H. Con. Res. 71 (115th Congress)
Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2018
SEC. 2002. RECONCILIATION IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
(a) Committee on Ways and Means—The Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives shall submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction that increase the deficit by not more than $1,500,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.
(b) Committee on Natural Resources.—The Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives shall submit changes in laws within its jurisdiction to reduce the deficit by not less than $1,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.
(c) Submissions.—In the House of Representatives, not later than November 13, 2017, the committees named in subsections (a) and (b) shall submit their recommendations to the Committee on the Budget of the House of Representatives to carry out this section.
Superseded Reconciliation Instructions
Section 5113 of this resolution, found in title V under the heading “Budget Process in the House of Representatives”. The drafting of this resolution was confused, and not surprisingly a conference committee was not called into existence between the House and Senate Budget Committees to formally put together a coherent document. Hence, the Senate wrote reconciliation instruction for the House initially and put them in the correct place, title II along with the Senate instructions. The decision was made at the last moment to add a title V, consisting of provisions applying only to the House. Instead of simply amending the Senate language, the title was grafted onto the end.
Subsection (a) of section 5113 explicitly deactivates this section (“(a) In General.—Section 2002 shall have no force or effect.”), while subsection (b) sets out the instruction for the Ways and Means Committee to ” increase the deficit by not more than $1,500,000,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2018 through 2027.”
As mentioned above, this instruction was superseded by section 5113 providing an instruction to the House Ways and Means Committee to report to the full House a reconciliation bill. This marks the first time that the House and Senate have incorporated inconsistent instructions into a budget resolution: Usually multiple committees are instructed to “submit” legislation to the Budget Committees, which then report the bill as it has combined it into a single measure. Another option is available in section 310(b)(1) (CBA) where a single committee is directed to take action to “report” a bill to the applicable chamber.
Hence the Ways and Means Committee was given an instruction to report a bill, H.R. 1 (115th Congress), the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, to the House whereas the Senate directed its Finance Committee and the Energy and Natural Resources committee to submit legislative text to the Senate Budget Committee. This was done in the form of S. 1 (115th Congress), also with the short title of “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, which was merged into the House bill and ultimately enacted on December 22, 2017.
[BCR § 010.43]