U.S. Code
CHAPTER 20-EMERGENCY POWERS TO ELIMINATE BUDGET DEFICITS
SUBCHAPTER I-ELIMINATION OF DEFICITS IN EXCESS OF MAXIMUM DEFICIT AMOUNT

2 USC 900 note

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Amendments
2011

Subsec. (c)(4).

Pub. L. 112–25, §102(1), added par. (4) and struck out former par. (4) which defined the terms “category”, “highway category”, “mass transit category”, “conservation spending category”, “Federal and State Land and Water Conservation Fund sub-category”, “State and Other Conservation sub-category”, “Urban and Historic Preservation sub-category”, “Payments in Lieu of Taxes sub-category”, “Federal Deferred Maintenance sub-category”, and “Coastal Assistance sub-category” and provided a special rule for outlays in excess of the discretionary spending limit for the highway or mass transit category.

Subsec. (c)(8)(C).

Pub. L. 112–25, §102(2), substituted “the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” for “the food stamp program”.

Subsec. (c)(14).

Pub. L. 112–25, §102(3), added par. (14) and struck out former par. (14) which read as follows: “The term ‘outyear’ means, with respect to a budget year, any of the first 4 fiscal years that follow the budget year.”

Subsec. (c)(20), (21).

Pub. L. 112–25, §102(4), added pars. (20) and (21).

Short Title of 2011 Amendment

Pub. L. 112–25, §1(a), Aug. 2, 2011, 125 Stat. 240 provided that:

“This Act may be cited as the ‘Budget Control Act of 2011’.”

The “Act” referred to above enacted into law section 251A of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 901a) and 31 U.S.C. 3101A. It also amended (sections 622, 645, section 251 and 254 of BBEDCA (2 U.S.C. sections 901 and  2 U.S.C. 904),  sections 1070a and 1087e of Title 20, Education, and section 3101 of Title 31 of the U.S. Code. Notes were set out in the U.S. Code section 2 U.S.C. 901,  and 2. U.S.C. 631 and 902 of this title and section 1089 of Title 20, amending provisions set out as a note under section 621 of title 2, and repealing provisions set out as a note under this 901].

Severability

Pub. L. 112–25, §2, Aug. 2, 2011, 125 Stat. 240 , provided that: “If any provision of this Act [see Short Title of 2011 Amendment note above], or any application of such provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act and the application of this Act to any other person or circumstance shall not be affected.”

Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

Pub. L. 112–25, title IV, Aug. 2, 2011, 125 Stat. 259 provided that:

“SEC. 401. ESTABLISHMENT OF JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE.

“(a) Definitions.-In this title:

“(1) Joint committee.-The term ‘joint committee’ means the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction established under subsection (b)(1).

“(2) Joint committee bill.-The term ‘joint committee bill’ means a bill consisting of the proposed legislative language of the joint committee recommended under subsection (b)(3)(B) and introduced under section 402(a).

“(b) Establishment of Joint Select Committee.-

“(1) Establishment.-There is established a joint select committee of Congress to be known as the ‘Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction’.

“(2) Goal.-The goal of the joint committee shall be to reduce the deficit by at least $1,500,000,000,000 over the period of fiscal years 2012 to 2021.

“(3) Duties.-

“(A) In general.-

“(i) Improving the short-term and long-term fiscal imbalance.-The joint committee shall provide recommendations and legislative language that will significantly improve the short-term and long-term fiscal imbalance of the Federal Government.

“(ii) Recommendations of committees.-Not later than October 14, 2011, each committee of the House of Representatives and the Senate may transmit to the joint committee its recommendations for changes in law to reduce the deficit consistent with the goal described in paragraph (2) for the joint committee’s consideration.

“(B) Report, recommendations, and legislative language.-

“(i) In general.-Not later than November 23, 2011, the joint committee shall vote on-

“(I) a report that contains a detailed statement of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the joint committee and the estimate of the Congressional Budget Office required by paragraph (5)(D)(ii); and

“(II) proposed legislative language to carry out such recommendations as described in subclause (I), which shall include a statement of the deficit reduction achieved by the legislation over the period of fiscal years 2012 to 2021.

