Congressional Budget Act of 1974
TITLE III – CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET PROCESS
concurrent resolution on the budget must be adopted before budget-related legislation is considered
Sec. 303. (a) In General.—Until the concurrent resolution on the budget for a fiscal year has been agreed to, it shall not be in order in the House of Representatives, with respect to the first fiscal year covered by that resolution, or the Senate, with respect to any fiscal year covered by that resolution, to consider any bill or joint resolution, amendment or motion thereto, or conference report thereon that—
(1) first provides new budget authority for that fiscal year;
(2) first provides an increase or decrease in revenues during that fiscal year;
(3) provides an increase or decrease in the public debt limit to become effective during that fiscal year;
(4) in the Senate only, first provides new entitlement authority, for that fiscal year; or
(5) in the Senate only, first provides for an increase or decrease in outlays for that fiscal year.
(b) Exceptions in the House.—In the House of Representatives, subsection (a) does not apply—
(1)(A) to any bill or joint resolution, as reported, providing advance discretionary new budget authority that first becomes available for the first or second fiscal year after the budget year; or
(B) to any bill or joint resolution, as reported, first increasing or decreasing revenues in a fiscal year following the fiscal year to which the concurrent resolution applies;
(2) after May 15, to any general appropriation bill or amendment thereto; or
(3) to any bill or joint resolution unless it is reported by a committee.
(c) Application to Appropriation Measures in the Senate.—
(1) In general.—Until the concurrent resolution on the budget for a fiscal year has been agreed to and an allocation has been made to the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate under section 302(a) for that year, it shall not be in order in the Senate to consider any appropriation bill or joint resolution, amendment or motion thereto, or conference report thereon for that year or any subsequent year.
(2) Exception.—Paragraph (1) does not apply to appropriations legislation making advance appropriations for the first or second fiscal year after the year the allocation referred to in that paragraph is made.
Section 302 (CBA)
Section 304 (CBA)
This section is classified to the U.S. Code at 2 U.S.C. 634.
 This point of order is notoriously difficult to interpret and apply. During the Chairmanship of Rep. Paul Ryan, the Budget Committee, at the direction of its staff director, declined to provide guidance for the enforcement on the point of order.
 Fiscal Year: The “fiscal year” for this test depends on which “budget year” is indicated. A fiscal year for which a budget resolution must be adopted depends on when during the calendar year the test is applied.
 In the Senate, the test applies to any period during the budget resolution window, compared with only the first year in the House.
 Section 303(a) concerns the timing of the budgetary effects of measures: Its purpose is to prevent the consideration of measures before congressional adoption of a budget resolution so the timing of a budgetary effect on spending or revenue in a fiscal year is the main concern. In terms of amendments the magnitude of that effect are required for a proper application of the point of order since the “closer to zero” change an amendment may make a measure, the amendment will have an ameliorative effect. To the extent an amendment moves away from zero change, the effect is exacerbated.
 The term ““for” here means, making available authority to enter into legal obligations by the Federal Government (from the definition of “budget authority” in sec. 3 of the Budget Act. Drafting irregularity.
 Fundamental question: The term “that fiscal year”, used throughout, refers back to “a fiscal year” in the preface of the subsection.
 The term “during” is not distinct from “for” in usage, in that it also means to cause a change in governmental receipts (taxes, fees, other revenue) in a particular fiscal year. Drafting irregularity.
 The term “become effective during” is not distinct from (1) and (2). Drafting irregularity.
 Compare “first provides new entitlement authority” here, with “first provides new budget authority” in paragraph (1). The structure of the sentence is the same, except for the reference to “budget authority” rather than “entitlement authority”. The form of increase is different between (2) and (3), which uses the form “provides an increase or decrease” and in paragraph (5), where the form “provides for an increase or decrease”. This may be due to the fact that budget authority and entitlement authority are fully under the control of Congress insofar as the level is appropriated, whereas the outlays flow from that authority, and are somewhat less under the direct control since they “spend out” at a rate that is dictated by the nature of the program and administrative considerations. The same may be said of revenue, which is an budgetary effect derived from a Congressionally mandated action, such as increasing or decreasing taxes.
 “New entitlement authority” is not defined though the term “entitlement authority” is. “New budget authority is defined” along with “budget authority”. The term “new entitlement authority” is used in other places, notably section 401 (Budget Act).
 Compare (5) text with (2) and (3): In (5), the language reads “provides for an increase”. In (2) and (3) the “for” is missing, instead reading “provides an increase”.
