Cyclopedia of Congressional Budget Law


GAO Glossary of Terms and Definition (September 2005)


The process of estimating the budgetary effects of pending legislation and comparing them to a baseline, such as a budget resolution, or to any limits that may be set in law. Scorekeeping tracks data such as budget authority, receipts, outlays, the surplus or deficit, and the public debt limit. The process allows Congress to compare the cost of proposed budget policy changes to existing law and to enforce spending and revenue levels agreed upon in the budget resolution. Budget Committees and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score legislation in relation to the levels set by Congress in concurrent budget resolutions.

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Scoring or Scorekeeping: The process for estimating budget authority, outlay, revenue and deficit levels which result from congressional budgetary actions. Scorekeeping data prepared by the Congressional Budget Office include status reports on the effect of congressional actions and comparisons of these actions to targets and ceilings set by Congress in budget resolutions. These reports are published in the Congressional Record on a regular basis. OMB is responsible for scoring legislation to determine if a sequester is necessary.

[The Congressional Budget Process: An Explanation, Appendix J (Glossary), Committee on the Budget of the U.S. Senate, S. Prt. 105-67 (Revised December 1998).]




Scorekeeping Rules