H.Con.Res.71 – Establishing the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2018…

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Week ending October 6, 2017

H.Con.Res.71 – Establishing the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2018 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2019 through 2027

Brief

The bill establishes the congressional budget for the federal government for FY2018 and sets forth budgetary levels for FY2019-FY2027 and recommends levels and amounts for FY2018-FY2027 for: federal revenues, new budget authority, budget outlays, deficits (on-budget), debt subject to limit, debt held by the public, and the major functional categories of spending.

The bill sets spending for FY 2018 at $4.1 trillion.

This bill was amended by the Senate and the House agreed with the Senate amendment

The bill also sets forth reconciliation instructions. Within those instructions to eleven House committees is the requirement (by October 6, 2017) to introduce legislation that reduces the deficit. Under the bill ‘Not later than October 6, 2017, the committees named in subsection (b) shall submit their recommendations on changes in laws within their jurisdictions to the Committee on the Budget that would achieve the specified reduction in the deficit for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.’ Those committees and the amount of require deficit reduction are as follows:

(1) COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE.—The Committee on Agriculture shall submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction sufficient to reduce the deficit by $10,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

(2) COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES.—The Committee on Armed Services shall submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction sufficient to reduce the deficit by $1,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

(3) COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE.—The Committee on Education and the Workforce shall submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction sufficient to reduce the deficit by $20,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

(4) COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE.—The Committee on Energy and Commerce shall submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction sufficient to reduce the deficit by $20,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

(5) COMMITTEE ON FINANCIAL SERVICES.—The Committee on Financial Services shall submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction sufficient to reduce the deficit by $14,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

(6) COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY.—The Committee on Homeland Security shall submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction sufficient to reduce the deficit by $3,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

(7) COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY.—The Committee on the Judiciary shall submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction sufficient to reduce the deficit by $45,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

(8) COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES.—The Committee on Natural Resources shall submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction sufficient to reduce the deficit by $5,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

(9) COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM.—The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform shall submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction sufficient to reduce the deficit by $32,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

(10) COMMITTEE ON VETERANS’ AFFAIRS.—The Committee on Veterans’ Affairs shall submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction sufficient to reduce the deficit by $1,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

(11) COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS.—The Committee on Ways and Means shall submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction sufficient to reduce the deficit by $52,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

Based on those instructions committees may produce $203 billion in cuts to affect deficit reduction.

Budget enforcement –

‘It shall not be in order in the House of Representatives to consider any bill or joint resolution, or amendment thereto or conference report thereon, that would cause a net increase in direct spending in excess of $2,500,000,000 in any of the 4 consecutive 10-fiscal year periods after 2027. The provision allows for a point of order against a bill creating the excess. However the budget point of order does not apply in the House ‘to any bills or joint resolutions, or amendments thereto or conference reports thereon, for which the chair of the Committee on the Budget has made adjustments to the allocations, aggregates, or other budgetary levels in this concurrent resolution.’ But then ‘This section shall have no force or effect after September 30, 2018.’

The bill also sets long-term direct spending, the amount allocated for Overseas Contingency operations (war on terror). Separate allocation for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism.—In the House of Representatives, there shall be a separate allocation of new budget authority and outlays provided to the Committee on Appropriations

Changes are made in mandatory spending programs, primarily entitlement programs.

Limitation on changes in certain mandatory programs-

The term “change in mandatory programs” means a provision that  would have been estimated as affecting direct spending or receipts under section 252 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 if the provision were included in legislation other than appropriation Acts; and results in a net decrease in budget authority in the budget year, but does not result in a net decrease in outlays over the total of the current year, the budget year, and all fiscal years covered under the most recently agreed to concurrent resolution on the budget.

A provision in a bill or joint resolution making appropriations for a full fiscal year that proposes a change in mandatory programs that, if enacted, would cause the absolute value of the total budget authority of all such changes in mandatory programs enacted in relation to a full fiscal year to be more than the amount specified in paragraph (3), shall not be in order in the House of Representatives.

The amount specified in paragraph 3 is— for fiscal year 2018, $19,100,000,000; for fiscal year 2019, $17,000,000,000; and for fiscal year 2020, $15,000,000,000.

In the House of Representatives, for purposes of this concurrent resolution and budget enforcement, the consideration of any bill or joint resolution, or amendment thereto or conference report thereon, for which the chair of the Committee on the Budget makes adjustments or revisions in the allocations, aggregates, and other budgetary levels of this concurrent resolution shall not be subject to the points of order

The bill creates reserve funds for –

Commercializing air traffic control-

In the House of Representatives, the chair of the Committee on the Budget may adjust, the allocation to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and other applicable committees … for a bill or joint resolution, or amendment, or conference report that commercializes the operations of the air traffic control system if bill reduces the discretionary spending limits by the amount that would otherwise be appropriated to Federal Aviation.

