H. Con. Res. 71 (115th Congress)

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for
Fiscal Year 2018


TITLE III—BUDGET ENFORCEMENT IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Subtitle B—Other Provisions
sec. 322. application and effect of changes in allocations and aggregates.

(a) Application.—In the House of Representatives, any adjustments of the allocations, aggregates, and other budgetary levels made pursuant to this concurrent resolution shall—

(1) apply while that measure is under consideration;

(2) take effect upon the enactment of that measure; and

(3) be published in the Congressional Record as soon as practicable.

(b) Effect of Changed Allocations and Aggregates.—Revised allocations and aggregates resulting from these adjustments shall be considered for the purposes of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 as the allocations and aggregates contained in this concurrent resolution.

(c) Budget Committee Determinations.—For purposes of this concurrent resolution, the budgetary levels for a fiscal year or period of fiscal years shall be determined on the basis of estimates made by the chair of the Committee on the Budget of the House of Representatives.

(d) Aggregates, Allocations and Application.—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 set forth in clause 10 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives or section 301 of this concurrent resolution.

(e) Other Adjustments.—The chair of the Committee on the Budget of the House of Representatives may adjust other appropriate levels in this concurrent resolution depending on congressional action on pending reconciliation legislation.


Counsel Notes

In subsection (e), with “Other Adjustments”, this resolution has incorporated one of the worst drafted sections of any budget resolution ever given passed by the House of Representatives. The nature of language providing for an adjustment is to authorize a change to the levels or procedures included in the concurrent resolution. This does that, but gives almost no direction as to what the circumstances are under which the authority is to be used. Hence “other appropriate levels” are permitted to be revised by the House Budget Chairman for “depending on congressional action”.  The terms “depending” and “congressional action” are simply left to be interpreted. The only clue is that the action is related in some fashion to “pending” reconciliation language. It is not even clear on what reconciliation legislation is meant. Presumably it means the legislation generated through the directives found in title II of the concurrent resolution, but no mention is made of it.

It is hard to tell what is intended here, but it is likely a rather ghastly attempt to replicate the authority provided to the Senate Budget Committee in section 310(c)(2) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, which allows adjustments to be made as specified reconciliation language moves through the process.

House Budget Committee Report on Budget Resolution
(H. Rept. 115-240, Report on H. Con. Res. 71 (115th Congress))

Section 322. Application and Effect of Changes in Allocations and Aggregates.

Section 322 explains the mechanics of adjustments made to the budget resolution pursuant to the reserve funds in Title IV and other sections in this concurrent resolution.

Subsection (a) specifies the procedure for making adjustments to the levels established by the budget resolution for five reserve funds and other special procedures in this resolution. It provides that the adjustments apply while the legislation is under consideration and take effect upon enactment of the legislation. The Chair of the Committee on the Budget must submit any adjustments to the budget resolution for printing in the Congressional Record.

Subsection (b) clarifies that the adjusted levels in the budget are fully enforceable under the Budget Act and other budget rules.

Subsection (c) clarifies that the Chair of the Committee on the Budget is the ultimate arbiter of the cost estimates for legislation used to enforce the budget resolution and budget rules.

Subsection (d) clarifies that legislation for which an adjustment to the budget resolution is made, such as those in the reserve funds in Title IV, are not subject to clause 10 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House Representatives, commonly referred to as the House Cut-As-You-Go rule and the point of order on increasing long-term direct spending in section 301 of this concurrent resolution.

Subsection (e) permits the Chair of the Committee on the Budget to adjust the appropriate levels in this concurrent resolution to accommodate the disposition of pending reconciliation legislation.

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[BCD  § 010.43]