Public Laws

Contract With America Advancement Act of 1996
Public Law 104-121

Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996; Public Law 104-121; 110 Stat. 847; Mar. 29, 1996; H.R. 3136 (104th Congress)


References

GAO – Analysis of Actions During the 1995-1996 Crisis (GAO:AIMD-96-130 Debt Ceiling) August 1996

New York Times – Debt and Line-Item-Veto Bills Approved (NY Times) March 29, 1996


General  Information

Public Law: Public Law 104-121

Stat. At Large: 110 Stat. 847

Enacted: March 29, 1996

Bill Number: H.R. 3136 (104th Congress)

Sponsor: Rep. Bill Archer [R-TX-7] 

Note:  This Act established “continuing disability reviews” as an adjustment for the discretionary spending limits. These reviews have remained and currently are an adjustment to the spending limits. This Act also raised the public debt limit. The legislation came in the wake of two government shutdowns that included a dispute over the amount of debt and how to address the issue of the Federal debt.On August 10, 1993, the Congress raised the debt ceiling to $4.9 trillion. This debt ceiling was reached in the fall of 1995, and then on March 29, 1996 Congress passed and the President signed this Act raising it to $5.5 trillion.


Applicable Text of Statute

The Contract With America Advancement Act of 1996 included two major budgetary provisions:

(1) CDR Adjustment. An adjustment to the discretionary spending limits, which allowed for an increase in discretionary spending for the purpose of continuing disability reviews

(2) Public Debt Limit Increase. The Act also increased the raised the debt limit by $600 billion to a total of $5.5 trillion.

The statutory text of these two provisions are as follow:

TITLE I—SOCIAL SECURITY EARNINGS LIMITATION AMENDMENTS

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sec. 103. continuing disability reviews.

(a) Authorization For Appropriations For Continuing Disability Reviews.—Section 201(g)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401(g)(1)(A)) is amended by adding at the end the following: “Of the amounts authorized to be made available out of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund under the preceding sentence, there are hereby authorized to be made available from either or both of such Trust Funds for continuing disability reviews—

“(i) for fiscal year 1996, $260,000,000;

“(ii) for fiscal year 1997, $360,000,000;

“(iii) for fiscal year 1998, $570,000,000;

“(iv) for fiscal year 1999, $720,000,000;

“(v) for fiscal year 2000, $720,000,000;

“(vi) for fiscal year 2001, $720,000,000; and

“(viii) for fiscal year 2002, $720,000,000.

For purposes of this subparagraph, the term ‘continuing disability review’ means a review conducted pursuant to section 221(i) and a review or disability eligibility redetermination conducted to determine the continuing disability and eligibility of a recipient of benefits under the supplemental security income program under title XVI, including any review or redetermination conducted pursuant to section 207 or 208 of the Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994 (Public Law 103–296).”.

(b) Adjustment To Discretionary Spending Limits.—Section 251(b)(2) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is amended by adding the following new subparagraph:

“(H) Continuing Disability Reviews.—(i) Whenever a bill or joint resolution making appropriations for fiscal year 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, or 2002 is enacted that specifies an amount for continuing disability reviews under the heading ‘Limitation on Administrative Expenses’ for the Social Security Administration, the adjustments for that fiscal year shall be the additional new budget authority provided in that Act for such reviews for that fiscal year and the additional outlays flowing from such amounts, but shall not exceed—

“(I) for fiscal year 1996, $15,000,000 in additional new budget authority and $60,000,000 in additional outlays;

“(II) for fiscal year 1997, $25,000,000 in additional new budget authority and $160,000,000 in additional outlays;

“(III) for fiscal year 1998, $145,000,000 in additional new budget authority and $370,000,000 in additional outlays;

“(IV) for fiscal year 1999, $280,000,000 in additional new budget authority and $520,000,000 in additional outlays;

“(V) for fiscal year 2000, $317,500,000 in additional new budget authority and $520,000,000 in additional outlays;

“(VI) for fiscal year 2001, $317,500,000 in additional new budget authority and $520,000,000 in additional outlays; and

“(VII) for fiscal year 2002, $317,500,000 in additional new budget authority and $520,000,000 in additional outlays.

“(ii) As used in this subparagraph—

“(I) the term ‘continuing disability reviews’ has the meaning given such term by section 201(g)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act;

“(II) the term ‘additional new budget authority’ means new budget authority provided for a fiscal year, in excess of $100,000,000, for the Supplemental Security Income program and specified to pay for the costs of continuing disability reviews attributable to the Supplemental Security Income program; and

“(III) the term ‘additional outlays’ means outlays, in excess of $200,000,000 in a fiscal year, flowing from the amounts specified for continuing disability reviews under the heading ‘Limitation on Administrative Expenses’ for the Social Security Administration, including outlays in that fiscal year flowing from amounts specified in Acts enacted for prior fiscal years (but not before 1996).”.

