SEC. 10112. Amendments to section 311.
(a) In General.—Section 311 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 is amended to read as follows:
“BUDGET-RELATED LEGISLATION MUST BE WITHIN APPROPRIATE LEVELS
“Sec. 311. (a) Enforcement of Budget Aggregates.—
“(1) In the house of representatives.—Except as provided by subsection (c), after the Congress has completed action on a concurrent resolution on the budget for a fiscal year, it shall not be in order in the House of Representatives to consider any bill, joint resolution, amendment, motion, or conference report providing new budget authority or reducing revenues, if—
“(A) the enactment of that bill or resolution as reported;
“(B) the adoption and enactment of that amendment; or
“(C) the enactment of that bill or resolution in the form recommended in that conference report;
would cause the level of total new budget authority or total outlays set forth in the applicable concurrent resolution on the budget for the first fiscal year to be exceeded, or would cause revenues to be less than the level of total revenues set forth in that concurrent resolution for the first fiscal year or for the total of that first fiscal year and the ensuing fiscal years for which allocations are provided under section 302(a), except when a declaration of war by the Congress is in effect.
“(2) In the senate.—After a concurrent resolution on the budget is agreed to, it shall not be in order in the Senate to consider any bill, joint resolution, amendment, motion, or conference report that—
“(A) would cause the level of total new budget authority or total outlays set forth for the first fiscal year in the applicable resolution to be exceeded; or
“(B) would cause revenues to be less than the level of total revenues set forth for that first fiscal year or for the total of that first fiscal year and the ensuing fiscal years in the applicable resolution for which allocations are provided under section 302(a).
“(3) Enforcement of social security levels in the senate.— After a concurrent resolution on the budget is agreed to, it shall not be in order in the Senate to consider any bill, joint resolution, amendment, motion, or conference report that would cause a decrease in social security surpluses or an increase in social security deficits relative to the levels set forth in the applicable resolution for the first fiscal year or for the total of that fiscal year and the ensuing fiscal years for which allocations are provided under section 302(a).
“(b) Social Security Levels.—
“(1) In general.—For purposes of subsection (a)(3), social security surpluses equal the excess of social security revenues over social security outlays in a fiscal year or years with such an excess and social security deficits equal the excess of social security outlays over social security revenues in a fiscal year or years with such an excess.
“(2) Tax treatment.—For purposes of subsection (a)(3), no provision of any legislation involving a change in chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall be treated as affecting the amount of social security revenues or outlays unless that provision changes the income tax treatment of social security benefits.
“(c) Exception in the House of Representatives.— Subsection (a)(1) shall not apply in the House of Representatives to any bill, joint resolution, or amendment that provides new budget authority for a fiscal year or to any conference report on any such bill or resolution, if—
“(1) the enactment of that bill or resolution as reported;
“(2) the adoption and enactment of that amendment; or
“(3) the enactment of that bill or resolution in the form recommended in that conference report;
would not cause the appropriate allocation of new budget authority made pursuant to section 302(a) for that fiscal year to be exceeded.”.
(b) Table of Contents.—The table of contents set forth in section 1(b) of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 is amended by striking the item relating to section 311 and inserting the following:
“Sec. 311. Budget-related legislation must be within appropriate levels.”.
This section was not classified to the U.S. Code.
EXPLANATORY STATEMENT OF MANAGERS
(H. CONF. REPT. 105-217)
The joint explanatory statement of managers for the conference committee on H.R. 2014 summarized this section as follows:
13. Amendments to section 311 of the Congressional Budget Act
HOUSE BILL (SECTION 11111)
This section modifies section 311, which enforces the budget resolution by prohibiting the consideration of legislation that exceeds its aggregate spending levels or reduces revenues below its revenue floor.
It eliminates references in section 311 to new entitlement authority. It clarifies that the exception under 303 for legislation providing new budget authority applies only to advanced discretionary budget authority–not mandatory spending.
This section also preserves the so-called Fazio exception in the House that allows appropriation measures to exceed the aggregate ceiling on new budget authority or outlays if they do not exceed the Appropriations Committee’s applicable allocation.
Finally, this section eliminates a redundant point of order in the Senate and clarifies the Social Security ‘firewall’ point of order, making its application more clear.
SENATE AMENDMENT (SECTION 1609)
The Senate amendment is identical to the House bill.
CONFERENCE AGREEMENT (SECTION 10112)
The Conference agreement reflects the House bill with modifications. The Conference agreement provides that the spending and revenue levels are enforced for the first year covered by the budget resolution. The Conference agreement also provides that the revenue level is also enforced for the same multiyear period covered by the allocations provided in a conference report accompanying a budget resolution, which is at least 5 years.
U.S. Congress, Joint Explanatory Statement on the Committee of Conference on the Balanced Budget Act of 1997; (Conference Report), Committee on the Budget, House of Representatives, 105th Congress, 1st Session, Washington D.C. 1997, p. 992.
Congressional Research service report
CRS issued a report on the Budget Enforcement Act of 1997 (Pub. L. 105-33), including this description of this section:
Section 10112. Amendments to Section 311. Section 311 of the CBA provides for a point of order against the consideration of any budgetary legislation that would cause the aggregate spending and revenue levels in the budget resolution to be violated. An exception, known as the “Fazio exception,” is provided in the House for spending legislation in instances in which the committee reporting the legislation has stayed within its total spending allocation under Section 302(a). Also, Section 311 establishes a mechanism for enforcement in the Senate of the Social Security “firewall,” which seeks to ensure that the long-term balances of the trust funds are not eroded.
Section 10112 of the act makes the point of order apply to spending for the first year of the budget resolution (as is current practice), but makes it apply to revenues for both the first year and the sum of all years covered by the budget resolution. Additionally, the section retains the Fazio exception and makes various technical and conforming changes.
CRS – Budget Enforcement Act of 1997: Summary and Legislative History by Robert Keith (97-931 GOV) October 8, 1997, p. 13
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY NOTES
Pub. L. 105–33, title X, §10000, Nov. 5, 1990, 111 Stat. 686; (Budget Enforcement Act of 1997).