|Sponsor||Rep. Ryan, Paul|
|Date||April 14, 2011 (112th Congress, 1st Session)|
|Staff Contact||Andy Koenig|
On Thursday, April 14, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.Con.Res. 34, under a rule. H.Con.Res. 34, was introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and was reported out of the House Committee on the Budget by a vote of 22–16 on April 11, 2011. The rule for consideration of the resolution makes in order Chairman Ryan’s Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute and provides for four hours of general debate.
The rule also makes in order five substitute budget resolutions submitted. A forthcoming summary of these substitute resolutions will be distributed when it is complete. Substitutes made in order include the following:
H.Con.Res. 34 would set the federal government's budget policies for FY 2012 and projects spending, revenues, and deficits over a ten-year budget window between Fiscal Years 2012 and 2021. The budget sets the total limits of spending, revenue and debt for a given year and outlines a plan to achieve those levels, but does not provide specific funding or policies for agencies or programs. For additional information and supplementary materials on the FY 2012 Budget Resolution, including a detailed report on the budget, please see the House Budget Committee website or the House Republican Conference’s budget page.
The budget would provide for $3.529 trillion in spending outlays in FY 2012 and assumes revenues of $2.533 trillion, resulting in a deficit of $995 billion. Spending in FY 2012 under H.Con.Res. 34 would be $111 billion lower than spending under the current CBO baseline and $179 billion below the President’s budget projection. Over ten years, spending under H.Con.Res. 34 would total $39.9 trillion. Over ten years, H.Con.Res. 34 would reduce spending by $5.8 trillion compared to the current CBO baseline and $6.2 trillion relative to the President’s request.
As a percentage of GDP, spending would decrease from 24.1 percent in FY 2011 to 22.5 percent in FY 2012. In FY 2017, H.Con.Res. 34 would bring government spending down to 19.9 percent of GDP and spending would not grow beyond 20 percent of the economy for the remainder of the budget window. Under the current CBO baseline, spending as a percentage of GDP would be 23.3 percent in FY 2012 and 24 percent in FY 2021. Under the President’s budget, spending as a percentage of GDP would be 23.6 percent in FY 2012 and 23.1 percent in FY 2021. The historic average of government spending as a percentage of GDP from the end of World War II to today (1946–2010) has been 19.7 percent.
H.Con.Res. 34 would project $2.553 trillion in revenues in FY 2012, which would be $25 billion lower than projected revenues under the current CBO baseline and $11 billion below the President’s budget projection. Over ten years, revenues under H.Con.Res. 34 would total $34.8 trillion. H.Con.Res. 34 would reduce revenues over ten years (primarily from tax receipts) by $4.1 trillion compared to the current CBO baseline and $1.8 trillion relative to the President’s request.
As a percentage of GDP, H.Con.Res. 34 projects that revenues would total 16.1 percent in FY 2012 and 18.3 percent in FY 2021. Over the ten year budget window, revenues would average 17.7 percent of GDP under H.Con.Res. 34. Under the current CBO baseline, revenues as a percentage of the economy would be 16.3 percent of GDP and rise to 20.8 percent of GDP by 2021. Under the President’s budget proposal, revenue as a percentage of GDP would be 16.6 percent in FY 2021 and would grow to 20 percent of GDP in FY 2021. The historic average of government revenues as a percentage of GDP from the end of World War II to today (1946–2010) has been 17.7 percent—the same as revenues over ten years under H.Con.Res. 34.
H.Con.Res. 34 Compared to CBO's Baseline and the President's Budget
H.Con.Res. 34 vs. CBO Baseline
H.Con.Res. 34 vs. President's Budget
H.Con.Res. 34 would project a deficit of $995 billion in FY 2012, which would be $86 billion lower than the projected deficit under CBO’s baseline and $169 billion less than the deficit projected by the President’s budget. Over ten years, projected deficits under H.Con.Res. 34 would total $5.088 trillion. H.Con.Res. 34 would reduce deficits projected under CBO’s baseline by $1.6 trillion over ten years and would reduce the amount of deficits projected under the President’s budget by $4.38 trillion over the budget window.
