Security and Nonsecurity Spending Categories

Security and nonsecurity Category: This category was established by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). It is essentially intertwined with the “security category”, which was also created by the BCA. The nonsecurity category is simply by section 250(xx)  Neither of these categories ever took effect though, security category included discretionary budget authority for the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Intelligence Community Management account, and all budget accounts in the international affairs budget function (budget function 150). The nonsecurity category includes all discretionary budget authority not included in the security category. After the nonsecurity category was to expire, a single general discretionary category was to be in effect from fiscal years 2014 through 2021, Title I has a single spending category that covers all discretionary budget authority, with a specified spending limit for each of those years.

When the Joint Committee failed to report any legislation at all, and hence no deficit reduction enacted as required by the BCA, the security and nonsecurity spending categories were replaced by by the “revised security”  and “revised nonsecurity” spending categories.

Statutory Definitions 


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(c) Definitions.—As used in this part:

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(4)(A) The term “nonsecurity category” means all discretionary appropriations not included in the security category defined in subparagraph (B).

(B) The term “security category” includes discretionary appropriations associated with agency budgets for the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the intelligence community management account (95–0401–0–1–054), and all budget accounts in budget function 150 (international affairs).


GAO Glossary of Terms and Definition (September 2005)

Spending Caps

Overall limits on discretionary spending, which were originally set in the Budget Enforcement Act (BEA) and the enforcement of which expired at the end of fiscal year 2002. Congress, however, continues to set limits on discretionary spending, typically in concurrent budget resolutions, which are enforceable during the congressional budget process.

(See also DiscretionaryConcurrent Resolution on the Budget.)

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Special Fund Accounts


Spending Committee