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Debt Ceiling Deal and Spin

Debt Ceiling Deal and Spin

The Debt Ceiling Deal

On August 2, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the Budget Control Act, hours after the Senate approved the bill. The bill will raise the debt ceiling by as much as $2.4 trillion. The bill does not cut spending – it will continue to increase, but will cut future spending increases. The bill will (hopefully) cut $900 billion of $7-8 trillion in projected deficit spending increases over the next 10 years. It also establishes a 12-member super-committee of Congress charged with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in savings. If that committee fails, the “trigger” that cuts $1.2 trillion ($600 billion from the military budget and domestic programs budget) is enacted.

Said President Obama of the bill, “a compromise to reduce the deficit and avert a default that would have devastated our economy.” The “devastation” Obama spoke of is a government that must operate on a balanced budget. Obama said after the Senate passes the bill that he didn’t really want the government to move toward a balanced budget. He said that it constituted “an important first step to insuring that as a nation we live within our means, yet it also allows us to keep making key investments in things like education and research that lead to new jobs and assures that we are not cutting too abruptly while the economy is still fragile.”

MSM Spin

Democrats will use their buddies in the MSM to portray the Republicans as evil. Republicans will be portrayed as uncooperative. The MSM says that a deal will be the ultimate measure of success, suggesting that the public can now expect harmony in our government, smooth and cooperative functioning to get things done.

Many major national newspapers are playing the same tune on Tuesday as they worry about how the spending “cuts” in the debt-ceiling deal will harm the economy. From the Washington Post, we learn that the deal will avert a financial crisis, but also threaten to aggravate the problems facing the U.S. economy, including high unemployment and weak demand. The deal will lift the cloud of uncertainty over the economy. The deal could help free the nation from what is becoming a crushing national debt. The deal could endanger the anemic economic recovery. From the Wall Street Journal, we learn that the deal will cause a mild drag on U.S. economic growth in the coming year, coming at a time when the recovery remains fragile. From the Los Angeles Times, The plan will be a tough sell if the economy stalls, because reduced government spending can further slow growth. “There is nothing in these new plans to generate strong growth,” says Nigel Gault, chief economist at IHS Global Insight. “In fact, they could weaken growth,” resulting in lower tax revenues and making the deficit worse.

Republicans’ Spin

The Republicans will mislead you by celebrating a victory. Months ago president Obama demanded a “clean” bill that would increase in the debt ceiling, meaning without any conditions that required spending cuts. But Republicans refused to budge. They will frame a debt-ceiling agreement as largely giving them what they wanted in a debt deal. Said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Sunday on CBS’ Face The Nation (before the deal was finalized), “I don’t think we’ve been hurt at all. The American people wanted us to do something about out-of-control spending and … the debt ceiling is going to produce what many people would believe is a complete change in the trajectory of the federal government beginning to get spending under control.”

Said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on ABC’s This Week, Republicans could declare victory given the fact that no new tax increases will be included in the deal. “From the Republican Party’s point of view, I think we can declare victory in a limited fashion. This is the first time in my lifetime that I know of that we’re paying for future debt increases dollar for dollar, and that would not have happened without the 2010 election.”

Democrats’ Spin

Senate Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Sunday on Face the Nation, “Democrats have shown throughout this debate a willingness to compromise. There are people on the left who would probably say ‘no cuts,’ but they haven’t been able to have their way within our caucuses, whereas this hard right group seems to get its way all the time.”

The White House is basing this deal on the premise that they will stand firm next time on the exact same economic and political points that they were not able to stand firm on this time. Said Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) siding with liberals who focused on the cuts to programs and lack of additional tax revenue to soften the blow, “I do not believe this proposal is a fair, well thought out, or balanced deal for our fragile economy or the millions of middle-class families struggling to make ends meet.” Mrs. Gillibrand, explaining her “no” vote, complained that the deal was reached behind closed doors and that it “reduces the deficit mainly on the backs of middle class families that will see the impact of reduced federal spending.”