 Though the term “budget year” is used here, as it is applied, the term “budget resolution year” would be more precise since it replicates the application of the exception in subparagraph (B). In that subparagraph, “a fiscal year following the fiscal year to which the concurrent resolution”, means the year following the “budget resolution year”.
 In application, this language has been interpreted to mean any fiscal year following the budget resolution year and hence any revenue loss after the first outyear will fall into an exception and violate this section.
 See also section 315 (CBA). It clarifies a special order of business (a “rule”) including self-executing language when providing for the consideration of debate on a measure can making changes to the text which brings the bill into compliance with this section.
§113.11 Timing of Fiscal Year
Test is relative to a fiscal year, this fiscal year always follows the fiscal year for which a budget resolution has been adopted. Hence the test begins with identifying which year is the last a budget resolution has been adopted and then applying the point of order against the first outyear of that window.
§113.12 Textual Difference in Paragraphs (1) Through (5)
The difference among the various paragraphs such as using “provides an increase” in paragraphs (2) and (3) instead of “provides for an increase” in (5) are due to irregular drafting rather than meaningful distinctions (unless specifically noted).
§113.13 Timing and Levels: The Magnitude of the Change is Spending or Revenue
In terms of amendments the magnitude of that effect are required for a proper application of the point of order since the “closer to zero” change an amendment may make a measure, the amendment will have an ameliorative effect. To the extent an amendment moves away from zero change, the effect is exacerbated.
§113.14 “Entitlement Authority” – From § 9. Section 303 From Deschler’s Volume 18, Footnote #10. p.103
“Section 303 originally applied to entitlement authority via a broad definition of ‘‘spending authority’’ (including both contract authority and entitlement authority) and later by an explicit textual reference in former section 303(a)(4) following the [Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985]. The Budget Enforcement Act of 1997 removed the explicit reference to entitlement authority in section 303, but the legislative history of that Act explains that entitlement authority would thereafter be scored as ‘‘budget authority’’ and thus would continue to be covered by that section. See H. Rept. 105–217, pp. 988, 989. [BEA 1997 Conference Report Joint Statement] The explicit reference to entitlement authority as applied to the Senate remains in current section 303(a)(4) of the [Congressional Budget Act of 1974] (2 USC § 634(a)(4)).”§113.2 Exception for Direct Spending Budget Authority.
There is no exception for increases in direct spending budget authority.
§18.104.22.168 Exception for Providing Advance New Budget Authority
After determining the correct fiscal year to which 303 applies, any budget authority “provided” for that year, then the test is straightforward: The first and second year after that year for which there is no budget resolution, advance discretionary budget authority may be provided, but then subsequent to those two years, the point of order returns for the third year and thereafter.
At any point in time, if a bill is to be considered, the budget year for which a resolution has yet to be adopted, and allocation provided, the 303 point of order will lie. A one year advance would be allowed (ignoring the budget resolution point of order), and a two-year appropriation would be allowed. No appropriations after that would be available.
§22.214.171.124 Exception for Changing Revenue Levels
After determining the correct fiscal year to which 303 applies, any change (increase or decrease) in revenue first occurring after the budget year for which a resolution has yet to be adopted will be exempt. Therefore all revenue changes made for years following that fiscal year are exempt.
§113.2.2 Exception for General Appropriations After May 15
Point of Order does not apply to general appropriations after May 15 of any calendar year to it would otherwise apply. It therefore continues applies to continuing appropriations.
Budget Resolution: The budget resolution has regularly established a point of order that interrelates with this point of order for all appropriations before May 15 and continuing appropriations after that date.
Separate Orders from the 106th through 113th Congresses
In the House, because of the way the point of order is phrased, the method by which section 315 allowed reported measures to be cured of violations did not apply to section 303. Thus, the application of section 303 was modified for the 106th Congress by section 2(a)(3) of H. Res. 5 (106th Congress) on January 6, 1999, to clarify that a reported measure considered under a special order, determinations under section 303 are for the text made in order as an original measure or to the text on which the previous question is ordered to passage. Each succeeding Congress has included this language. Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (Pub. L. 113-67) corrected this and hence the provision is no longer included in Separate Orders in the organizing resolution of a Congress.
Section 303 (CBA, as Enacted)
Section 303 (CBA), as enacted by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (Pub. L. 97-344).
Section 303 (CBA, as in the BPLA)
Section 303 (BPLA), as set forth in the Budget Process Law Annotated (1993).
