Budget Control Act of 2011

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Budget Control Act of 2011

Budget Control Act of 2011

Act Details

Budget Control Act of 2011 was a proposal (now, a piece of legislation) introduced on 2011-02-16 in the House of Commons and Senate respectively of the 112 United States Congress by Thomas Richard (tom) Harkin in relation with: Appropriations, Budget deficits and national debt, Budget process, Congressional committees, Congressional operations and organization, Constitution and constitutional amendments, Defense spending, Education, Education programs funding, Elementary and secondary education, Government lending and loan guarantees, Higher education, Legislative rules and procedure, Military operations and strategy, Public contracts and procurement, Student aid and college costs, Teaching, teachers, curricula.

Budget Control Act of 2011 became law (1) in the United States on 2011-08-02. It was referred to the following Committee(s): (2)

Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (SSHR)
House Education and the Workforce (HSED)

Thomas Richard (tom) Harkin, member of the US congress
Thomas Richard (tom) Harkin, Democrat, Senator from Iowa

The proposal had the following cosponsors:

Herbert H. Kohl, Democrat, Senator, from Wisconsin

Act Overview

Text of the Budget Control Act of 2011

Budget Control Act of 2011 – Title I: Ten-Year Discretionary Caps with Sequester – (Sec. 101) Amends the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act) to revise sequestration requirements for enforcement of discretionary spending limits (spending caps).

Requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to conduct such a sequestration to eliminate a budget year breach if any.

Eliminates specific formula requirements for adjustments to discretionary spending limits for: (1) highways (2) allowances for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (3) specified allowances for international arrearages (4) the earned income tax credit (EITC) compliance initiative (5) Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adoption incentive payments and (6) conservation.

Requires the OMB sequestration report and the President's budget to include adjustments to discretionary spending limits for the fiscal year and each succeeding year for: (1) emergency appropriations or Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism (2) health care fraud and abuse control and (3) disaster relief.

Establishes discretionary spending limits for security and nonsecurity categories for FY2012-FY2021.

Defines “security category” as discretionary appropriations associated with agency budgets for the Department of Defense (DOD) the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) the intelligence community management account (95-0401-0-1-054) and all budget accounts in budget function 150 (international affairs).

(Sec. 103) Requires discretionary preview and final sequestration reports to specify estimates for the current year and each subsequent year through 2021 of the applicable discretionary spending limits for each category and an explanation of any adjustments in such limits. Requires: (1) sequestration update reports to include a preview estimate of the adjustment for disaster funding for the upcoming fiscal year and (2) final sequestration reports for the current year and each subsequent year through 2021 to include a final estimate of the adjustment for disaster funding.

(Sec. 104) Repeals the expiration of (thus making permanent) the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act).

(Sec. 105) Amends the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 to allow the chairman of the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives or of the Senate to make appropriate budgetary adjustments of new budget authority and outlays in the same amount required by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act.

Prohibits in the House the chair of the Committee on the Budget from counting the budgetary effects of a reported bill or joint resolution amendment or conference report that contains a provision (designated as an emergency requirement) providing new budget authority and outlays or reducing revenue for purposes of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (CBA) this Act and the Rules of the House of Representatives.

Makes it out of order in both chambers to consider any legislation or motion that would cause the discretionary spending limits to be exceeded.

(Sec. 106) Provides that for purposes of enforcing the CBA through April 15 2012 and enforcing budgetary points of order in prior concurrent budget resolutions the allocations aggregates and levels established in this Act shall apply in the Senate in the same manner as for a concurrent budget resolution for FY2012 with appropriate budgetary levels for FY2011 and FY2013-FY2021.

Applies after April 15 2012 and for the same purposes such allocations aggregates and levels in the Senate in the same manner for a concurrent budget resolution for FY2013 with appropriate budgetary levels for FY2012 and FY2014-FY2022.

Prescribes administrative procedures for committee allocations aggregates and levels.

Requires the chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget: (1) effective on the enactment of this Act to reduce any balances of direct spending and revenues for any fiscal year to 0 (zero); (2) by April 15 2012 to do the same; and (3) upon resetting the Senate paygo scorescard to publish notice of such action in the Congressional Record.

Authorizes the chairman to revise any allocations aggregates or levels specified in this Act to account for any subsequent adjustments to discretionary spending limits made.

Eliminates the applicable requirements of this section if a concurrent budget resolution for FY2012 or for FY2013 is agreed to by both chambers.

Title II: Vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment – (Sec. 201) Requires the House and the Senate after September 30 2011 and by December 31 2011 to vote on passage of a joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

(Sec. 202) Prescribes legislative procedures for consideration of such a joint resolution in both chambers.

Title III: Debt Ceiling Disapproval Process – (Sec. 301) Authorizes the President by December 31 2011 to certify to Congress that the public debt is within $100 billion of the $14.294 trillion public debt limit and that further borrowing is required to meet existing commitments. Authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to borrow an additional $900 billion subject to the enactment of a joint resolution of disapproval.

Increases the public debt limit by $400 billion after such certification.

Increases such limit by an additional $500 billion if the time for disapproval has lapsed without enactment by Congress of such a joint resolution.