A measure that commercializes the operations of the air traffic control system shall be a measure that establishes a Federally-chartered, not-for-profit corporation that is authorized to provide air traffic control services within the United States airspace; sets user fees to finance its operations; may borrow from private capital markets to finance improvements; is governed by a board of directors composed of a CEO and directors whose fiduciary duty is to the entity; and becomes the employer of those employees directly connected to providing air traffic control services and who the Secretary transfers from the Federal Government.

Infrastructure investments-

In the House of Representatives, the chair of the Committee on the Budget may adjust the allocations, aggregates, and other appropriate levels for any bill or joint resolution, or amendment or conference report that invests in national infrastructure to the extent that such measure is deficit neutral for the total of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

 Tax reform –

In the House of Representatives, if the Committee on Ways and Means reports a bill or joint resolution that provides for comprehensive tax reform, the chair of the Committee on the Budget may adjust the allocations, aggregates, and other appropriate budgetary levels in this concurrent resolution for the budgetary effects of any such bill or joint resolution, amendment thereto or conference report if the measure would not increase the deficit for the total of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

 SCHIP, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

In the House of Representatives, the chair of the Committee on the Budget may adjust the allocations, budget aggregates and other appropriate levels in this concurrent resolution for the budgetary effects of any bill or joint resolution, or amendment or conference report, that extends the State Children’s Health Insurance Program allotments, if such measure would not increase the deficit for the total of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.

It is the policy of this concurrent resolution that—

The House should work in a bipartisan manner to reauthorize SCHIP funding; the authorizing committees should consider establishing a Federal upper limit for CHIP eligibility, rather than providing open-ended access to the program for those at higher income levels; the House should target resources designated for SCHIP toward those most in need of Federal assistance; and the House should require greater reporting by States of SCHIP data in order to better structure the program to meet beneficiaries’ needs.

Healthcare Reform –

Reserve fund for the repeal or replacement of President Obama’s health care laws.

In the House of Representatives, the chair of the Committee on the Budget may revise the allocations, aggregates, and other appropriate budgetary levels in this concurrent resolution for the budgetary effects of any bill or joint resolution, or amendment, or conference report that repeals or replaces any provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or title I or subtitle B of title II of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 by the amount of budget authority and outlays flowing therefrom provided by such measure for such purpose.

Policy on a balanced budget constitutional amendment.—

It is the policy of this concurrent resolution that the House should propose a balanced budget constitutional amendment for ratification by the States.

It is the policy of this concurrent resolution that the House should adopt an annual budget resolution before spending and tax legislation is considered in either House of Congress.

Medicare-

Findings.—The House finds the following:

(1) More than 57 million Americans depend on Medicare for their health security.

(2) The Medicare Trustees Report has repeatedly recommended that Congress address Medicare’s long-term financial challenges. Each year without reform, the financial condition of Medicare becomes more precarious and the threat to those in or near retirement more pronounced. The current challenges that Congress will need to address include—

(A) the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will be exhausted in 2029 and unable to pay the scheduled benefits;

(B) Medicare enrollment is expected to increase more than 50 percent in the next two decades, as 10,000 baby boomers reach retirement age each day;

(C) due to extended life spans, enrollees remain in Medicare three times longer than at the outset of the program five decades ago;

(D) notwithstanding the program’s trust fund arrangement, current workers’ payroll tax contributions pay for current Medicare beneficiaries instead of being set aside for their own future use;

(E) the number of workers supporting each beneficiary continues to fall; in 1965, the ratio was 4.5 workers per beneficiary, and by 2030, the ratio will be only 2.4 workers per beneficiary;

(F) the average Medicare beneficiary receives about three dollars in Medicare benefits for every dollar paid into the program;

(G) Medicare is growing faster than the economy, with a projected growth rate of 7.2 percent per year on average through 2026, peaking in 2026 at 9.2 percent; and

(H) by 2027, Medicare spending will reach more than $1.4 trillion, more than double the 2016 spending level of $692 billion.

This concurrent resolution assumes transition to an improved Medicare program that ensures—

(1) Medicare is preserved for current and future beneficiaries;

(2) future Medicare beneficiaries may select from competing guaranteed health coverage options a plan that best suits their needs;

(3) traditional fee-for-service Medicare remains a plan option;

(4) Medicare provides additional assistance for lower-income beneficiaries and those with greater health risks; and

(5) Medicare spending is put on a sustainable path and becomes solvent over the long term.

