Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 114–74; 129 Stat. 585; Nov. 2, 2015)
Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (Contents) BCR Page


The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 simply extended the deal made under the terms of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 for two more years, changing the discretionary spending limits and the direct spending sequestration through fiscal year 2025. 

Debt Ceiling. BBA 2015 does not increase the limit on the public debt, but instead suspends its application from its date of enactment (November 2, 2018) through March 15, 2017. 

Discretionary Spending Increases in in Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017. BBA 2015 raised the discretionary spending limits by $50 billion in fiscal year 2016 and $30 billion in fiscal year 2017. Each category, defense and non-defense, are treated equally and receive the same increases. The spending limits after fiscal year 2017 were not altered, but were later increased by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

Spending Decreases. BBA 2015 ostensibly offsets these increases in spending by corresponding decreases, though they happen over 10 years while the spending occurred  in the first two years. The main program reductions are as follows:

  • It included an extension of the sequestration of direct spending programs set forth in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (Pub. L. 112-25). They had been set to expire, and the BBA 2015 extended the reductions by a year, through fiscal year 2025.
  • It changed federal health programs, including lowering Medicare reimbursements for new off-campus hospital outpatient departments and repeal of automatic enrollment in employer-based health insurance plans that was mandated by the Affordable Care Act;
  • It set forth policies intended to improve tax compliance by partnerships;
  • It increased premiums for federal pension insurance provided by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (and made other changes);
  • It sold federal assets: including additional broadcast spectrum and oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve;
  • It made certain changes requiring medical reviews under the disability insurance program and made a reduction in payments under the crop insurance program.
Public Law 114–74, 129 Stat. 584, Nov. 2, 2015
GPO Viewer Link

Counsel Reference 

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (114th Congress) BCR Background
Counsel Report on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 

Statutes at Large

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 114–74; 129 Stat. 585; Nov. 2, 2015)


 New York Times – Congress and White House Reach Tentative Budget Deal (NY Times) Oct. 26, 2015

CNN Politics – White House, Congress reach budget deal (CNN) October 27, 2015

Roll Call – Conservatives balk at budget deal process (Roll Call) October 26, 2015

The Hill – Budget deal includes Social Security, Medicare reforms (Hill) October 26, 2015

Heritage Foundation – Budget Deal Analysis (Heritage) October 27, 2015

CRFB – The Budget Deal

SSA – Social Security Legislative Bulletin (SS Administration) November 3, 2015


§296a. Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013


§296c. Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

 [BCR § 296b]