Prescribes similar procedures for the Secretary to borrow an additional $1.2 trillion or $1.5 trillion if the Archivist of the United States has submitted to the states for their ratification a balanced budget amendment resolution or if a joint committee bill to achieve an amount greater than $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction is enacted the amount of such deficit reduction but not greater than $1.5 trillion unless such resolution has been submitted to the states for ratification.

Increases the public debt limit by such additional amounts if the time for disapproval has lapsed without Congress enacting the joint resolution.

Prohibits the debt limit from being raised (except for the $400 billion increase) if within 50 calendar days after Congress receives a presidential certification or within 15 calendar days after Congress receives such additional certification (regardless of whether Congress is in session) there is enacted into law a joint resolution disapproving the President's exercise of authority with respect to such additional amount.

Prescribes legislative procedures for expedited consideration of the joint resolution in both chambers.

Requires OMB if the President signs the joint resolution or allows it to become law without his signature or Congress overrides a veto of it to implement a sequestration to reduce spending by $400 billion.

(Sec. 302) Amends the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act to revise the discretionary spending limits and to reduce the discretionary appropriations and direct spending specified in this Act unless a joint committee bill achieving an amount greater than $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction is enacted by January 15 2012.

Title IV: Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction – (Sec. 401) Establishes the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction whose goal shall be to reduce the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion or more over FY2012-FY2021.

Requires the committee to provide recommendations and legislative language that will significantly improve the short-term and long-term fiscal imbalance of the federal government.

(Sec. 402) Prescribes legislative procedures for consideration in both chambers of the Joint Committee's recommendations.

Makes such legislative procedures inapplicable to the Joint Committee's bill if: (1) the Committee fails to vote on the report or proposed legislative language by November 23 2011; or (2) the bill does not pass both chambers by December 23 2011.

(Sec. 403) Derives funding for the Joint Committee in equal portions from: (1) the applicable accounts of the House and (2) the contingent fund of the Senate.

Title V: Pell Grant and Student Loan Program Changes – (Sec. 501) Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to increase appropriations for federal Pell Grants for FY2012-FY2013.

(Sec. 502) Makes certain graduate or professional students ineligible to receive a Federal Direct Stafford loan after July 1 2012.

Limits the maximum annual amount of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loans such a student may borrow in any academic year or its equivalent.

(Sec. 503) Prohibits the Secretary of Education from authorizing or providing any repayment incentive not otherwise authorized to encourage on-time repayment of a loan for which the first disbursement of principal is made on or after July 1 2012 including any reduction in the interest or origination fee rate paid by the borrower. Authorizes the Secretary to provide for an interest rate reduction for a borrower who agrees to have payments on such a loan automatically electronically debited from a bank account.

(Sec. 504) Makes inapplicable to these amendments certain requirements for delay in specified circumstances of the effective date of regulatory changes as well as for regional meetings and negotiated rulemaking with regard to such changes.

Bill Notes

  • [Note 1] An Act (like Budget Control Act of 2011) or a resolution cannot become a law in the United States until it has been approved (passed) in identical form by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as signed by the President (but see (5)). If the two bodys of the Congress versions of a bill are not identical, one of the bodies might decide to take a further vote to adopt the bill (see more about the Congress process here). An Act may be pass in identical form with or without amendments and with or without conference. (see more about Enrollment).
  • [Note 2] Proposals are referred to committees for preliminary consideration, then debated, amended, and passed (or rejected) by the full House or Senate. To prevent endless shuttling of bills between the House and Senate, bills like Budget Control Act of 2011 are referred to joint committees made up of members of both houses.
  • [Note 3] For more information regarding this legislative proposal, go to THOMAS, select “Bill Number,” search on (Budget Control Act of 2011)
  • [Note 4] An act to provide for budget control. The current official title of a bill is always present, assigned at introduction (for example, in this case, on 2011-02-16) and can be revised any time. This type of titles are sentences.
  • [Note 5] The Act is referred to the appropriate committee by the Speaker of any of the two Houses. Bills are placed on the calendar of the committee to which they have been assigned. See Assignment Process.
  • [Note 6] Regarding exceptions to President´s approval, a bill that is not signed (returned unsigned) by the President can still become law if at lest two thirds of each of the two bodys of the Congress votes to pass it, which is an infrequent case. See also Presidential Veto.
  • [Note 7] Legislative Proposal types can be: hr, hres, hjres, hconres, s, sres, sjres, sconres. An Act originating in the Senate is designated by the letter “S”, and a bill originating from the House of Representatives begins with “H.R.”, followed, in both cases, by its individual number which it retains throughout all its parliamentary process.
  • [Note 8] For information regarding related bill/s to Budget Control Act of 2011, go to THOMAS.


No analysis (criticism, advocacy, etc.) about Budget Control Act of 2011 submitted yet.

Budget deficits and national debt
Budget process
Congressional committees
Congressional operations and organization
Constitution and constitutional amendments
Defense spending
Education programs funding
Elementary and secondary education
Government lending and loan guarantees
Higher education
Legislative rules and procedure
Military operations and strategy
Public contracts and procurement
Student aid and college costs
Teaching, teachers, curricula

Further Reading

  • “How our laws are made”, Edward F Willett; Jack Brooks, Washington, U.S. G.P.O.
  • “To make all laws : the Congress of the United States, 1789-1989”, James H Hutson- Washington, Library of Congress.
  • “Bills introduced and laws enacted: selected legislative statistics, 1947-1990”, Rozanne M Barry; Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.

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