Summary: H.Con.Res.71 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
House agreed to Senate amendment without amendment (10/26/2017)

(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the Senate on October 19, 2017. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Highlights:

This concurrent resolution establishes the FY2018 congressional budget resolution, which provides a framework for congressional consideration of legislation addressing revenues, spending, and other budget-related issues. The budget resolution is a nonbinding framework used by Congress and cannot be signed into law or vetoed by the President.

The resolution establishes budget enforcement procedures by setting forth rules for applying budget points of order to various legislative proposals.

It also includes reconciliation instructions directing various congressional committees to report legislation that meets specified requirements regarding the effect on the deficit. Reconciliation bills are considered by Congress using expedited legislative procedures that prevent a filibuster and restrict amendments in the Senate.

The resolution also includes reserve funds that provide the chairmen of the congressional budget committees with flexibility in applying budget enforcement rules to legislation that meets specified criteria.

Full Summary:

Establishes the congressional budget for the federal government for FY2018 and sets forth budgetary levels for FY2019-FY2027.

TITLE I--RECOMMENDED LEVELS AND AMOUNTS

Subtitle A--Budgetary Levels in Both Houses

(Sec. 1101) Recommends levels and amounts for FY2018-FY2027 for:

  • federal revenues,
  • new budget authority,
  • budget outlays,
  • deficits,
  • public debt, and
  • debt held by the public.

(Sec. 1102) Recommends levels of new budget authority and outlays for FY2018-FY2027 for each major functional category, including:

  • National Defense;
  • International Affairs;
  • General Science, Space, and Technology;
  • Energy;
  • Natural Resources and Environment;
  • Agriculture;
  • Commerce and Housing Credit;
  • Transportation;
  • Community and Regional Development;
  • Education, Training, Employment, and Social Services;
  • Health;
  • Medicare;
  • Income Security;
  • Social Security;
  • Veterans Benefits and Services;
  • Administration of Justice;
  • General Government;
  • Net Interest;
  • Allowances;
  • Undistributed Offsetting Receipts; and
  • Overseas Contingency Operations.

Subtitle B--Levels and Amounts in the Senate

(Sec. 1201) Recommends Senate levels for FY2018-FY2027 for Social Security revenues, outlays, and administrative expenses.

(Sec. 1202) Recommends Senate levels of new budget authority and outlays for FY2018-FY2027 for U.S. Postal Service discretionary administrative expenses.

TITLE II--RECONCILIATION

(Title II includes reconciliation instructions directing congressional committees to submit legislation to the budget committees. Under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, reconciliation bills are considered by Congress using expedited legislative procedures that prevent a filibuster and restrict amendments in the Senate.)

(Sec. 2001) Includes reconciliation instructions directing: (1) the Senate Finance Committee to report changes in laws within its jurisdiction that increase the deficit by no more than $1.5 trillion over FY2018-FY2027, and (2) the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to report changes in laws within its jurisdiction that reduce the deficit by at least $1 billion over FY2018-FY2027.

Requires the committees to submit the recommendations to the Senate Budget Committee by November 13, 2017.

(Sec. 2002) Includes reconciliation instructions directing: (1) the House Ways and Means Committee to submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction that increase the deficit by no more than $1.5 trillion over FY2018-FY2027, and (2) the House Natural Resources Committee to submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction that reduce the deficit by at least $1 billion over FY2018-FY2027.

Requires the committees to submit the recommendations to the House Budget Committee by November 13, 2017.

(Section 5113 of this resolution modifies the reconciliation instructions for the House committees and specifies that section 2002 shall have no force and effect.)

TITLE III--RESERVE FUNDS

Establishes reserve funds that provide the Senate Budget Committee Chairman with flexibility in applying budget enforcement rules to legislation that meets specified criteria.

(Under the reserve funds, the chairman may revise committee allocations, aggregates and other appropriate levels in this resolution, and the Pay-As-You-Go [PAYGO] ledger. Deficit-neutral reserve funds generally apply to legislation that: (1) addresses specified policy issues, and (2) does not increase the deficit over a specified time period or periods. The resolution also includes two reserve funds that do not include a requirement regarding the effect on the deficit.)