From The Daily Kos,

The debt deal announced today is a victory for bipartisan compromise, for the economy and for the American people. The agreement:

  • Removes the cloud of uncertainty over our economy at this critical time, by ensuring that no one will be able to use the threat of the nation’s first default now, or in only a few months, for political gain;
  • Locks in a down payment on significant deficit reduction, with savings from both domestic and Pentagon spending, and is designed to protect crucial investments like aid for college students;
  • Establishes a bipartisan process to seek a balanced approach to larger deficit reduction through entitlement and tax reform;
  • Deploys an enforcement mechanism that gives all sides an incentive to reach bipartisan compromise on historic deficit reduction, while protecting Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries and low-income programs;
  • Stays true to the President’s commitment to shared sacrifice by preventing the middle class, seniors and those who are most vulnerable from shouldering the burden of deficit reduction. The President did not agree to any entitlement reforms outside of the context of a bipartisan committee process where tax reform will be on the table and the President will insist on shared sacrifice from the most well-off and those with the most indefensible tax breaks.

So?

So, be aware of what the Debt Ceiling Deal is and that you are being spun. And the spin is going to continue for some time. And as Joseph C. Wilson, a former US diplomat best known for his 2002 trip to Niger to investigate allegations that Saddam Hussein was attempting to purchase yellowcake uranium, and husband of Valerie Plame, said, “The spin overwhelms the substance.”

But that’s just my opinion!.

Debt and our failing economy

Is the country being led astray once again by those on the Hill that appear to be doing business as usual? The words deficit and downgrade and debt-ceiling almost seem to be synonymous with one another when nothing could be further then the truth. Yet both sides think they are right; they have resorted to high school politics where one side blames the other, name-calling, and denial. And if that is not enough to send you into complete bewilderment, the current Bill, which was just passed, is full of idealism that will surely break the American economy, while setting in motion grave consequences for future generations. Raising the dept limit with out any structural reforms in place will be the primary force in setting the economy in a downward spiral. It is no wonder the average American is confused. So who is right?

Despite all the chaos, misrepresentation, and blame being thrown around on the Hill, and by the media, American’s seem to see the clear picture of what is going on based on current polls. For example, a July 12th Gallup poll showed 42% of Americans oppose raising the debt ceiling. The July 19th Wall Street Journal poll found that 55% of those polled felt raising the debt ceiling would be a major problem. One Gallup Poll found that Americans, by a 42% to 22% margin, want their representatives on the Hill to vote against an increase in the debt ceiling. The President of the United States, as well as some members of the Senate and House, have been reckless with spending from one generation to another, all of which have escaped accountability. Mr. Obama has spent more money during to date then that of Mr. Bush’s entire time in office. According to Karl Rove, “In 20 months, Mr. Obama will add as much debt as Mr. Bush ran up in eight years.”1 Raising the debt limit allows the president to spend more money and further the deficit. To be clear, the deficit is the amount of money we, as a country, are in debt; it is the money we owe to creditors, etc.

While the national debt continues to grow by the seconds, spending cuts continue to be nonexistent. The amount of cuts which would be required to balance the budget well exceed those suggested by congress. A downgrade would impact our AAA rating by Moody’s and S &P. Investors would view our failing economy as too much of a risk to invest in and take their business somewhere else. Whether it happens today, or five years from now, our AAA credit rating will go down if we continue to spend as though the checkbook is virtual black hole with no end in sight. In addition, to make matters worse as the United States becomes a mockery and concern for the rest of the world, institutional and foreign investors, those people or firms who invest large sums of money into securities, real property, and other types of investments, will reconsider investing in the US.