As a percent percentage of GDP, the FY 2012 deficit would be 6.1 percent in 2012 and would average 2.7 percent over the ten year budget window. Under CBO’s baseline, the FY 2012 deficit would be 7 percent of GDP and deficits would average 3.6 percent over the budget window. Under the President’s budget, the deficit would be 7 percent in FY 2012 and deficits would average 3.7 percent of GDP over the budget window. The historic average of annual government deficits as a percentage of GDP from the end of World War II to today (1946–2010) has been 2 percent.
Reserves and Contingencies
Generally, budget resolutions provide for adjustments to specific spending allocations subsequent to adoption of the resolution. H.Con.Res. 34 includes reserve funds to allow for allocation adjustments under certain circumstances.
Global War on Terrorism: H.Con.Res. 34 would allow allocations to be adjusted in FY 2012 for the global war on terrorism.
Reserve Fund for Health Care Reform: H.Con.Res. 34 would allow allocations to be revised for any legislation that repeals the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (ObamaCare).
Reserve Fund for the Sustainable Growth Rate of Medicare: H.Con.Res. 34 would allow revisions to allocations, aggregates, and other appropriate levels for the budgetary impact provisions relating to the system of Medicare payments to doctors (the so-called “doc fix”), so long as it does not increase the deficit in the period of FY 2012–FY 2021.
Reserve Fund for Deficit-Neutral Revenue Measures: H.Con.Res. 34 would allow allocation adjustments for any legislation to decrease revenue, so long as it does not increase the deficit in the period of FY 2012–FY 2021.
Deficit-Neutral Reserve Fund for Rural Counties and Schools: H.Con.Res. 34 would allow allocation adjustments for legislation that makes changes to or provides for the reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act of 2000 or the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act of 1976, so long as it does not increase the deficit in FY 2012, over the FY 2012–FY 2016 period, or over the FY 2012–FY 2021 period.
Discretionary Spending Limits: H.Con.Res. 34 would set discretionary budget authority and outlay limits for each year of the FY 2012–FY 2021 period. Under the resolution, it would not be in order to consider any bill that caused discretionary budget authority to exceed any level set forth in the resolution. The discretionary budget authority limits under the resolution are as follows:
Limitation on Advance Appropriations: H.Con.Res. 34 would prohibit any bill from providing advance appropriations with the exception of $52.5 billion for fiscal year 2013 for Veterans Medical Services, Veterans Medical Support and Compliance, and Veterans Medical Facilities. It also allows up to $28.8 billion in additional advanced appropriations for other veterans health programs.
Adjustments of Aggregates and Allocations: H.Con.Res. 34 would provide a special enforcement mechanism for legislation reducing revenues. Any measure that reduces revenue relative to the March 2011 CBO baseline would be subject to a point of order unless it is specifically provided for in this section of the resolution.
Under the resolution, the Chairman of the Committee on the Budget would be authorized to make allocation adjustments for the budgetary effects of the following provisions:
Limitation on Long-Term Spending: H.Con.Res. 34 would prohibit the consideration of any legislation that would increase spending by more than $5 billion in any ten-year period over the 40 year period following enactment of the most recent concurrent budget resolution.
Budgetary Treatment of Certain Transactions: H.Con.Res. 34 would provide that the Committee on Appropriations retains control of the administrative expense of the Social Security and the United States Post Office. In addition, the resolution would clarify that allocations to the Committee on Appropriations of the House would be enforced using estimates of the budgetary effects of a measure that include any off-budget discretionary amounts. This section of the legislation would also allow allocation adjustments for legislation that reforms the federal retirement system without causing a net increase in the deficit.
Application and Effect of Changes in Allocations and Aggregates: H.Con.Res. 34 would stipulate that any change in allocation or aggregates made pursuant to the resolution would apply while that measure is under consideration, take effect upon the enactment of that measure, and be published in the Congressional Record as soon as practicable.
Fair Value Estimates: H.Con.Res. 34 would provide the Chairman or Ranking Member of the Committee on the Budget the authority to request a supplemental estimate scored using “fair value”—which generally incorporates market risk—for any program affecting or establishing Federal loans or loan guarantees.