 Any change to the Rules of the House of Representatives or the Standing Rules of the Senate included in the report or legislative language shall be considered to be merely advisory.

“(ii) Approval of report and legislative language.-The report of the joint committee and the proposed legislative language described in clause (i) shall require the approval of a majority of the members of the joint committee.

“(iii) Additional views.-A member of the joint committee who gives notice of an intention to file supplemental, minority, or additional views at the time of final joint committee vote on the approval of the report and legislative language under clause (ii) shall be entitled to 3 calendar days in which to file such views in writing with the staff director of the joint committee. Such views shall then be included in the joint committee report and printed in the same volume, or part thereof, and their inclusion shall be noted on the cover of the report. In the absence of timely notice, the joint committee report may be printed and transmitted immediately without such views.

“(iv) Transmission of report and legislative language.-If the report and legislative language are approved by the joint committee pursuant to clause (ii), then not later than December 2, 2011, the joint committee shall submit the joint committee report and legislative language described in clause (i) to the President, the Vice President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the majority and minority Leaders of each House of Congress.

“(v) Report and legislative language to be made public.-Upon the approval or disapproval of the joint committee report and legislative language pursuant to clause (ii), the joint committee shall promptly make the full report and legislative language, and a record of the vote, available to the public.

“(4) Membership.-

“(A) In general.-The joint committee shall be composed of 12 members appointed pursuant to subparagraph (B).

“(B) Appointment.-Members of the joint committee shall be appointed as follows:

“(i) The majority leader of the Senate shall appoint three members from among Members of the Senate.

“(ii) The minority leader of the Senate shall appoint three members from among Members of the Senate.

“(iii) The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint three members from among Members of the House of Representatives.

“(iv) The minority leader of the House of Representatives shall appoint three members from among Members of the House of Representatives.

“(C) Co-chairs.-

“(i) In general.-There shall be two Co-Chairs of the joint committee. The majority leader of the Senate shall appoint one Co-Chair from among the members of the joint committee. The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint the second Co-Chair from among the members of the joint committee. The Co-Chairs shall be appointed not later than 14 calendar days after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 2, 2011].

“(ii) Staff director.-The Co-Chairs, acting jointly, shall hire the staff director of the joint committee.

“(D) Date.-Members of the joint committee shall be appointed not later than 14 calendar days after the date of enactment of this Act.

“(E) Period of appointment.-Members shall be appointed for the life of the joint committee. Any vacancy in the joint committee shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled not later than 14 calendar days after the date on which the vacancy occurs, in the same manner as the original designation was made. If a member of the joint committee ceases to be a Member of the House of Representatives or the Senate, as the case may be, the member is no longer a member of the joint committee and a vacancy shall exist.

“(5) Administration.-

“(A) In general.-To enable the joint committee to exercise its powers, functions, and duties, there are authorized to be disbursed by the Senate the actual and necessary expenses of the joint committee approved by the co-chairs, subject to the rules and regulations of the Senate.

“(B) Expenses.-In carrying out its functions, the joint committee is authorized to incur expenses in the same manner and under the same conditions as the Joint Economic Committee is authorized by section 11[(d)] of Public Law 79–304 (15 U.S.C. 1024(d)).

“(C) Quorum.-Seven members of the joint committee shall constitute a quorum for purposes of voting, meeting, and holding hearings.

“(D) Voting.-

“(i) Proxy voting.-No proxy voting shall be allowed on behalf of the members of the joint committee.

“(ii) Congressional budget office estimates.-The Congressional Budget Office shall provide estimates of the legislation (as described in paragraph (3)(B)) in accordance with sections 308(a) and 201(f) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 639(a) and 601(f)) (including estimates of the effect of interest payment on the debt). In addition, the Congressional Budget Office shall provide information on the budgetary effect of the legislation beyond the year 2021. The joint committee may not vote on any version of the report, recommendations, or legislative language unless such estimates are available for consideration by all members of the joint committee at least 48 hours prior to the vote as certified by the Co-Chairs.

“(E) Meetings.-

“(i) Initial meeting.-Not later than 45 calendar days after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 2, 2011], the joint committee shall hold its first meeting.

“(ii) Agenda.-The Co-Chairs of the joint committee shall provide an agenda to the joint committee members not less than 48 hours in advance of any meeting.