House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi regularly discussed the need for job creation and yet under this administration unemployment is at it highest level. David Axelrod, a political strategist for the president claimed the pork-laden stimulus package has been a success. But Mr. Obama told Americans that if it were passed, unemployment wouldn’t rise above 8%. It is now 10%. The president also said it would create 3.7 million jobs, 90% of which would be in the private sector. By Mr. Obama’s standards, the stimulus failed miserably.2 To create jobs we need to lower corporate taxes to be more competitive with the rest of the world. If we truly want to bring business back to this country and away from places like China and India we would need to look at the Tax code in its entirety.

There were a lot of bills on the table, the Ryan Bill, Cut, Cap, and Balance just to name a few. They were killed in the Senate by Senator Harry Reid. Cut, Cap, and Balance would have addressed the spending issues while putting measures into place to effectively balance our budget. The Connie Mack Penny plan which was discussed, but not something many people heard about, it also dealt with the excessive squandering that goes on in our government. More explicitly it would cut federal spending by one percent for six years, set a cap of 18 percent of gross domestic product in 2018, and reduce the amount of spending over a 10 year period by 7.5 trillion dollars. This plan provides the framework necessary for balancing the budget while maintaining spending regulations for future members of government. This plan has not gotten the attention it needs.

The bottom line is this: We are traveling down a path which is deeply rooted with opposition to our founding fathers and the Constitution of the United States. Both sides need to stop playing politics and address the very serious issues at hand. In addition, those people on the Hill who live with the delusion that they know more then the American people therefore they need to do all the thinking for them, need to wake up! It is about time they realize they were put there by the people, for the people, and they are accountable to the people.

Sources:
[1]Karl Rove.Obama vs. Bush on Spending.Wall Street Journal. January 21, 2010
[2] Ibid

The Debt Ceiling Deal, the “Trigger,” and Defense Budget Cuts

The Debt Ceiling Deal, the “Trigger,” and Defense Budget Cuts

The Deal

The “Debt Ceiling Deal,” a compromise negotiated by Republicans and Democrats over this past week-end (30, 31 July, 11) proposes, among other things, a $350 billion cut in the defense budget over the next ten years. That proposal is bad enough, but … the “deal” also establishes a bi-partisan Congressional committee that will look for ways (determine a path) to cut an additional $1.5 trillion. If that committee fails to reach an agreement, or should Congress fail to enact a plan to reduce spending, an automatic reduction (the “trigger”) in spending will occur, with half coming from domestic spending (about $600 Billion) and half (about $600 billion on TOP of the $350 billion already cut) coming from the defense budget. Overall, defense comprises about 20% of the entire US budget. In 2010, defense spent $530 billion, not including war costs.

“The bottom line is these [initial] cuts [of $350 billion] are not life-altering for the Pentagon,” said Gordon Adams, a professor at American University who specialized in defense spending. “They live to fight another day.” Still, even with cuts of that magnitude, the military would retain its position as the world’s best fighting force, with unmatched capabilities on land, at sea and in the air. But that is of little comfort to defense hawks on Capitol Hill.

But the real pain will come if Congress can’t or won’t agree on a second round of general budget cuts. If that happens, the “trigger” will be pulled and defense will get hit with another $600 billion in cuts over 10 years. “In a scenario where a trigger is activated, you are dealing with cuts far beyond what the Pentagon wanted,” Travis Sharp, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said.

Republican congressmen on the House Armed Services Committee are already denigrating defense budget cuts, saying they risk military readiness. And Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday, “If fully implemented, the consequences to our nation’s defense infrastructure would be severe. And these deep cuts would come at a time when threats to our nation are increasing, not declining.”

Affects of Budget Cuts On Defense

Said John Bolton on July 31, 2011, “Defense has already taken hugely disproportionate cuts under President Obama, and there is simply no basis for expanding those cuts further. Republican negotiators must hold the line, since the Obama Administration plainly will not.”

Army General Martin Dempsey warned that it would be “extraordinarily difficult and very high risk” to cut $800 billion from defense spending as part of efforts to reduce the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt. He continued in his Senate nomination hearing, “National security didn’t cause the debt crisis nor will it solve it.”

