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 A—Budget Enforcement
sec. 301. point of order against increasing long-term direct spending.
(a) Point of Order.—It shall not be in order in the House of Representatives to consider any bill or joint resolution, or amendment thereto or conference report thereon, that would cause a net increase in direct spending in excess of $2,500,000,000 in any of the 4 consecutive 10-fiscal year periods described in subsection (b).
(b) Congressional Budget Office Analysis of Proposals.—The Director of the Congressional Budget Office shall, to the extent practicable, prepare an estimate of whether a bill or joint resolution reported by a committee (other than the Committee on Appropriations), or amendment thereto or conference report thereon, would cause, relative to current law, a net increase in direct spending in the House of Representatives, in excess of $2,500,000,000  in any of the 4 consecutive 10-fiscal year periods beginning after the last fiscal year of this concurrent resolution.
(c) Limitation.—In the House of Representatives, the provisions of this section shall not apply to any bills or joint resolutions, or amendments thereto or conference reports thereon, for which the chair of the Committee on the Budget has made adjustments to the allocations, aggregates, or other budgetary levels in this concurrent resolution. 
(d) Determinations of Budget Levels.—For purposes of this section, the levels of net increases in direct spending shall be determined on the basis of estimates provided by the chair of the Committee on the Budget of the House of Representatives. 
(e) Sunset.—This section shall have no force or effect after September 30, 2018.
This point of order has been included in budget resolutions for several Congress, beginning in the Senate. The section has been written in different ways ranging from and relatively simple to needlessly complex. This version is similar to the cumbersome one which is found in the budget resolution for fiscal year 2017 (H. Con. Res. 125, 114th Congress). It rose from just two subsections in the fiscal year 2016 House-passed budget resolution, H. Con. Res. 27, 114th Congress (S. Con. Res. 11, the final version, badly merged it with Senate provisions resulting in a mess ) to four. The FY2017 budget resolution never passed the House, likely for the best, since this provision was the least of its troubles.
In sec. 3(h) of H. Res. 5 (115th Congress), resolution setting forth the rules for the 115th Congress, this more complicated point of order was used as the model and is thus on a limited basis part of the House Rules (at the higher level of $5 billion for the four ten-year periods rather than the $2.5 billion here).
The addition of explicit authority of the Chair of the Budget Committee to advise on these levels for this point of order is particularly redundant. While it is always best to be clear when any ambiguity may be involved, not only is this language repeated later in the resolution in section 322(e), but the authority to advise the presiding officer in clause 4 of rule XXIX for the chair is unambiguous. From House Rules:
4. Authoritative guidance from the Committee on the Budget concerning the impact of a legislative proposition on the levels of new budget authority, outlays, direct spending, new entitlement authority and revenues may be provided by the chair of the committee.
 Prior renditions of this point of order, and the current House Rule set forth in the sec. 3(h) (Separate Orders) of H. Res. 5 (115th Congress) sets this amount at $5 billion.
 This direction to CBO to prepare estimates of legislation to assist in enforcing the point of order is rendered merely a request by the inclusion of the language “to the extent practicable.” It is also unnecessary since CBO has always prepared these estimates. The text here follows the House Rule contained in sec. 3(h) of H. Res. 5 (115th Congress).
 This subsection is redundant. Subsection 322(d) specifies that if 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] section 301 of this concurrent resolution.” As a matter of proper drafting, redundant provisions are to be avoided since they are not just a waste, but have the potential to cause confusion.
 This subsection is superfluous since section 322(e) of this concurrent resolution states “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.” Section 322(e) is itself redundant since it repeats the authority provided by law under section 312(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and rule XXIX of the Rules of the House.
House Budget Committee Report on Budget Resolution
(H. Rept. 115-240, Report on H. Con. Res. 71 (115th Congress))
Section 301. Point of Order Against Increasing Long-Term Direct Spending.
Subsection (a) establishes a point of order against the consideration of any measure other than an appropriation measure, or amendment thereto or conference report thereon, that increases net direct spending by $2.5 billion over the long-term. The $2.5 billion threshold is a reduction from the $5 billion threshold applicable under section 3(h) of H. Res. 5 (115th Congress).
Subsection (b) requires the Congressional Budget Office [CBO], to the extent practicable, to prepare an estimate of whether a measure would cause a net increase in direct spending in excess of $2.5 billion over the long-term. The applicable periods for this section are any of the four consecutive 10-fiscal year periods beginning in fiscal year 2028.
Subsection (c) states that application of this section in the House shall not apply to any measure for which the Chair of the Committee on the Budget adjusts the allocations, aggregates, or other budgetary levels in this concurrent resolution.
Subsection (d) affirms the authority of the Chair of the Committee on the Budget to determine the estimates that are used to enforce this section. As a practical matter, the Committee on the Budget uses the estimates provided by CBO.
Subsection (e) provides that this section shall have no force or effect after September 30, 2018.
Section 201. (HCR71)
Sec. 302. (HCR71)
[BCD § 010.43]