(Sec. 3001) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to repealing or replacing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

(Sec. 3002) Establishes a revenue-neutral reserve fund for legislation that: (1) reforms the Internal Revenue Code, (2) is revenue neutral, and (3) would not increase the deficit over the FY2018-FY2017 period.

(Sec. 3003) Establishes a reserve fund for legislation considered pursuant to the reconciliation instructions included in section 2001 of this resolution.

Specifies that legislation for which the chairman has exercised authority pursuant to this section is exempt from the point of order against legislation increasing the short-term deficit. (The point of order prohibits the Senate from considering legislation that would cause a net increase in the deficit in excess of $10 billion in any fiscal year provided for in the most recently adopted budget resolution unless it is fully offset over the period of all fiscal years provided for in the most recently adopted budget resolution.)

(Sec. 3004) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to an extension of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

(Sec. 3005) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to:

  • addressing the opioid and substance abuse crisis;
  • protecting and assisting victims of domestic abuse;
  • foster care, child care, marriage, and fatherhood programs;
  • making it easier to save for retirement;
  • reforming the public housing system;
  • the Community Development Block Grant Program; or
  • extending expiring health care provisions.

(Sec. 3006) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to:

  • amending the Higher Education Act of 1965;
  • ensuring state flexibility in education;
  • enhancing outcomes with federal workforce development, job training, and reemployment programs;
  • the consolidation and streamlining of overlapping early learning and child care programs;
  • educational programs for individuals with disabilities; or
  • child nutrition programs.

(Sec. 3007) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to the American banking system.

(Sec. 3008) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to:

  • the farm bill;
  • American energy policies;
  • the Nuclear Regulatory Commission;
  • North American energy development;
  • infrastructure, transportation, and water development;
  • the Federal Aviation Administration;
  • the National Flood Insurance Program;
  • state mineral royalty revenues; or
  • soda ash royalties.

(Sec. 3009) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to:

  • improving military readiness, including deferred Facilities Sustainment Restoration and Modernization;
  • military technological superiority;
  • structural defense reforms; or
  • strengthening cybersecurity efforts.

(Sec. 3010) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to improving the delivery of benefits and services to veterans and service members.

(Sec. 3011) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to:

  • the Endangered Species Act of 1973,
  • forest health and wildfire prevention and control,
  • resources for wildland firefighting for the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior;
  • the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Program (PILT), or
  • the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination program.

(Sec. 3012) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to: securing the U.S. border, ending human trafficking, or stopping the transportation of narcotics into the United States.

(Sec. 3013) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to: reducing costs to businesses and individuals stemming from federal regulations, increasing commerce and economic growth, or enhancing job creation.

(Sec. 3014) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to modifying statutory budget controls.

(Sec. 3015) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to the prevention of taxpayer bailouts of pension plans.

(Sec. 3016) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to implementing work requirements in all means-tested federal welfare programs.

(Sec. 3017) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to protecting the Medicare program, which may include repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board.

(Sec. 3018) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to making the cost of child and dependent care more affordable and useful for American families.

(Sec. 3019) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to worker training programs.

(Sec. 3020) Establishes a reserve fund for legislation relating to providing disaster funds for relief and recovery to areas devastated by hurricanes and flooding in 2017.

(Sec. 3021) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to protecting the Medicaid program and extending the life of the Medicare Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund.

(Sec. 3022) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to changes in federal tax laws, which may include lowering taxes on families with children.

(Sec. 3023) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to changes in federal tax laws, which may include the provision of tax relief for small businesses, along with provisions to prevent upper-income taxpayers from sheltering income from taxation at the appropriate rate.

(Sec. 3024) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to changes in federal tax laws, which may include reducing federal deductions such as the state and local tax deduction to ensure relief for middle-income taxpayers.

(Sec. 3025) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to changes in federal tax laws, which may include provisions to make the American tax system simpler and fairer for all Americans.

(Sec. 3026) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to increasing per-child federal tax relief, which may include amending the child tax credit.

(Sec. 3027) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to changes in federal tax laws, which may include international tax provisions that provide or enhance incentives for businesses to invest in America, generate American jobs, retain American jobs, and return jobs to America.

(Sec. 3028) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to eliminating tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs to foreign countries.