Policy Statement on Medicare: H.Con.Res. 34 includes a number of House findings regarding the Medicare program including the following, the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will be exhausted by 2020 and unable to pay scheduled benefits, and Medicare costs for the 46 million Americans who depend on it is growing faster than the economy. The resolution notes that failing to address these problems will leave millions of American seniors without adequate health security and younger generations burdened with enormous debt to pay for spending levels that cannot be sustained.
In order to address the Medicare crisis, H.Con.Res. 34 assumes Medicare reform which would ensure that:
Policy Statement on Social Security: H.Con.Res. 34 assumes reform in the form of a trigger which would require that in any year the Social Security Trustees issue a report that shows that the 75-year actuarial balance of the Social Security Trust Fund is in deficit, the Trustees should report recommendations for achieving a positive 75-year actuarial balance to the President. The President would then be required to submit legislation to Congress in the same calendar year and include recommendations to achieve actuarial balance and the House and Senate should also introduce legislation upon receipt of the President’s bill. H.Con.Res. 34 would stipulate that the legislation should be reported by appropriate committees and considered in Congress within 60 days under expedited procedures. In addition to achieving actuarial balance, the President’s proposal should: 1) protect those in or near retirement, 2) preserve the safety net for S.S. disability recipients, 3) improve fairness for participants, and 4) reduce the burden and ensure certainty for future generations.
Policy Statement on Budget Enforcement and Debt Controls: H.Con.Res. 34 would state that it is the policy of this resolution that in order to begin to bring debt under control the following statutory spending and debt controls are needed:
A CBO cost estimate for H.Con.Res. 34, was not available as of press time.
While the text of the budget resolution does not provide specific policy assumptions for every aspect of the federal budget, the Committee Report accompanying the resolution includes certain policy assumptions for meeting the spending and revenue projections outlined in the resolution.
Medicare Reform: According to House Report 112-058, the resolution assumes reforms that would protect health and retirement security. Starting in 2022, new Medicare beneficiaries would be enrolled in the same kind of health care program that members of Congress enjoy. Future Medicare recipients would be able to choose a plan that works best for them from a list of guaranteed coverage options. This is not a voucher program, but rather a premium-support model. A Medicare premium-support payment would be paid, by Medicare, to the plan chosen by the beneficiary, subsidizing its cost. In addition, Medicare would provide increased assistance for lower-income beneficiaries and those with greater health risks. Reform that empowers individuals—with more help for the poor and the sick—would guarantee that Medicare can fulfill the promise of health security for America's seniors.
Welfare and Medicaid Reform: According to House Report 112-058, the budget would build upon the historic welfare reforms of the late 1990s by converting the Federal share of Medicaid spending into a block grant that lets States create a range of options and gives Medicaid patients access to better care. The budget proposes similar reforms to food stamps, ending the flawed incentive structure that rewards States for adding to the program's rolls. Finally, this budget recognizes that the best welfare program is one that ends with a job: it would consolidate dozens of duplicative job-training programs into more accessible, accountable career scholarships that would better serve people looking for work.
While strengthening welfare programs for those who need them, the budget calls for eliminating welfare for those who do not. It targets corporate welfare, first by ending the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that is costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. It would get rid of the permanent Wall Street bailout authority that Congress created last year. It would roll back expensive handouts for uncompetitive sources of energy, calling instead for a free and open marketplace for energy development, innovation, and exploration.
Tax Reform: According to House Report 112-058, the budget would focus on growth by reforming the Nation's outdated tax code, consolidating brackets, lowering tax rates, and assuming top individual and corporate rates of 25 percent. It maintains a revenue-neutral approach by clearing out a burdensome tangle of deductions and loopholes that distort economic activity and leave some corporations paying no income taxes at all.
Budget Enforcement: According to House Report 112-058, this budget proposes process reforms--including real—enforceable caps on spending—to make sure government spends and taxes only as much as it needs to fulfill its constitutionally prescribed roles.
Social Security: According to House Report 112-058, this budget calls for policymakers to work together to enact common-sense reforms. The goal of this proposal is to achieve a solution similar to the plan the President's bipartisan Fiscal Commission put forward to save Social Security for current retirees and strengthen it for future generations.
Highlights of the Path to Prosperity
GROWTH AND JOBS
DEBT AND DEFICITS
GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF HEALTH CARE