Legislative History Notes
Pub. L. 93–344, title III, §303, July 12, 1974, 88 Stat. 309 (Congressional Budget Act of 1974 enacted this section into law).
Pub. L. 99–177, title II, §201(b), Dec. 12, 1985, 99 Stat. 1046 (Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 amended Title III of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 generally.).
Pub. L. 101–508, title XIII, §§13205, 13207(a)(1)(C), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–616 , 1388-617 (Budget Enforcement Act of 1990).
Pub. L. 105–33, title X, §10107(a), Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 683 (Budget Enforcement Act of 1997).
Section was formerly classified to section 1324 of Title 31 prior to the general revision and enactment of Title 31, Money and Finance, by Pub. L. 97–258, §1, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 877 (Title 31 Revision and Codification Law of 1982) .
Pub. L. 105–33 amended section catchline and text generally. Prior to amendment, text provided that concurrent resolution on the budget must be adopted before legislation providing new budget authority, new spending authority, new credit authority, or changes in revenues or public debt limit could be considered.
Pub. L. 101–508, §13207(a)(1)(C), substituted “bill, joint resolution, amendment, motion, or conference report” for “bill or resolution (or amendment thereto)”.
Pub. L. 101–508, §13205(a)(4), inserted “(or, in the Senate, a concurrent resolution on the budget covering such fiscal year)” after “fiscal year” in closing provisions.
Subsection (a)(5) and (6).
Pub. L. 101–508, §13205(a)(1)–(3), added paragraphs (5) and (6) and struck out former par. (5) which read as follows: “new credit authority for a fiscal year,”.
Pub. L. 101–508, §13205(b), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and substituted “In the House of Representatives, subsection (a)” for “Subsection (a)”, redesignated former pars. (1) and (2) as subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively, and added par. (2).
Pub. L. 99–177 inserted reference to new credit authority in section catchline.
Pub. L. 99–177 amended subsection (a) generally, substituting provisions respecting new entitlement authority or new credit authority, for provisions respecting new spending authority.
Pub. L. 99–177 amended subsection (b) generally, inserting provisions relating to applicability of subsection (a) after May 15 of any calendar year.
Pub. L. 99–177 amended subsection (c) generally, inserting references to amendments of bills or resolutions wherever appearing.
Effective Date of 1985 Amendment
Amendments made by BBEDCA (Pub. L. 99–177) became on effective Dec. 12, 1985, and were applicable with respect to fiscal years beginning after Sept. 30, 1985 (see section 275(a)(1) of Pub. L. 99–177). The Effective and Termination Dates were set out as a note under section 900 of title 2 of the U.S. Code before the Budget Control Act of 2011 (Pub. L. 112–25, title I, §104(a), Aug. 2, 2011, 125 Stat. 246) removed all the expiration dates of BBEDCA by repealing section 275 (BBEDCA).
AMENDMENT MADE BY THE Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985
Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 amended Title III of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 with a complete substitute of the language. It included the following description in the Joint Explanatory Statement of Managers of the Committee on Conference Report on H. J. Res 372.
Section 303. ConcurrentResolution on the Budget Must be Adopted Before Legislation Providing New Budget Authority, New SpendingAuthority, New CreditAuthority, or Changes in Revenues or the Public Debt Limit is Considered
(a) In General.—This subsection prohibits consideration in either House of any bill, resolution or amendment providing new budget authority, new credit authority, new entitlement authority, or providing for increases or decreases in revenues or the public debt for a fiscal year, until the budget resolution for that fiscal year has been adopted by Congress.
(b) Exceptions.—This subsection is identical to current law, except it adds a provision allowing regular appropriation bills to be considered in the House after May 15 of each calendar year.
(c) Waiver in the Senate.—This subsection is identical to current law to provide for Senate waivers of section 303(a).
Amendment Made by the Budget Enforcement Act of 1997
Summary of BEA of 1997 (CRS Report 97-931 GOV)
Section 10107 of the Budget Enforcement Act of 1997
Amendments to Section 303.
Section 303 of the CBA generally bars the consideration of spending, revenue, and debt-limit legislation for a fiscal year prior to the adoption of the budget resolution for that year. Section10107 of the bill makes technical and conforming changes in Section 303(a) and (b). Also, Section 303(c) is deleted; the subsection set forth a procedure by which the Senate could waive Section 303 by adopting a special waiver resolution. (After the first several years under the CBA, the Senate began the practice of waiving Section 303 by motion or by unanimous consent rather than by waiver resolution.)
Section 302 (CBA)
Section 304 (CBA)
[BCR § 113]