(Sec. 3029) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to providing full, permanent, and mandatory funding for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.

(Sec. 3030) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to changes in federal tax laws, which may include tax reform proposals to ensure that the reformed tax code parallels the existing tax code with respect to relative burdens and does not shift the tax burden from high-income to lower- and middle-income taxpayers.

(Sec. 3031) Establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund for legislation relating to significantly improving the budget process.

TITLE IV--BUDGET PROCESS

Subtitle A--Budget Enforcement

(Sec. 4101) Updates the existing point of order against advanced appropriations to conform to the new budget window. (Under this section, an advanced appropriation is any new budget authority provided in appropriations legislation for FY2018 that first becomes available after FY2018, or any new budget authority provided in appropriations legislation for FY2019 that first becomes available after FY2019. The point of order limits advanced appropriations to specified accounts and prohibits total advanced appropriations from exceeding $28.852 billion in new budget authority in each year).

(Sec. 4102) Extends the point of order restricting the inclusion of certain changes in mandatory programs (CHIMPS) to appropriations legislation for FY2018-FY2020. Limits CHIMPS that reduce budget authority in the budget year but do not decrease outlays over the period of the total of the current year, budget year, and all fiscal years covered under the most recently adopted budget resolution. Limit CHIMPS to: $17 billion for FY2018, $15 billion for FY2019, and $15 billion for FY2020.

(Sec. 4103) Establishes a point of order against appropriations legislation that includes CHIMPS that would cause the absolute value of the total budget authority of all CHIMPs affecting the Crime Victims Fund for FY2018 to exceed $11.224 billion.

(Sec. 4104) Establishes a point of order against a provision designating FY2018 funds as for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).

(Sec. 4105) Establishes a point of order against amendments to reconciliation bills considered pursuant to section 2001 if the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee is unable to determine the effect that the amendment or motion would have on budget authority, outlays, direct spending, entitlement authority, revenues, deficits, or surpluses.

(Sec. 4106) Repeals the existing Senate Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) point of order that prohibits the consideration of legislation that would cause or increase an on-budget deficit over specified six- and eleven-year time periods.

Replaces the point of order with a new PAYGO point of order that continues the six-year and eleven-year time periods and adds two additional time periods during which the legislation may not cause or increase an on-budget deficit: (1) the current year, and (2) the budget year.

(Sec. 4107) Directs the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation to provide estimates of the macroeconomic effects of major legislation. (These estimates are frequently referred to as dynamic scoring and include estimates of the budgetary effects from changes in economic output, employment, capital stock, interest rates, and other macroeconomic variables resulting from the legislation.)

Requires the estimates, to the extent practicable, to include the distributional effects across income categories resulting from major legislation.

(Sec. 4108) Permits the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee to adjust committee allocations, budgetary aggregates, allocations, and levels included in this resolution if, during the 115th Congress, a measure becomes law that amends the discretionary spending limits established under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.

(Sec. 4109) Permits the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee to adjust: (1) discretionary spending limits established under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985; and (2) committee allocations, budgetary aggregates, allocations, and levels included in this resolution for legislation during the 115th Congress that provides wildfire suppression funding.

(Sec. 4110) Permits the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee to adjust committee allocations, aggregates and other levels in this resolution, and the PAYGO ledger if legislation decreases direct spending for any fiscal year and authorizes appropriations for the same purpose.

(Sec. 4111) Repeals points of order: (1) against voting on passage of legislation unless the CBO cost estimate was available on CBO's website at least 28 hours before the vote, and (2) protecting savings in reconciliation legislation from amendments that increase the deficit.

(Sec. 4112) Makes technical corrections to provisions regarding the designation of emergency spending.

(Sec. 4113) Permits the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee to file in the Congressional Record committee allocations enforcing this resolution if the resolution passes both the House and Senate in identical form, a conference committee is not convened, and a joint explanatory statement is not produced.

Subtitle B--Other Provisions

(Sec. 4201) Directs Senate committees to review programs and tax expenditures within their jurisdiction to identify waste, fraud, abuse, or duplication and increase the use of performance data to inform committee work.

