§ 14. Former Section 402(a)
Deschler’s Notes on Former Section 402
Congressional Budget Act of 1974

Deschler’s Precedents Notes

§ 14. Former Section 402(a)

Former section 402(a) of the Congressional Budget Act [of 1974][1] provided a point of order that prohibited the consideration of bills or resolutions containing new spending authority unless the bill or resolution was reported in the House or Senate on or before May 15. This point of order was repealed by [the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985],[2] and replaced with a new provision providing a point of order against bills providing new credit authority not subject to appropriations. That replacement was itself repealed by the Budget Enforcement Act of 1997[3](3) and the credit authority points of order were collapsed into section 401(a).[4]

As noted above, former section 402(a) applied only to bills and resolutions, and not to amendments,[5] including amendments in the nature of a substitute made in order by a special order of business.[6] Consideration of bills or resolutions by suspension of the rules waives all points of order against such legislation, including section 402(a) of the Budget Act.[7] The Committee on Rules was also given authority in former section 402(b) to recommend emergency waivers of section 402(a).

In its original form, section 402(d) provided an exception to points of order under section 402(a) for ‘‘companion’’ measures originating in the Senate. This exception provided that if the House measure complied with the section 402(a) deadline, a Senate companion measure (or similar bill) would be in order in the House, regardless of the date it was reported from committee in the Senate.[8]

The current section 402 of the Budget Act was former section 403—a provision requiring the Congressional Budget Office to provide certain cost estimates for bills and resolutions.[9]

The following precedents relate to the former section 402(a) of the Congressional Budget Act.

[1] Now repealed. Formerly codified at 2 USC § 652.

[2] Pub. L. No. 99–177.

[3] Pub. L. No. 105–33.

[4] As noted in Section 12, this requirement that credit authority be subject to appropriations should be read in conjunction with section 504(b) of the Congressional Budget Act, which provides a separate limitation on certain government loans not subject to appropriations.

[5] See § 14.1, infra.

[6] See, e.g., 123 CONG. REC. 7858, 95th Cong. 1st Sess., Mar. 17, 1977.

[7]  See 123 CONG. REC. 11108, 95th Cong. 1st Sess., Apr. 19, 1977.

[8] For an example of a special order of business waiving section 402(a) against initial consideration of a House bill that was not reported prior to the May 15 deadline and further making in order a motion to insert the House text into a Senate companion measure, see 123 CONG. REC. 17258, 95th Cong. 1st Sess., June 2, 1977. Because the House measure did not meet the requirements of section 402(a), the Senate companion measure could not take advantage of the exception provided by section 402(d) and thus also required a waiver of 402(a) in the special order of business.

[9] See § 7, supra.

[Deschler’s Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives, Volume 18, Chapter 41.]