GAO Glossary of Terms and Definitions (September 2005)

Budget Enforcement Act (BEA)

First enacted as Title XIII of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. BEA amended the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 and related amendments (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings) and the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974. BEA modified procedures and definitions for sequestration and deficit reduction, reformed budgetary credit accounting, maintained the off-budget status of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds, and removed Social Security trust fund receipts and outlays from deficit and sequestration calculations through fiscal year 1995. Public Law 103–66 (1993) extended the discretionary spending limits, pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules, and sequestration procedures through fiscal year 1998. The BEA of 1997, enacted as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, further extended these budget enforcement mechanisms through fiscal year 2002. The BEA of 1997 also added new categories of discretionary spending and made technical and conforming changes to correct drafting errors in the BEA of 1990.

The sequestration and enforcement mechanisms of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, as amended by BEA, expired or became ineffective, at the end of fiscal year 2002. (All BEA-specific terms are defined in A Glossary of Terms Used in the Federal Budget Process: Exposure Draft, January 1993, GAO/AFMD-2.1.1 (See also Credit Reform; Direct Spending; Gramm-Rudman- Hollings; Mandatory; Off-Budget.)

[PAGES 23-24]


Budget Authority


Budget Estimates