(Sec. 4202) Requires the joint explanatory statement accompanying the conference report on the budget resolution to include amounts for the discretionary administrative expenses of the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Postal Service in the allocations to the appropriations committees. Specifies that, in the Senate, the amounts must be included in estimates of the total new budget authority and total outlays provided by a measure that are used to enforce committee allocations.

(Sec. 4203) Sets forth procedures for adjustments of the allocations and aggregates included in the budget resolution.

(Sec. 4204) Permits the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee to adjust levels and allocations in this budget resolution to reflect changes in concepts and definitions.

(Sec. 4205) Permits the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee to make adjustments to the levels and allocations included in this resolution to reflect legislation that was enacted before this resolution was agreed to by Congress and was not incorporated in the June 2017 update to CBO's baseline.

(Sec. 4206) Declares that the provisions in this title are promulgated under the Senate's rulemaking power and will be considered part of the rules of the Senate.

TITLE V--BUDGET PROCESS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Subtitle A--Budget Enforcement

(Sec. 5101) Requires the CBO to estimate whether legislation (other than appropriations measures) would cause a net increase in direct spending in excess of $2.5 billion over any of the 4 consecutive 10-year periods beginning in FY2027. Establishes a point of order against legislation (other than appropriations measures) with a net effect of increasing direct spending by more than $2.5 billion in any of the 4 consecutive 10-year periods. Specifies that this provision has no force or effect after September 30, 2018.

(Sec. 5102) Provides the House Appropriations Committee with a separate allocation for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism and specifies procedures for enforcing and adjusting the allocation.

(Sec. 5103) Establishes a point of order restricting the inclusion of certain changes in mandatory programs (CHIMPS) in appropriations legislation for FY2018-FY2020. Limits CHIMPS that reduce budget authority in the budget year but do not decrease outlays over the period of the total of the current year, budget year, and all fiscal years covered under the most recently agreed to budget resolution. Limit the CHIMPS to: $19.1 billion for FY2018, $17 billion for FY2019, and $15 billion for FY2020.

(Sec. 5104) Prohibits advance appropriations unless: (1) the appropriation is provided for an account listed as an exception in the report accompanying this resolution, and (2) total advance appropriations do not exceed specified limits. (Under this section, an advance appropriation is any new discretionary budget authority provided in appropriations legislation for the fiscal year following FY2018.)

(Sec. 5105) Permits the chair of the House Budget Committee to direct the CBO to include changes in debt service costs in estimates of legislation except for authorizations of discretionary programs or appropriation measures.

Specifies that: (1) this section applies to changes in the authorization level of appropriated entitlements, and (2) the estimates are advisory and may not be used for budget enforcement.

(Sec. 5106) Requires the CBO, upon request of the chairman of the House Budget Committee, to include supplemental fair-value estimates in estimates for legislation establishing or modifying a loan or loan guarantee program.

Requires the CBO to provide a supplemental fair-value estimate for legislation establishing or modifying a loan or loan guarantee program for student financial assistance or housing (including residential mortgage).

Requires the CBO to include estimates, on a fair-value and credit reform basis, of loan and loan guarantee programs for student financial assistance, housing (including residential mortgage), and other major loan and loan guarantee programs in its "Budget and Economic Outlook: 2018 to 2027."

Permits the chairman of the House Budget Committee to use the fair-value estimates provided pursuant to this section for budget enforcement purposes.

(A fair-value estimate is an alternative to federal credit program estimates required by the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 [FCRA]. Under FCRA, cash flows are discounted using Treasury interest rates for estimating subsidy costs. The fair-value method incorporates market risk by using market rates.)

(Sec. 5107) Requires the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation to incorporate macroeconomic effects in estimates of specified legislation (commonly referred to as dynamic scoring).

(Sec. 5108) Authorizes the chairman of the House Budget Committee to adjust committee allocations and levels in this resolution if legislation decreases direct spending in any fiscal year and authorizes appropriations for the same purpose.

(Sec. 5109) Directs the CBO to estimate legislation that affects the use of energy savings performance contracts or utility energy service contracts on a net present value basis (in today's dollars) using calculations that meet specified requirements. Specifies that the contracts are to be scored as direct spending and that savings resulting from the contracts may be not be used as an offset for budget enforcement purposes.