Medicaid-

It is the policy of this concurrent resolution that—

(1) Congress should enact legislation that encourages able-bodied, non-elderly, non-pregnant adults without dependents to work, actively seek work, and participate in a job-training program, or do community service, in order to receive Medicaid;

(2) Medicaid work requirements legislation could include 30 hours per week of work, of which 20 of those hours should be spent in the core activities of: public or private sector employment, work experience, on-the-job training, job-search or job-readiness assistance program participation, community service, or vocational training and education;

(3) States should be given flexibility to determine the parameters of qualifying program participation and work-equivalent experience;

(4) States should perform regular case checks to ensure taxpayer dollars are appropriately spent; and

(5) the Government Accountability Office or the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General should conduct annual audits of State Medicaid programs to ensure proper reporting and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.

(Dissenting Views)

(Full text of H.C.R. 71 congress.gov)

Sponsor:  Rep. Black, Diane [R-TN-6] (Introduced 07/21/2017)

Status:  Passed House / Passed Senate amended / Passed House /

VOTES and FLOOR ACTION

HOUSE

On Passage: On agreeing to the resolution Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 219 – 206 (Roll no. 557)

On motion that the House agree to the Senate amendment Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 216 – 212 (Roll no. 589).

House Amendments:

An amendment, in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. McClintock, numbered 3 printed in House Report 115-339 and offered as the Republican Study Committeee proposal. On agreeing to the McClintock amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 139 – 281 (Roll no. 555).

An amendment, in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. Yarmuth, numbered 4 printed in House Report 115-339 and offered as the Democratic Caucus proposal. On agreeing to the Yarmuth amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 156 – 268 (Roll no. 556).

An amendment, in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. Grijalva, numbered 1 printed in House Report 115-339 and offered as the Progressive Caucus proposal. On agreeing to the Grijalva amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 108 – 314 (Roll no. 553).

An amendment, in the nature of a substitute offered by Mr. Scott (VA), numbered 2 printed in House Report 115-339 and offered as the Congressional Black Caucus proposal. On agreeing to the Scott (VA) amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 130 – 292 (Roll no. 554).

Motion to recommit:

Text of the motion:

SENATE

On Passage: The concurrent resolution as amended was agreed to by a vote of 51–49.

Procedural Actions:

Senate Amendments:

Enzi amend #1116 (Substitute amendment).

Hatch amend #1144 (To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to Medicare and Medicaid).  Yeas and nays ordered.  The amendment was agreed to by a vote of 89-9.

Sanders amend #1119 (To provide additional resources to the $1,000,000,000,000 in tax cuts paid for by reducing the tax breaks for the wealthy).  Yeas and nays ordered.  The amendment was not agreed to by a vote of 47-51.

Nelson amend #1150 (To provide additional resources to restore the $473,000,000,000 in cuts to pay for by closing special interest tax loopholes). The amendment was not agreed to by a vote of 47-51.

Heller amend #1146 (To provide tax relief to American families with children to provide them with more money in their paychecks to make ends meet). The amendment was agreed to by a vote of 98-0.

Sanders amend #1120 (To ensure that there are no tax cuts for the top 1 percent of Americans). Enzi raised a Point of Order that the amendment violates the Budget Act. Sanders Motion to Waive the Budget Act. Yeas and nays ordered. The Motion to Waive the Budget Act was not agreed to by a vote of 46-52. The Point of Order was sustained and the amendment falls.

Collins amend #1151 (To provide tax relief to small businesses and to include provisions to prevent upper-income taxpayers from sheltering income from taxation at the appropriate rate). Agreed to by voice vote.

Wyden amend #1302 (To strike the reconciliation instructions relating to tax reform). The amendment was not agreed to by a vote of 47-52.

Capito amendment #1393 (To help provide tax relief to middle-class Americans by reducing deductibility for Federal tax purposes, of federal deductions, such as the state and local tax deduction which disproportionally favors high-income individuals). The amendment was agreed to by a vote of 52-47.

Cantwell amendment #1141 (To create a point of order against legislation that would raise taxes on middle class families by double-taxing income already taxed at the state or local level).  A Budget Point of Order was raised against the amendment.  Motion to Waive the Budget Act with respect to the amendment.  The Motion to Waive the Budget Act was not agreed to 47-52.  The Point of Order was sustained and the amendment falls.

Warner amend #1138 (Strike PAYGO).  Yeas and nays ordered.  The amendment is not agreed to by a vote of 47-51.

Flake amend #1178 (Make the American tax system simpler and fairer).  Yeas and nays ordered.  The amendment is agreed to by a vote of 98-0.

Baldwin amend #1139 (To prohibit reconciliation legislation that would increase the deficit or reduce a surplus).  Yeas and nays ordered.  The amendment is not agreed to by a vote of 47-51.

Rubio amend #1205 (To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to tax cuts for working American families).  Agreed to by Voice Vote.

