on any topic they choose, unless "three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn" vote to bring the debate to a close by invoking cloture under Senate Rule XXII.
The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 is a law that was enacted by the 111th United States Congress, by means of the reconciliation process, in order to amend the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law includes the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which was attached as a rider.
The United States debt ceiling or debt limit is a legislative limit on the amount of national debt that can be incurred by the U.S. Treasury, thus limiting how much money the federal government may borrow. The debt ceiling is an aggregate figure that applies to the gross debt, which includes debt in the hands of the public and in intra-government accounts. About 0.5% of debt is not covered by the ceiling. Because expenditures are authorized by separate legislation, the debt ceiling does not directly limit government deficits. In effect, it can only restrain the Treasury from paying for expenditures and other financial obligations after the limit has been reached, but which have already been approved and appropriated.
Budget sequestration is a provision of United States law that causes an across-the-board reduction in certain kinds of spending included in the federal budget. Sequestration involves setting a hard cap on the amount of government spending within broadly defined categories; if Congress enacts annual appropriations legislation that exceeds these caps, an across-the-board spending cut is automatically imposed on these categories, affecting all departments and programs by an equal percentage. The amount exceeding the budget limit is held back by the Treasury and not transferred to the agencies specified in the appropriation bills. The word sequestration was derived from a legal term referring to the seizing of property by an agent of the court, to prevent destruction or harm, while any dispute over said property is resolved in court.
The budget sequestration in 2013 refers to the automatic spending cuts to United States federal government spending in particular categories of outlays that were initially set to begin on January 1, 2013, as a fiscal policy as a result of Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), and were postponed by two months by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 until March 1 when this law went into effect.
The 2015 United States federal budget was the federal budget for fiscal year 2015, which runs from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015. The budget takes the form of a budget resolution which must be agreed to by both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate in order to become final, but never receives the signature or veto of the President of the United States and does not become law. Until both the House and the Senate pass the same concurrent resolution, no final budget exists. Actual U.S. federal government spending will occur through later appropriations legislation that would be signed into law.
In the summer of 2019, OMB withheld from obligation approximately $214 million appropriated to DOD for security assistance to Ukraine. See Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2019, Pub. L. No. 115-245, div. A, title IX, § 9013, 132 Stat. 2981, 3044–45 (Sept. 28, 2018). OMB withheld amounts by issuing a series of nine apportionment schedules with footnotes that made all unobligated balances for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) unavailable for obligation. See Letter from General Counsel, OMB, to General Counsel, GAO (Dec. 11, 2019) (OMB Response), at 1–2. Pursuant to our role under the ICA, we are issuing this decision. Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, Pub. L. No. 93-344, title X, § 1015, 88 Stat. 297, 336 (July 12, 1974), codified at 2 U.S.C. § 686. As explained below, we conclude that OMB withheld the funds from obligation for an unauthorized reason in violation of the ICA.1 See 2 U.S.C. § 684. We also question actions regarding funds appropriated to the Department of State (State) for security assistance to Ukraine.
OMB’s actions did not comply with any of the exceptions to the law’s demand that a president carry out congressional spending orders, the GAO said in its nine-page report. “OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted,” the report states. “Therefore we conclude that OMB violated” the act.