Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for
Fiscal Year 2018
Fiscal year 2018 did not bring a return to normal budgeting on the part of Congress. Even so, H. Con. Res. 71 (115th Congress) was adopted as the Concurrent Resolution the Budget for Fiscal Year 2018 on October 26, 2017, not as a conference report (the typical fashion), but rather as an amendment between the Houses. The House first past its concurrent resolution on October 5, 2017 with the Senate following suit on October 19, 2017, significantly beyond the deadline date of April 15, 2017 required under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
The date of final adoption of the budget resolution is indicative as to the reasons for its passage: It was clearly designed to create a reconciliation vehicle for the tax bill to use since it is given special expedited treatment in the Senate, and cannot be filibustered, under certain limiting rules. Unfortunately for the advocates of the tax bill, these reconciliation limitations (collectively known as “the Byrd Rule”), restricted the scope of bill and curbed what its authors clearly wished to accomplish. Still, without the expedited procedures, its enactment would not been possible.
Fiscal year 2017 saw a singular failure of budgeting, culminating in the adoption of a shell budget (S. Con. Res. 3 (115th Congress). For fiscal year 2018 the House passed H. Con. Res. 71 (115th Congress), though six months late and badly written. The Senate initially marked up S. Con. Res. 25 (115th Congress), and reported it. Later, though, the Senate amended H. Con. Res. 71, including a better written title for House budget purposes. After the Senate passed it, the House adopted it without amendment.
The primary task of this budget resolution, as with S. Con. Res. 3, was that it generated a reconciliation bill, and in doing so broke some ew ground: H. Con. Res. 71 includes different reconciliation instructions for House and Senate Committees. Previous instructions always paralleled one another in being either a multiple committee or single committee type (both are provided for in section 310 (CBA)). H. Con. Res. 71, as amended, includes multiple committee instructions for the Senate, but only a single committee instruction to Ways and Means for the House. This did not apparently did not cause distress for the Senate Parliamentarian, though it’s harder to tell what the House Parliamentarian thought.
The reconciliation instructions gave rise to two bills, H.R. 1 (115th Congress) and S. 1 (115th Congress), both with the short title “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” S. 1 included a title devoted to oil and gas leasing, whereas that would have caused problems were it included in H.R. 1. As no instructions were given to the House Resources Committee, this would be outside the scope of reconciliation. H.R. 1 was enacted into law, though the short title was struck as a Byrd Rule violation (section 313(b)(1)(A)).
H. Con. Res. 71 (115th Congress), as adopted by Congress (BCR)
H. Con. Res. 71 (115th Congress), as adopted by Congress [PDF]
H. Con. Res. 71 (115th Congress), as amended by the Senate
Annotated House-passed H. Con. Res. 71 (115th Congress)
|07/21/2017||Introduced in House|
|07/21/2017||The House Committee on the Budget reported an original measure, H. Rept. 115-240, by Mrs. Black.|
|10/05/2017||Passed/agreed to in House: On agreeing to the resolution Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 219 – 206 (Roll no. 557).|
|10/19/2017||Passed/agreed to in Senate: Resolution agreed to in Senate with an amendment by Yea-Nay Vote. 51 – 49. Record Vote Number: 245.|
|10/26/2017||Resolving differences — House actions: On motion that the House agree to the Senate amendment Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 216 – 212 (Roll no. 589).|
H. Con. Res. 71 (115th Congress), passed by Congress, taken up by Senate on for Floor consideration:
Senate Amendment 1116, an amendment in the nature of a substitute, offered by Senator Enzi (R-WY).
Amendments Adopted in the Senate Senate:
- Senate Amendment 1144 – Deficit-neutral Reserve Fund for Medicare and Medicaid
- Senate Amendment 1146 – Deficit-neutral Reserve Fund for Taxes and Children
- Senate Amendment 1151 – Deficit-neutral Reserve Fund for Taxes and Small Business
- Amendment 1167 – Deficit-neutral Reserve Fund for Budget Process
- Senate Amendment 1178 – Deficit-neutral Reserve Fund for Tax Fairness
- Senate Amendment 1205 – Deficit-neutral Reserve Fund for Taxes and American Families
- Senate Amendment 1234 – Point of Order Against Outsourcing Issue Legislation
- Senate Amendment 1422 – Deficit-neutral Reserve Fund for Tax Investment
- Senate Amendment 1442 – Deficit-neutral Reserve Fund for Gender Wage Gap
- Senate Amendment 1552 – Deficit-neutral Reserve Fund for Progressive Tax System
- Senate Amendment 1553 – Deficit-neutral Reserve Fund for PILT
- Senate Amendment 1561 – House Enforcement Provisions
- Senate Amendment #1116 – Enzi Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (as amended)
Amendments offered to Senator Enzi’s SA 1116:
[BCR § 010.43]