Heitkamp amend #1228 (To create a point of order against legislation that would increase taxes of taxpayers whose annual income is below $250,000).  A Budget Point of Order was raised against the amendment.  Motion to Waive the Budget Act with respect to the amendment. The Motion to Waive the Budget Act was not agreed to by a vote of 47-51. The Point of Order was sustained and the amendment falls.

Portman amend #1422 (To provide for an international tax system that provides to enhance incentives for usinesses to invest in America, generate American jobs, retain American jobs, and return jobs to America).  The amendment was agreed to by Voice Vote.

Donnelly amend #1234 (To create a point of order against legislation that allows companies that have outsourced jobs to foreign countries to benefit from any tax breaks) as modified. The amendment as modified was agreed to by Voice Vote.

Kaine amend #1249 (To modify section 4111 to reinstate and strengthen a prohibition on voting on legislation without a Congressional Budget Office score). Laid aside.

Brown amend #1578 (To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to providing tax benefits to patriot employers that invest in American jobs and provide fair pay and benefits to workers). Yeas and Nays ordered. The amendment is not agreed to by a vote of 47–51.

Paul amend #1296 (To modify reconciliation instructions to reduce the deficit). Yeas and Nays ordered. The amendment is not agreed by a vote of 4–94.

Cardin amend #1375 (To create a point of order against legislation that includes deficit-financed tax cuts). Yeas and Nays ordered. A Budget Point of Order was raised against the amendment.  Motion to Waive the Budget Act with respect to the amendment. Yeas and Nays ordered. The Motion to Waive the Budget Act was not agreed to by a vote of 47–52. The Point of Order was sustained and the amendment falls.

Kaine amend #1249 (To modify section 4111 to reinstate and strengthen a prohibition on voting on legislation without a Congressional Budget Office score). A Budget Point of Order was raised against the amendment.  Motion to Waive the Budget Act with respect to the amendment. Yeas and Nays ordered. The Motion to Waive the Budget Act was not agreed to by a vote of 48–51. The Point of Order was sustained and the amendment fails.

Paul amend #1298 (To reduce discretionary spending by $43,000,000,000). Yeas and Nays ordered. The amendment was not agreed to by a vote of 5–95.

Lee amend #1430 (To expand the deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to the repeal of provisions of title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). Yeas and Nays ordered.  The amendment was not agreed to by a vote of 32–67.

Paul amend #1277 (To provide for reconciliation instructions to the relevant committees for the purpose of repealing and replacing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). Yeas and Nays ordered. The amendment was not agreed to by a vote of 33–66.

Udall amend #1553 (To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to the provision of full, permanent, and mandatory funding for the payment in lieu of taxes program). Yeas and Nays ordered. The amendment was agreed to by a vote of 58–41.

Lee amend #1428 (To modify a deficit neutral reserve fund relating to public land and the environment to address making payments under the payments in lieu of taxes program equivalent to the property tax revenue that would be due to a State or local government if the State or local government owned the land). Yeas and Nays ordered. The amendment was not agreed to by a vote of 50–50.

Paul amend #1404 (To ensure that all Americans receive a tax cut, keeping more of their hard earned money, and enjoy the benefit of tax reform). Yeas and Nays ordered. The amendment was not agreed to by a vote of 7–93.

Lee amend #1429 (To establish a spending-neutral reserve fund relating to prohibiting Federal regulation of entirely intra-state species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973). Yeas and Nays ordered. The amendment was not agreed to by a vote of 49–51.

Fischer-Collins amend #1552 (To provide tax relief to American workers, families, and job creators in a manner which maintains the progressivity of the tax system by maintaining or raising the share of taxes paid by high income taxpayers). The amendment was agreed to by Voice Vote.

Cantwell amend #1301 (To strike the reconciliation instructions for the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate to prevent oil and gas development within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge). Yeas and Nays ordered. The amendment was not agreed to by a vote of 48–52.

Enzi amend #1561 (To provide other enforcement provisions related to the House of Representatives). The amendment was agreed to by a vote of 52–48.

Perdue–Whitehouse amend #1167 (To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to significantly improving the budget process). The amendment was agreed to by a Voice Vote.

Enzi amend #1116 (Substitute), as amended. The amendment, as amended, was agreed to by Voice Vote.

COST AND IMPACT

Cost to the taxpayers:  $4.1 trillion

Pay-as-you-go requirements:  Data not available

Regulatory and Other Impact: Data not available

Dynamic Scoring:   Data not available

Tax Complexity:  Not applicable to this bill.

Earmark Certification:  Data not available

Duplication of programs: Data not available

Direct Rule-Making:  Data not available

Advisory Committee Statement: Data not available

Budget Authority: Data not available

Constitutional Authority:   Assumed.

 

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