General Joseph Dunford, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, said, “I think if they were to exceed $400 billion we would start to have to make some fundamental changes in the capability of the Marine Corps. That would mean a smaller force and a reassessment of its strategic mission.”

General Philip Breedlove, vice chief of staff of the Air Force, said cuts of $400 billion will cause “quite some concern” about money to replace the Air Force’s aging aircraft fleet. Strategic bombers are, on average, 34 years old, refueling tankers 47 years old, and airlift planes 19 years old.

Senator John McCain criticized the pressure to cut military spending without first understanding the impact on strategy. Said McCain, “Defense spending is not what is sinking this country into fiscal crisis, and if the Congress and the president act on that flawed assumption, they will create a situation that is truly unaffordable: the hollowing out of U.S. military power and the loss of faith of our military members.”

Our enemies will take advantage of this “hollowed out” weakness. We will have to spend much more in the future to catch up, fight off threats, and lower our heightened risk.

The Choice Between Defense and Entitlements

Liberals see our nation’s security as a bargaining chip and fail to recognize that defense spending is not the cause of the problem, and that these cuts put our troops and our national security at risk. Observers know the problem is entitlement spending, not the defense budget or a lack of revenue. Defense spending is, at most, 5.2% of GDP, despite wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Entitlements (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) grew from 2.5 percent of GDP in 1965 to over 10 percent today.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) said, “The Army and Marines are stretched dangerously thin, separated from their families, and using hardware that has been chewed up by a decade of fighting.” Randy Forbes (R-VA) said: “If they have to make these cuts it’ll have to come out of personnel, and they’ll have to reduce their force structure, and they’ll have to have a new strategy for how they defend the United States of America.” Congressman Allen West (R-FL) called potential defense cuts “incredible” and “unconscionable.”

Consequences

Congressional conservatives fought to achieve a balanced budget, while protecting our defenses, and without raising taxes. But the final “deal,” favored by liberals on Capitol Hill and in the White House, sets up America for the worst possible outcome – job-killing tax hikes and safety-risking defense cuts – while entitlement spending continues to rise.

But that’s just my opinion.

CBO Analysis of August 1 Budget Control Act

On August First, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released this summary of its analysis of the debt limit compromise legislation (amendment to S.365).

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated the impact on the deficit of the Budget Control Act of 2011, as posted on the Web site of the House Committee on Rules on August 1, 2011. The legislation would:

  • Establish caps on discretionary spending through 2021;
  • Allow for certain amounts of additional spending for “program integrity” initiatives aimed at reducing the amount of improper benefit payments;
  • Make changes to the Pell Grant and student loan programs;
  • Require that the House of Representatives and the Senate vote on a joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution;
  • Establish a procedure to increase the debt limit by $400 billion initially and procedures that would allow the limit to be raised further in two additional steps, for a cumulative increase of between $2.1 trillion and $2.4 trillion;
  • Reinstate and modify certain budget process rules;
  • Create a Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to propose further deficit reduction, with a stated goal of achieving at least $1.5 trillion in budgetary savings over 10 years; and
  • Establish automatic procedures for reducing spending by as much as $1.2 trillion if legislation originating with the new joint select committee does not achieve such savings.

If appropriations in the next 10 years are equal to the caps on discretionary spending and the maximum amount of funding is provided for the program integrity initiatives, CBO estimates that the legislation—apart from the provisions related to the joint select committee—would reduce budget deficits by $917 billion between 2012 and 2021. In addition, legislation originating with the joint select committee, or the automatic reductions in spending that would occur in the absence of such legislation, would reduce deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over the 10-year period. Therefore, the deficit reduction stemming from this legislation would total at least $2.1 trillion over the 2012–2021 period.

Those amounts are relative to CBO’s March 2011 baseline adjusted for subsequent appropriation action. CBO has also calculated the net budgetary impact if discretionary savings are measured relative to its January baseline projections. Relative to that baseline, CBO estimates that the legislation would reduce budget deficits by at least $2.3 trillion between 2012 and 2021.