“(F) Hearings.-

“(i) In general.-The joint committee may, for the purpose of carrying out this section, hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, require attendance of witnesses and production of books, papers, and documents, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the joint committee considers advisable.

“(ii) Hearing procedures and responsibilities of co-chairs.-

“(I) Announcement.-The Co-Chairs of the joint committee shall make a public announcement of the date, place, time, and subject matter of any hearing to be conducted, not less than 7 days in advance of such hearing, unless the Co-Chairs determine that there is good cause to begin such hearing at an earlier date.

“(II) Written statement.-A witness appearing before the joint committee shall file a written statement of proposed testimony at least 2 calendar days before the appearance of the witness, unless the requirement is waived by the Co-Chairs, following their determination that there is good cause for failure to comply with such requirement.

“(G) Technical assistance.-Upon written request of the Co-Chairs, a Federal agency shall provide technical assistance to the joint committee in order for the joint committee to carry out its duties.

“(c) Staff of Joint Committee.-

“(1) In general.-The Co-Chairs of the joint committee may jointly appoint and fix the compensation of staff as they deem necessary, within the guidelines for employees of the Senate and following all applicable rules and employment requirements of the Senate.

“(2) Ethical standards.-Members on the joint committee who serve in the House of Representatives shall be governed by the ethics rules and requirements of the House. Members of the Senate who serve on the joint committee and staff of the joint committee shall comply with the ethics rules of the Senate.

“(d) Termination.-The joint committee shall terminate on January 31, 2012.

“SEC. 402. EXPEDITED CONSIDERATION OF JOINT COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS.

“(a) Introduction.-If approved by the majority required by section 401(b)(3)(B)(ii), the proposed legislative language submitted pursuant to section 401(b)(3)(B)(iv) shall be introduced in the Senate (by request) on the next day on which the Senate is in session by the majority leader of the Senate or by a Member of the Senate designated by the majority leader of the Senate and shall be introduced in the House of Representatives (by request) on the next legislative day by the majority leader of the House or by a Member of the House designated by the majority leader of the House.

“(b) Consideration in the House of Representatives.-

“(1) Referral and reporting.-Any committee of the House of Representatives to which the joint committee bill is referred shall report it to the House without amendment not later than December 9, 2011. If a committee fails to report the joint committee bill within that period, it shall be in order to move that the House discharge the committee from further consideration of the bill. Such a motion shall not be in order after the last committee authorized to consider the bill reports it to the House or after the House has disposed of a motion to discharge the bill. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to its adoption without intervening motion except 20 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. If such a motion is adopted, the House shall proceed immediately to consider the joint committee bill in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3). A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.

“(2) Proceeding to consideration.-After the last committee authorized to consider a joint committee bill reports it to the House or has been discharged (other than by motion) from its consideration, it shall be in order to move to proceed to consider the joint committee bill in the House. Such a motion shall not be in order after the House has disposed of a motion to proceed with respect to the joint committee bill. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to its adoption without intervening motion. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.

“(3) Consideration.-The joint committee bill shall be considered as read. All points of order against the joint committee bill and against its consideration are waived. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the joint committee bill to its passage without intervening motion except 2 hours of debate equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent and one motion to limit debate on the joint committee bill. A motion to reconsider the vote on passage of the joint committee bill shall not be in order.

“(4) Vote on passage.-The vote on passage of the joint committee bill shall occur not later than December 23, 2011.

“(c) Expedited Procedure in the Senate.-

“(1) Committee consideration.-A joint committee bill introduced in the Senate under subsection (a) shall be jointly referred to the committee or committees of jurisdiction, which committees shall report the bill without any revision and with a favorable recommendation, an unfavorable recommendation, or without recommendation, not later than December 9, 2011. If any committee fails to report the bill within that period, that committee shall be automatically discharged from consideration of the bill, and the bill shall be placed on the appropriate calendar.