(Under an energy savings performance contract, a private party agrees to fund energy-efficient upgrades for a federal facility, and the federal agency agrees to pay the private party from reductions in the agency's energy costs. Under a utility energy service contract, the services and equipment are provided by a utility.)

(Sec. 5110) Requires transfers of funds from the general fund of the Treasury to the Highway Trust Fund to be counted as new budget authority and outlays in the year the transfer occurs.

(Sec. 5111) Prohibits transfers of surpluses of the Federal Reserve System from being counted as offsets for budget enforcement purposes. (This section prevents the transfers from being used to offset provisions that increase the deficit in determining whether a budget point of order applies to legislation.)

(Sec. 5112) Prohibits increases in Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) guarantee fees from being used for budget enforcement purposes. (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchase mortgages and charge the fees to guarantee the payment of principal and interest. This section prevents the fee increases from being used to offset provisions that increase the deficit in determining whether a budget point of order applies to legislation.)

(Sec. 5113) Modifies the reconciliation instructions included in this resolution for House committees to: (1) specify that section 2002 of this resolution shall have no force and effect, and (2) direct the House Ways and Means Committee to report to the House of Representatives by November 13, 2017, changes in laws within its jurisdiction that increase the deficit by no more than $1.5 trillion over FY2018-FY2027.

Subtitle B--Other Provisions

(Sec. 5201) Specifies that the administrative expenses of the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Postal Service are reflected in the allocation to the House Appropriations Committee to ensure that the committee retains control over the expenses through the annual appropriations process.

Specifies that, in the House, the amounts must be included in estimates of the total new budget authority and total outlays provided by a measure that are used to enforce committee allocations.

(Sec. 5202) Sets forth procedures for the adjustment of allocations, aggregates, and other budgetary levels included in this resolution.

Permits the chairman of the House Budget Committee to adjust other appropriate levels in this concurrent resolution depending on congressional action on pending reconciliation legislation.

(Sec. 5203) Authorizes the chair of the House Budget Committee to adjust the aggregates, allocations, and other levels in this resolution for any change in budgetary concepts and definitions pursuant to the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.

(Sec. 5204) Authorizes the chair of the House Budget Committee to adjust the aggregates, allocations, reconciliation targets, and other levels in this resolution for any changes that the CBO makes to its baseline for FY2018-FY2027.

(Sec. 5205) Waives the point of order that would otherwise apply to appropriations legislation that exceeds the statutory limits on discretionary spending if the legislation would not cause this resolution's 302(a) allocation for the appropriations committee to be exceeded.

(Sec. 5206) Permits the allocations and lists included in this resolution to be enforced in the House if this resolution is adopted in the House without the appointment of a conference committee.

Requires the chairman of the House Budget Committee to submit for a publication in the Congressional Record a statement specifying: (1) committee allocations; and (2) programs, projects, and activities identified as advance appropriations for the purpose of enforcing section 5104 of this resolution.

(Sec. 5207) Affirms that the adoption of this title and section 2002 of this budget resolution is an exercise of the House's rulemaking power and that the House has the constitutional right to change these rules.

Subtitle C--Adjustment Authority

(Sec. 5301) Permits the chairman of the House Budget Committee to adjust the committee allocations, aggregates, allocations, levels, and limits contained this resolution if, during the 115th Congress, a measure becomes law that amends the discretionary spending limits established under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to increase the limit for the revised security category for FY2018 to $640 billion.

Subtitle D--Reserve Funds

Establishes reserve funds that permit the chairman of the House Budget Committee to adjust the levels and allocations included in the budget resolution to accommodate health, tax, and transportation legislation that meets specified conditions.

(Reserve funds provide the House Budget Committee Chairman with flexibility in applying budget enforcement rules to legislation that meets specified criteria.)

(Sec. 5401) Establishes a reserve fund for legislation that invests in national infrastructure and is deficit-neutral over the period of FY2018-FY2027.

(Sec. 5402) Establishes a reserve fund for legislation that provides for comprehensive tax reform and would not increase the deficit over the period of FY2018-FY2027.

(Sec. 5403) Establishes a reserve fund for legislation that extends the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) allotments and would not increase the deficit over the period of FY2018-FY2027.

(Sec. 5404) Establishes a reserve fund for legislation that repeals or replaces the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health care-related provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.