Debt Limit Bill – Amendment to S.365 [Full Text]

In the House of Representatives, U. S.,
 

August 1, 2011.
Resolved, That the bill from the Senate (S. 365) entitled `An Act to make a technical amendment to the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002.’, do pass with the following:

AMENDMENT:

Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the following:

 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

 

(a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the `Budget Control Act of 2011′.

 

(b) Table of Contents- The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

 

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

 

Sec. 2. Severability.

 

TITLE I–TEN-YEAR DISCRETIONARY CAPS WITH SEQUESTER

 

Sec. 101. Enforcing discretionary spending limits.

 

Sec. 102. Definitions.

 

Sec. 103. Reports and orders.

 

Sec. 104. Expiration.

 

Sec. 105. Amendments to the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974.

 

Sec. 106. Senate budget enforcement.

 

TITLE II–VOTE ON THE BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT

 

Sec. 201. Vote on the balanced budget amendment.

 

Sec. 202. Consideration by the other House.

 

TITLE III–DEBT CEILING DISAPPROVAL PROCESS

 

Sec. 301. Debt ceiling disapproval process.

 

Sec. 302. Enforcement of budget goal.

 

TITLE IV–JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE ON DEFICIT REDUCTION

 

Sec. 401. Establishment of Joint Select Committee.

 

Sec. 402. Expedited consideration of joint committee recommendations.

 

Sec. 403. Funding.

 

Sec. 404. Rulemaking.

 

TITLE V–PELL GRANT AND STUDENT LOAN PROGRAM CHANGES

 

Sec. 501. Federal Pell grants.

 

Sec. 502. Termination of authority to make interest subsidized loans to graduate and professional students.

 

Sec. 503. Termination of direct loan repayment incentives.

 

Sec. 504. Inapplicability of title IV negotiated rulemaking and master calendar exception.

 

SEC. 2. SEVERABILITY.

 

If any provision of this Act, or any application of such provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act and the application of this Act to any other person or circumstance shall not be affected.

 

TITLE I–TEN-YEAR DISCRETIONARY CAPS WITH SEQUESTER
 

SEC. 101. ENFORCING DISCRETIONARY SPENDING LIMITS.

 

Section 251 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is amended to read as follows:

 

`SEC. 251. ENFORCING DISCRETIONARY SPENDING LIMITS.

 

`(a) Enforcement-

 

`(1) SEQUESTRATION- Within 15 calendar days after Congress adjourns to end a session there shall be a sequestration to eliminate a budget-year breach, if any, within any category.

 

`(2) ELIMINATING A BREACH- Each non-exempt account within a category shall be reduced by a dollar amount calculated by multiplying the enacted level of sequestrable budgetary resources in that account at that time by the uniform percentage necessary to eliminate a breach within that category.

 

`(3) MILITARY PERSONNEL- If the President uses the authority to exempt any personnel account from sequestration under section 255(f), each account within subfunctional category 051 (other than those military personnel accounts for which the authority provided under section 255(f) has been exercised) shall be further reduced by a dollar amount calculated by multiplying the enacted level of non-exempt budgetary resources in that account at that time by the uniform percentage necessary to offset the total dollar amount by which outlays are not reduced in military personnel accounts by reason of the use of such authority.

 

`(4) PART-YEAR APPROPRIATIONS- If, on the date specified in paragraph (1), there is in effect an Act making or continuing appropriations for part of a fiscal year for any budget account, then the dollar sequestration calculated for that account under paragraphs (2) and (3) shall be subtracted from–

 

`(A) the annualized amount otherwise available by law in that account under that or a subsequent part-year appropriation; and

 

`(B) when a full-year appropriation for that account is enacted, from the amount otherwise provided by the full-year appropriation for that account.

