CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Thursday, December 12, 2013, the House will consider two amendments to H.J.Res. 59, under a rule.
(The BIPARTISAN Budget ACT of 2013)
Amendment #1, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, establishes the top line discretionary spending levels for FY 2014 and 2015; identifies deficit saving proposals, including mandatory savings and non-tax revenue; and reduces the deficit.
Discretionary Spending Levels
Specifically, the agreement sets overall spending for FY 2014 at $1.012 trillion and FY 2015 at $1.014 trillion for a total of $63 billion in sequester relief. Top line defense spending under the agreement is set at $520.5 billion for FY 2014 and $521.3 billion for FY 2015. Top line non-defense spending is set at $491.8 billion for FY 2014 and $492.4 billion for FY 2015.
The agreement provides for approximately $85 billion in mandatory savings and non-tax revenue. Specifically, it extends the President’s sequester on the mandatory side for an additional two years – 2022 and 2023 - for a savings of $28 billion. It expands the use of the Treasury Offset Program to all states to recapture certain unemployment insurance debts, such as overpayments as a result of fraud or failure to report earnings – for a savings of $69 million over ten years. It reinforces the Medicaid payer of last resort position allowing states to delay paying certain claims to ensure that where possible existing payers are held responsible – saving $1.4billion over ten years. It restricts access to information on the Death Master file for three years and requires certification for those who do access; imposes a $1000 penalty or each improper disclosure or misuse of information up to a maximum of $250,000 per person – saving $786 million. It gives the Department of the Treasury the authority to better identify those prisoners ineligible for benefits – recovering payments and saving $242 million over ten years. It repeals the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Research Program and rescinds the program’s remaining funds – saving $40 million over ten years. The agreement continues the administrative cost sharing agreement with states regarding mineral leases that generate revenue – saving $415 million over ten years. It approves the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Agreement that will establish the framework to explore, develop, and share revenue from hydrocarbon resources that lie in waters beyond each country’s exclusive economic zone as well as implement the U.S.-Mexico agreement and any future transboundary hydrocarbon reservoir agreement entered into by the President and approved by Congress – saving $25 million over the next decade. The agreement limits the amount of the interest payable to lessees on royalty overpayments to up to 110 percent – saving $750 million over ten years. It rescinds all available funds in the SPR Petroleum Account and repeals the federal government’s authority to accept oil through the royalty in kind program to fill the SPR – saving $3.2 billion over ten years. The agreement increases federal employee pension contributions for further revised annuity employees by 1.3 percentage points for those new employees hired after December 31, 2013 and with less than five years of service – saving approximately $6 billion over ten years. It also modifies the cost of living adjustment for working-age military retirees by making the adjustments equal to inflation minus one percent beginning December 2015 (the adjustment reverts back to the full cost of living adjustment at age 62) – saving approximately $6 billion. The agreement makes two changes to the higher education program. The first provision reduces the compensation that guaranty agencies receive for rehabilitating a loan from the FFEL program, beginning July 1, 2014 – saving $2 billion over ten years. The second provision eliminates the mandatory spending associated with payments to non-profit student loan services, and instead makes payments through discretionary funding in the same manner as other student loan servicers – saving $3.1 billion over ten years. The agreement simplifies aviation security fees - increasing the passenger fee to $5.60 per one way trip – raising the TSA costs covered by the fees from 30 to 40 percent and saving $12.6 billion over ten years. It also specifies that federal agencies must pay for the extra costs associated with shipping food aid on U.S. ships – saving $731 million over ten years. The agreement also maintains the requirement that TSA monitor the “sterile areas” currently in place in 155 airports. The agreement continues to allow the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection to continue collecting customs fees through 2023 – saving $7 billion. It limits the amount federal contractors can charge to federal contracts for compensation packages to $487,000; it raises the premiums that companies pay the federal government to guarantee their pension benefits – saving $7.9 billion over ten years; it cancels $693 million of unobligated balances in the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Fund as well as cancels $867 million of unobligated balances in the U.S. Treasury’s Forfeiture Fund. It allows the Natural Resources Conservation Service to charge a fee for providing technical assistance on the development of individualized, site specific conservation plans – saving $39 million over ten years. Finally, the agreement allows the Office of Personal Management (OPM) to offer a self-plus-one option in the FEHBP – saving $3 billion over ten years.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 reduces the deficit by approximately $22-23 billion.
On October 17, 2013, the House agreed to conference its budget resolution, H.Con.Res. 25, with the Senate. The agreement gave the conference committee until December 13, 2013 to resolve differences.
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
House Amendment to H. J. Res. 59– Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013
(Rep. Ryan, R-WI)
The Administration supports House passage of H. J. Res. 59 – Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. The legislation would replace a portion of the across-the-board sequester that has harmed students, seniors, and middle-class families and has served as a drag on the Nation's economy over the last year. The legislation would allow for critical investments in areas such as education, infrastructure, and scientific research, while keeping the Nation on the path to long-term deficit reduction. The legislation includes targeted fee increases and spending cuts designed in a way that does not hurt the Nation’s economy or the Federal Government's commitments to seniors.
The Administration urges the Congress to pass this bipartisan agreement and looks forward to working with the Congress to enact clean, full-year FY 2014 appropriations bills based on this agreement in order to continue growing the Nation’s economy and creating jobs. In addition, the Congress should extend unemployment insurance before it expires at the end of this year so more than a million Americans looking for work do not lose a vital economic lifeline right after the holidays, and the Nation's economy does not suffer.
According to CBO, direct spending would be reduced by $78.4 billion and non-tax revenues would increase by $6.6 billion for a total of $85 billion in savings. For the full cost estimate, please click here.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.