“(2) Motion to proceed.-Notwithstanding Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, it is in order, not later than 2 days of session after the date on which a joint committee bill is reported or discharged from all committees to which it was referred, for the majority leader of the Senate or the majority leader’s designee to move to proceed to the consideration of the joint committee bill. It shall also be in order for any Member of the Senate to move to proceed to the consideration of the joint committee bill at any time after the conclusion of such 2-day period. A motion to proceed is in order even though a previous motion to the same effect has been disagreed to. All points of order against the motion to proceed to the joint committee bill are waived. The motion to proceed is not debatable. The motion is not subject to a motion to postpone. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to shall not be in order. If a motion to proceed to the consideration of the joint committee bill is agreed to, the joint committee bill shall remain the unfinished business until disposed of.

“(3) Consideration.-All points of order against the joint committee bill and against consideration of the joint committee bill are waived. Consideration of the joint committee bill and of all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith shall not exceed a total of 30 hours which shall be divided equally between the Majority and Minority Leaders or their designees. A motion further to limit debate on the joint committee bill is in order, shall require an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members duly chosen and sworn, and is not debatable. Any debatable motion or appeal is debatable for not to exceed 1 hour, to be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the motion or appeal. All time used for consideration of the joint committee bill, including time used for quorum calls and voting, shall be counted against the total 30 hours of consideration.

“(4) No amendments.-An amendment to the joint committee bill, or a motion to postpone, or a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business, or a motion to recommit the joint committee bill, is not in order.

“(5) Vote on passage.-If the Senate has voted to proceed to the joint committee bill, the vote on passage of the joint committee bill shall occur immediately following the conclusion of the debate on a joint committee bill, and a single quorum call at the conclusion of the debate if requested. The vote on passage of the joint committee bill shall occur not later than December 23, 2011.

“(6) Rulings of the chair on procedure.-Appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the rules of the Senate, as the case may be, to the procedure relating to a joint committee bill shall be decided without debate.

“(d) Amendment.-The joint committee bill shall not be subject to amendment in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.

“(e) Consideration by the Other House.-

“(1) In general.-If, before passing the joint committee bill, one House receives from the other a joint committee bill-

“(A) the joint committee bill of the other House shall not be referred to a committee; and

“(B) the procedure in the receiving House shall be the same as if no joint committee bill had been received from the other House until the vote on passage, when the joint committee bill received from the other House shall supplant the joint committee bill of the receiving House.

“(2) Revenue measure.-This subsection shall not apply to the House of Representatives if the joint committee bill received from the Senate is a revenue measure.

“(f) Rules to Coordinate Action With Other House.-

“(1) Treatment of joint committee bill of other house.-If the Senate fails to introduce or consider a joint committee bill under this section, the joint committee bill of the House shall be entitled to expedited floor procedures under this section.

“(2) Treatment of companion measures in the senate.-If following passage of the joint committee bill in the Senate, the Senate then receives the joint committee bill from the House of Representatives, the House-passed joint committee bill shall not be debatable. The vote on passage of the joint committee bill in the Senate shall be considered to be the vote on passage of the joint committee bill received from the House of Representatives.

“(3) Vetoes.-If the President vetoes the joint committee bill, debate on a veto message in the Senate under this section shall be 1 hour equally divided between the majority and minority leaders or their designees.

“(g) Loss of Privilege.-The provisions of this section shall cease to apply to the joint committee bill if-

“(1) the joint committee fails to vote on the report or proposed legislative language required under section 401(b)(3)(B)(i) not later than November 23, 2011; or

“(2) the joint committee bill does not pass both Houses not later than December 23, 2011.

“SEC. 403. FUNDING.

“Funding for the joint committee shall be derived in equal portions from-

“(1) the applicable accounts of the House of Representatives; and

“(2) the contingent fund of the Senate from the appropriations account ‘Miscellaneous Items’, subject to the rules and regulations of the Senate.

“SEC. 404. RULEMAKING.

“The provisions of this title are enacted by Congress-

“(1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the House of Representatives and the Senate, respectively, and as such they shall be considered as part of the rules of each House, respectively, or of that House to which they specifically apply, and such rules shall supersede other rules only to the extent that they are inconsistent therewith; and

“(2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of either House to change such rules (so far as relating to such House) at any time, in the same manner, and to the same extent as in the case of any other rule of such House.”

[Note taken from “2 USC 900: Statement of budget enforcement through sequestration; definitions” from the U.S Code.]