(c) Budget Allocation Adjustment By Budget Committee.— Section 606 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 is amended by adding the following new subsection:

“(e) Continuing Disability Review Adjustment.—

“(1) In general.—(A) For fiscal year 1996, upon the enactment of the Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996, the Chairmen of the Committees on the Budget of the Senate and House of Representatives shall make the adjustments referred to in subparagraph (C) to reflect $15,000,000 in additional new budget authority and $60,000,000 in additional outlays for continuing disability reviews (as defined in section 201(g)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act).

“(B) When the Committee on Appropriations reports an appropriations measure for fiscal year 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, or 2002 that specifies an amount for continuing disability reviews under the heading ‘Limitation on Administrative Expenses’ for the Social Security Administration, or when a conference committee submits a conference report thereon, the Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate or House of Representatives (whichever is appropriate) shall make the adjustments referred to in subparagraph (C) to reflect the additional new budget authority for continuing disability reviews provided in that measure or conference report and the additional outlays flowing from such amounts for continuing disability reviews.

“(C) The adjustments referred to in this subparagraph consist of adjustments to—

“(i) the discretionary spending limits for that fiscal year as set forth in the most recently adopted concurrent resolution on the budget;

“(ii) the allocations to the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives for that fiscal year under sections 302(a) and 602(a); and

“(iii) the appropriate budgetary aggregates for that fiscal year in the most recently adopted concurrent resolution on the budget.

“(D) The adjustments under this paragraph for any fiscal year shall not exceed the levels set forth in section 251(b)(2)(H) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 for that fiscal year. The adjusted discretionary spending limits, allocations, and aggregates under this paragraph shall be considered the appropriate limits, allocations, and aggregates for purposes of congressional enforcement of this Act and concurrent budget resolutions under this Act.

“(2) Reporting revised suballocations.—Following the adjustments made under paragraph (1), the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives may report appropriately revised suballocations pursuant to sections 302(b) and 602(b) of this Act to carry out this subsection.

“(3) Definitions.—As used in this section, the terms ‘continuing disability reviews’, ‘additional new budget authority’, and ‘additional outlays’ shall have the same meanings as provided in section 251(b)(2)(H)(ii) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.”.

(d) Use of Funds and Reports.—

(1) In general.—The Commissioner of Social Security shall ensure that funds made available for continuing disability reviews (as defined in section 201(g)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act) are used, to the greatest extent practicable, to maximize the combined savings in the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance, supplemental security income, Medicare, and medicaid programs.

(2) Report.—The Commissioner of Social Security shall provide annually (at the conclusion of each of the fiscal years 1996 through 2002) to the Congress a report on continuing disability reviews which includes—

(A) the amount spent on continuing disability reviews in the fiscal year covered by the report, and the number of reviews conducted, by category of review;

(B) the results of the continuing disability reviews in terms of cessations of benefits or determinations of continuing eligibility, by program; and

(C) the estimated savings over the short-, medium-, and long-term to the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance, supplemental security income, Medicare, and medicaid programs from continuing disability reviews which result in cessations of benefits and the estimated present value of such savings.

(e) Office Of Chief Actuary in the Social Security Administration.—

(1) In general.—Section 702 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 902) is amended—

(A) by redesignating subsections (c) and (d) as subsections (d) and (e), respectively; and

(B) by inserting after subsection (b) the following new subsection:

“Chief Actuary

“(c)(1) There shall be in the Administration a Chief Actuary, who shall be appointed by, and in direct line of authority to, the Commissioner. The Chief Actuary shall be appointed from individuals who have demonstrated, by their education and experience, superior expertise in the actuarial sciences. The Chief Actuary shall serve as the chief actuarial officer of the Administration, and shall exercise such duties as are appropriate for the office of the Chief Actuary and in accordance with professional standards of actuarial independence. The Chief Actuary may be removed only for cause.

“(2) The Chief Actuary shall be compensated at the highest rate of basic pay for the Senior Executive Service under section 5382(b) of title 5, United States Code.”.

(2) Effective date of subsection.—The amendments made by this subsection shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

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TITLE III—PUBLIC DEBT LIMIT 

SEC. 301. INCREASE IN PUBLIC DEBT LIMIT.

Subsection (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking the dollar limitation contained in such subsection and inserting “$5,500,000,000,000”.