Budget Counsel Reference Directory

Reconciliation

Summary

A big topic with lots of stuff on it. Still in the works — maybe it will be ready … years? Hard to tell. Yes, a budget reference website without extensive reconciliation material is not exactly comprehensive. I have put more on, but still woefully insufficient with all that is there. The latest from the Senate Parliamentarian, perhaps the most mysterious, often wrong, and unfathomable, authority on the subject has not been encouraging.

The past several reconciliation bills has shown how degraded this procedure has become. Still, for as long as it remains a way to move a bill through the Senate with a simple majority instead of getting to 60 votes, it will remain important. It should be seen as more than that, it’s history indicates a much different intent and purpose than simply a way to circumvent the filibuster.

Reconciliation and the Budget Resolution.

The House Budget Committee reported H.R. 3762, the reconciliation bill for fiscal year 2016, in October of 2015. The it was perhaps the worst report that Committee on the Budget of the House ever produced, it did include a good explanation of the relationship between reconciliation and the budget resolution. H.R. 3762, which had no formal short title since the one given to it by the House Budget Committee was stripped out later in the process and replaced by nothing, was vetoed by President Obama.

Reconciliation and the Budget Resolution, Excerpt from the Committee Report on H.R. 3762,  Reconciliation for Fiscal Year 2016, House Budget Committee (H. Rept. 114-293) October 16, 2015, pp. 9-11. 


Reconciliation Guidelines

After a budget resolution has been adopted by both Houses of Congress, and hence is a valid concurrent resolution on the budget, the reconciliation instructions included therein, if any, are activated. If those instructions include directives to more than one committee, then the instructed committees must “submit” (rather than “report”) its legislative recommendations to the respective Committees on the Budget of each House.

In the House, the Budget Committee will, usually, provide the instructed committees, and if done correctly be made public, a set of “guidelines” to assist the committees with their task of complying with the instructions.

Further, guidelines are sometimes provided to committees prior to the convening of a conference committee between the House and the Senate. Below are examples of such guidelines provided in the past.

House Reconciliation Guidelines for Fiscal Year 2016 (June 1, 2015)

House Reconciliation Guidelines for Fiscal Year 2006 (June 24, 2005)

House Reconciliation Guidelines for Fiscal Year 2006 (June 22, 2005)

House Conference Guidelines for Reconciliation (Fiscal Year 1983)


Resources

CRS List of Budget Reconciliation Measures Enacted Into Law (1980-2010)

Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (S. Rept. 99-348)

A Review of the Reconciliation Process, House Budget Committee, Committee Print, 98th Congress, (October 1984)


CRS – Reports from the Congressional Research Service

CRS – The Budget Reconciliation Process: Timing of Legislative Action (RL30458) February 23, 2016

CRS – Budget Reconciliation Process: Timing of Committee Responses to Reconciliation Directives (R41151) January 19, 2016

CRS – Budget Reconciliation Legislation: Development and Consideration (98-814) November 30, 2015

CRS – Points of Order Limiting the Contents of Reconciliation Legislation: In Brief (R43885) October 14, 2015

CRS – The Budget Reconciliation Process: Stages of Consideration (R440582) June 2, 2014

CRS – Budget Reconciliation Process: Timing of Committee Responses to Reconciliation Directives (R41151) October 24, 2013

CRS – Reconciliation Directives: Components and Enforcement (R41186) May 3, 2012

CRS – Budget Reconciliation Measures Enacted Into Law: 1980-2010 (R40480) September 2, 2010

CRS – Budget Reconciliation Process: House and Senate Procedures (RL33030) August 10, 2005


Byrd Rule

William G. Dauster Byrd Rule Annotated,  (October 2005) Preliminary Draft

Senate Budget Bulletin: Byrd Rule Primer (September 12, 2005)

Byrd Rule (Budget Counsel Reference)

GAO Entry from the Glossary of Budgetary Terms (Government Accountability Office 2005)

Byrd Violations in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1 (115th Congress), Pub. L. 115-97. (Ways and Means Committee), December 22, 2017

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