 

`(5) LOOK-BACK- If, after June 30, an appropriation for the fiscal year in progress is enacted that causes a breach within a category for that year (after taking into account any sequestration of amounts within that category), the discretionary spending limits for that category for the next fiscal year shall be reduced by the amount or amounts of that breach.

 

`(6) WITHIN-SESSION SEQUESTRATION- If an appropriation for a fiscal year in progress is enacted (after Congress adjourns to end the session for that budget year and before July 1 of that fiscal year) that causes a breach within a category for that year (after taking into account any prior sequestration of amounts within that category), 15 days later there shall be a sequestration to eliminate that breach within that category following the procedures set forth in paragraphs (2) through (4).

 

`(7) ESTIMATES-

 

`(A) CBO ESTIMATES- As soon as practicable after Congress completes action on any discretionary appropriation, CBO, after consultation with the Committees on the Budget of the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall provide OMB with an estimate of the amount of discretionary new budget authority and outlays for the current year, if any, and the budget year provided by that legislation.

 

`(B) OMB ESTIMATES AND EXPLANATION OF DIFFERENCES- Not later than 7 calendar days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays) after the date of enactment of any discretionary appropriation, OMB shall transmit a report to the House of Representatives and to the Senate containing the CBO estimate of that legislation, an OMB estimate of the amount of discretionary new budget authority and outlays for the current year, if any, and the budget year provided by that legislation, and an explanation of any difference between the 2 estimates. If during the preparation of the report OMB determines that there is a significant difference between OMB and CBO, OMB shall consult with the Committees on the Budget of the House of Representatives and the Senate regarding that difference and that consultation shall include, to the extent practicable, written communication to those committees that affords such committees the opportunity to comment before the issuance of the report.

 

`(C) ASSUMPTIONS AND GUIDELINES- OMB estimates under this paragraph shall be made using current economic and technical assumptions. OMB shall use the OMB estimates transmitted to the Congress under this paragraph. OMB and CBO shall prepare estimates under this paragraph in conformance with scorekeeping guidelines determined after consultation among the Committees on the Budget of the House of Representatives and the Senate, CBO, and OMB.

 

`(D) ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS- For purposes of this paragraph, amounts provided by annual appropriations shall include any discretionary appropriations for the current year, if any, and the budget year in accounts for which funding is provided in that legislation that result from previously enacted legislation.

 

`(b) Adjustments to Discretionary Spending Limits-

 

`(1) CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS- When the President submits the budget under section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, OMB shall calculate and the budget shall include adjustments to discretionary spending limits (and those limits as cumulatively adjusted) for the budget year and each outyear to reflect changes in concepts and definitions. Such changes shall equal the baseline levels of new budget authority and outlays using up-to-date concepts and definitions, minus those levels using the concepts and definitions in effect before such changes. Such changes may only be made after consultation with the Committees on Appropriations and the Budget of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and that consultation shall include written communication to such committees that affords such committees the opportunity to comment before official action is taken with respect to such changes.

 

`(2) SEQUESTRATION REPORTS- When OMB submits a sequestration report under section 254(e), (f), or (g) for a fiscal year, OMB shall calculate, and the sequestration report and subsequent budgets submitted by the President under section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code, shall include adjustments to discretionary spending limits (and those limits as adjusted) for the fiscal year and each succeeding year, as follows:

 

`(A) EMERGENCY APPROPRIATIONS; OVERSEAS CONTINGENCY OPERATIONS/GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM- If, for any fiscal year, appropriations for discretionary accounts are enacted that–

 

`(i) the Congress designates as emergency requirements in statute on an account by account basis and the President subsequently so designates, or

 

`(ii) the Congress designates for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism in statute on an account by account basis and the President subsequently so designates,

 

the adjustment shall be the total of such appropriations in discretionary accounts designated as emergency requirements or for Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism, as applicable.

