Sec. 214. General Accounting Office Study; Off-Budget Agencies; Member User Group.
Title IV of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 is amended by inserting at the end thereof the following new sections:
“study by the general accounting office of forms of federal financial commitment that are not reviewed annually by congress
“Sec. 405. The General Accounting Office shall study those provisions of law which provide spending authority as described by section 401(c)(2) and which provide permanent appropriations, and report to the Congress its recommendations for the appropriate form of financing for activities or programs financed by such provisions not later than eighteen months after the effective date of this section. Such report shall be revised from time to time.
“off-budget agencies, programs, and activities
“Sec. 406. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, budget authority, credit authority, and estimates of outlays and receipts for activities of the Federal budget which are off-budget immediately prior to the date of enactment of this section, not including activities of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds, shall be included in a budget submitted pursuant to section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, and in a concurrent resolution on the budget reported. pursuant to section 301 or section 304 of this Act and shall be considered, for purposes of this Act, budget authority, outlays, and spending authority in accordance with definitions set forth in this Act.
“(b) All receipts and disbursements of the Federal Financing Bank with respect to any obligations which are issued, sold, or guaranteed by a Federal agency shall be treated as a means of financing such agency for purposes of section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, and for purposes of this Act.
“member user group
“Sec. 407. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, after consulting with the Minority Leader of the House, may appoint a Member User Group for the purpose of reviewing budgetary scorekeeping rules and practices of the House and advising the Speaker from time to time on the effect and impact of such rules and practices.”.
The Joint Explanatory Statement of the Managers of Conference on the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 included this description:
Section 214. General Accounting Office Study; Off-Budget Agencies; Member User Group
The House amendment contained three new sections to be added to the end of title IV of the Budget Act.
The Senate amendment contained no such language.
The conference agreement contains three new sections, substantially similar to the House language, to be added to the end of title III, as follows:
Section 405. Study by the General Accounting Office of Forms of Federal Financial Commitment that are not Reviewed Annually by Congress.
This section requires the General Accounting Office to study all provisions of law providing permanent appropriations and providing spending authority described by section 401(c)(2) of the Congressional Budget Act (contract authority, borrowing authority, entitlement authority, off-setting receipts, and residual authority). The GAO must report to Congress within 18 months with its recommendations on the appropriate form of financing for all programs and activities financed by these provisions. The report shall be revised from time to time.
On the whole, there should be a presumption in favor of funding Federal activities through the annual appropriations process. In that way, all programs and activities are subject to regular review by authorizing and Appropriations committees and no programs and activities are granted special advantage by the congressional budget process. In certain cases, however, backdoor mechanisms are most appropriate to ensure the aims of the programs or activities being funded.
Section 406. Off-Budget Agencies, Programs, and Activities.
Section 406(a) provides that budgetary activities of federal agencies, including budget authority, credit authority, and estimates of outlays and receipts, which are off-budget immediately prior to enactment of this section, shall be included in the President’s and the Congress’ budgets.
Section 406(b) provides that all receipts and disbursements of the Federal Financing Bank with respect to any obligations issued, sold, or guaranteed by a Federal agency shall be treated as a means of financing such agency.
(See also discussions of the treatment of Social Security and “Off-Budget Federal Entities”.)
Section 407. Member User Group.
This Section allows the Speaker, after consultation with the Minority Leader, to appoint a Member User Group, which shall review the scorekeeping rules and practices of the House and report to the Speaker from time to time on their effect and impact.
U.S. House of Representatives, Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985: Conference Report to Accompany H. J. Res. 372, House Report 99-433 (December 10, 1985).
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY NOTES
Pub. L. 99–177, title II, §214, Dec. 12, 1985, 99 Stat. 1059 (Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985).
Section 214 (BBEDCA) added new sections 405 through 407 to title IV of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. These sections were redesiganted as sections 404 through 406 by section 10116(c) (Conforming Amendments) of the Budget Enforcement Act of 1997.