Adjustments

Adjustments for Discretionary Spending Limits

Under section 251(b) (BBEDCA), the discretionary spending limits set forth in subsection (c) of that section, may be adjusted by the Office of Management and Budget if certain circumstances are met. Section 251(b)(2)(C) (BBEDCA) allows for an adjustment for “disaster funding”.

See also Cap Adjustments.


Disaster Funding

The following is the legislative text for the adjustment for disasters, added by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (Pub. L. 112-25).  

(D) Disaster funding.—

(i) If, for fiscal years 2012 through 2021, appropriations for discretionary accounts are enacted that Congress designates as being for disaster relief in statute, the adjustment for a fiscal year shall be the total of such appropriations for the fiscal year in discretionary accounts designated as being for disaster relief, but not to exceed the total of—

(I) the average over the previous 10 years (excluding the highest and lowest years) of the sum of the funding provided for disaster relief (as that term is defined on the date immediately before the date of enactment of the Wildfire Suppression Funding and Forest Management Activities Act);[1] 

(II) notwithstanding clause (iv), starting in fiscal year 2018, five percent of the total appropriations provided after fiscal year 2011 or in the previous 10 years, whichever is less, net of any rescissions of budget authority enacted in the same period, with respect to amounts provided for major disasters declared pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.) and designated by the Congress and the President as an emergency pursuant to subparagraph (A)(i) of this paragraph; and

(III) the cumulative net total of the unused carryover for fiscal year 2018 and all subsequent fiscal years, where the unused carryover for each fiscal year is calculated as the sum of the amounts in subclauses (I) and (II) less the enacted appropriations for that fiscal year that have been designated as being for disaster relief.

(ii) OMB shall report to the Committees on Appropriations and Budget in each House the average calculated pursuant to clause (i)(II), not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of the Wildfire Suppression Funding and Forest Management Activities Act.[2]

(iii) For the purposes of this subparagraph, the term “disaster relief” means activities carried out pursuant to a determination under section 102(2) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122(2)).[3]

(iv) Appropriations considered disaster relief under this subparagraph in a fiscal year shall not be eligible for adjustments under subparagraph (A) for the fiscal year.


Budget Concepts from Analytical Perspectives

OMB Definition of Cap Adjustment

Cap adjustment means either an increase or a decrease that is permitted to the statutory cap limits for each fiscal year under BBEDCA on the budget authority and outlays (only if applicable) provided by discretionary appropriations only if certain conditions are met. These conditions may include providing for a base level of funding, a designation of the increase or decrease by the Congress, (and in some circumstances, the President) pursuant to a section of the BBEDCA, or a change in concepts and definitions of funding under the cap. Changes in concepts and definitions require consultation with the Congressional Appropriations and Budget Committees. See the OMB Glossary of Budget Terms.

Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2018: Analytical Perspectives (May 23, 2017), pp. 88-91.

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