Congressional Budget Act of 1974
Section 306 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, whose formal heading is “Legislation Dealing with Congressional Budget Must Be Handled by Budget Committees”, relates to the jurisdiction of the Congressional Budget Committees. For purposes of this section, the term “dealing with” means to make changes to law within the jurisdiction of the Congressional Budget Committees. While doing so may trigger other points of orders as a general matter for committees of Congress, this point of order is specific to the Budget Committees, and is also routinely violated.
The most common example of legislative measures violating this point of order are appropriation bills that include spending designated for a particular purpose, such as emergencies. Because such a designation constitutes legislating on an appropriation bill, the point of order against such action (such as clause 2 of rule XXI in the House).
Section 306 is classified to the U.S. Code at 2 U.S.C. 637.
Deschler’s Precedents: Chapter 41 (Budget Process)
§ 16. Section 306
Section 306 of the Congressional Budget Act(1) prevents the consideration of measures that contain matter within the jurisdiction of the Committee on the Budget(2) but that have not been reported by (or been discharged from) that committee.(3) The Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 standardized this section in its application to any bill, resolution, or amendment, motion or conference report.(4) The point of order is applicable in both the House and the Senate.(5) Pursuant to section 904(c) of the Congressional Budget Act,(6) a vote of three-fifths of Senators duly chosen and sworn is required to waive section 306 of the Budget Act.(7)
The House has adopted special orders of business resolutions reported from the Committee on Rules that explicitly waive the requirement of section 306.(8) Furthermore, a special order of business that makes in order the consideration of an unreported measure has the effect of discharging that measure from committee (regardless of whether or not the text of the special order uses the term ‘‘discharge’’) and thus would meet the section 306 requirement that the measure be reported or discharged from committee.(9) The Committee on Rules has also reported special orders of business that ‘‘self-execute’’ amendments to the original text that remove matters within the jurisdiction of the Committee on the Budget in order to avoid violating section 306.(10)
Pursuant to the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010,(11) a designation regarding the budgetary effects under Stat-Paygo is not considered a matter within the jurisdiction of the Committee on the Budget for the purpose of section 306 enforcement.(12) This is to be contrasted with emergency designations made pursuant to section 251 of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, which have been considered within the jurisdiction of the Committee on the Budget for that purpose.(13) Similarly, concurrent resolutions on the budget have occasionally provided for special treatment of amounts designated as emergencies.(14) Emergency designations contained in measures pursuant to such ad hoc provisions contained in concurrent resolutions on the budget have typically been viewed as falling within the jurisdiction of the Committee on the Budget.(15)
Deschler’s Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives, Volume 18, Chapter 41, §16, p. 246-252.
1. 2 USC § 637.
2. See § 7, supra.
3. Compare to Rule XXI clause 5(a), which provides a point of order against certain tax and tariff measures not reported by the committee with jurisdiction over such matters (Committee on Ways and Means). House Rules and Manual § 1066 (2011).
4. In the 107th through the 112th Congresses, the House adopted orders construing the term ‘‘resolution’’ as ‘‘joint resolution.’’ See 157 CONG. REC. H9 [Daily Ed.], 112th Cong. 1st Sess., Jan. 5, 2011 (H. Res. 5, sec. 3(a)(1)); 155 CONG. REC. 9, 111th Cong. 1st Sess., Jan. 6, 2009 (H. Res. 5, sec. 3(a)(1)); 153 CONG. REC. 19, 110th Cong. 1st Sess., Jan. 4, 2007 (H. Res. 6, sec. 511(a)(1)); 151 CONG. REC. 44, 109th Cong. 1st Sess., Jan. 4, 2005 (H. Res. 5, sec. 3(a)(1)); 149 CONG. REC. 10, 108th Cong. 1st Sess., Jan. 7, 2003 (H. Res. 5, sec. 3(a)(1)); and 147 CONG. REC. 21, 107th Cong. 1st Sess., Jan. 3, 2001 (H. Res. 5, sec. 3(b)).
5. For examples of section 306 points of order raised in the Senate, see, e.g., 129 CONG. REC. 6574, 6575, 6589–91, 98th Cong. 1st Sess., Mar. 22, 1983; and 122 CONG. REC. 19089–97, 94th Cong. 2d Sess., June 18, 1976.
6. 2 USC § 621 note.
7. For an example of a successful waiver of section 306 in the Senate, see 140 CONG. REC. 24010, 24069, 24070, 103d Cong. 2d Sess., Aug. 25, 1994.
8. See 141 CONG. REC. 13911, 13912, 104th Cong. 1st Sess., May 23, 1995 (H. Res. 155).
9. See § 16.3, infra.
10. See 142 CONG. REC. 14609, 14610, 104th Cong. 2d Sess., June 19, 1996 (H. Res. 455).
11. Pub. L. No. 111–139, sec. 4(a)(4). See § 23, infra.
12. However, such a designation remains within the Committee on the Budget’s jurisdiction for purposes of referral under Rule X.
13. For an example of a special order explicitly waiving section 306 for a bill containing such section 251 emergency designations, see 144 CONG. REC. 16341, 105th Cong. 2d Sess., July 21, 1998 (H. Res. 504). Section 314 of the Congressional Budget Act, as noted in Section 1, supra, and Section 26, infra, is textually linked to these emergency designations under section 251 of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings. For an example of an amendment containing such an emergency designation ruled out on a section 306 point of order, see § 16.1, infra.
14. See § 4, supra.
15. The blanket waiver contained in H. Res. 396 of the 108th Congress covered such unreferred budget matters. 149 CONG. REC. 24863, 24864, 108th Cong. 1st Sess., Oct. 16, 2003.
Text from Title III of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974:
Sec. 306. (a) In the Senate.—In the Senate, no bill, resolution, amendment, motion, or conference report, dealing with any matter which is within the jurisdiction of the Committee on the Budget shall be considered unless it is a bill or resolution which has been reported by the Committee on the Budget (or from the consideration of which such committee has been discharged) or unless it is an amendment to such a bill or resolution.
(b) In the House of Representatives.—In the House of Representatives, no bill or joint resolution, or amendment thereto, or conference report thereon, dealing with any matter which is within the jurisdiction of the Committee on the Budget shall be considered unless it is a bill or joint resolution which has been reported by the Committee on the Budget (or from the consideration of which such committee has been discharged) or unless it is an amendment to such a bill or joint resolution.
Amendment by the BBA 2013
In 2013, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 amended section 306, by applying it separately to the House and the Senate in order to confine its application to only “joint resolutions” rather than also including simple resolutions. This enacted into law provisions including in the Separate Orders of each organizing resolution from the 106th through the 1013th Congress. In particular, it excluded simple resolutions reported by the Committee on the Rules of the House, which also has jurisdiction over budget-related rulemaking.