 

`(B) CONTINUING DISABILITY REVIEWS AND REDETERMINATIONS- (i) If a bill or joint resolution making appropriations for a fiscal year is enacted that specifies an amount for continuing disability reviews under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act and for the cost associated with conducting redeterminations of eligibility under title XVI of the Social Security Act, then the adjustments for that fiscal year shall be the additional new budget authority provided in that Act for such expenses for that fiscal year, but shall not exceed–

 

`(I) for fiscal year 2012, $623,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(II) for fiscal year 2013, $751,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(III) for fiscal year 2014, $924,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(IV) for fiscal year 2015, $1,123,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(V) for fiscal year 2016, $1,166,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(VI) for fiscal year 2017, $1,309,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(VII) for fiscal year 2018, $1,309,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(VIII) for fiscal year 2019, $1,309,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(IX) for fiscal year 2020, $1,309,000,000 in additional new budget authority; and

 

`(X) for fiscal year 2021, $1,309,000,000 in additional new budget authority.

 

`(ii) As used in this subparagraph–

 

`(I) the term `continuing disability reviews’ means continuing disability reviews under sections 221(i) and 1614(a)(4) of the Social Security Act;

 

`(II) the term `redetermination’ means redetermination of eligibility under sections 1611(c)(1) and 1614(a)(3)(H) of the Social Security Act; and

 

`(III) the term `additional new budget authority’ means the amount provided for a fiscal year, in excess of $273,000,000, in an appropriation Act and specified to pay for the costs of continuing disability reviews and redeterminations under the heading `Limitation on Administrative Expenses’ for the Social Security Administration.

 

`(C) HEALTH CARE FRAUD AND ABUSE CONTROL- (i) If a bill or joint resolution making appropriations for a fiscal year is enacted that specifies an amount for the health care fraud abuse control program at the Department of Health and Human Services (75-8393-0-7-571), then the adjustments for that fiscal year shall be the amount of additional new budget authority provided in that Act for such program for that fiscal year, but shall not exceed–

 

`(I) for fiscal year 2012, $270,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(II) for fiscal year 2013, $299,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(III) for fiscal year 2014, $329,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(IV) for fiscal year 2015, $361,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(V) for fiscal year 2016, $395,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(VI) for fiscal year 2017, $414,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(VII) for fiscal year 2018, $434,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(VIII) for fiscal year 2019, $454,000,000 in additional new budget authority;

 

`(IX) for fiscal year 2020, $475,000,000 in additional new budget authority; and

 

`(X) for fiscal year 2021, $496,000,000 in additional new budget authority.

 

`(ii) As used in this subparagraph, the term `additional new budget authority’ means the amount provided for a fiscal year, in excess of $311,000,000, in an appropriation Act and specified to pay for the costs of the health care fraud and abuse control program.

 

`(D) DISASTER FUNDING-

 

`(i) If, for fiscal years 2012 through 2021, appropriations for discretionary accounts are enacted that Congress designates as being for disaster relief in statute, the adjustment for a fiscal year shall be the total of such appropriations for the fiscal year in discretionary accounts designated as being for disaster relief, but not to exceed the total of–

 

`(I) the average funding provided for disaster relief over the previous 10 years, excluding the highest and lowest years; and

 

`(II) the amount, for years when the enacted new discretionary budget authority designated as being for disaster relief for the preceding fiscal year was less than the average as calculated in subclause (I) for that fiscal year, that is the difference between the enacted amount and the allowable adjustment as calculated in such subclause for that fiscal year.

 

`(ii) OMB shall report to the Committees on Appropriations and Budget in each House the average calculated pursuant to clause (i)(II), not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of the Budget Control Act of 2011.

 

`(iii) For the purposes of this subparagraph, the term `disaster relief’ means activities carried out pursuant to a determination under section 102(2) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122(2)).

 

`(iv) Appropriations considered disaster relief under this subparagraph in a fiscal year shall not be eligible for adjustments under subparagraph (A) for the fiscal year.

 

`(c) Discretionary Spending Limit- As used in this part, the term `discretionary spending limit’ means–

 

`(1) with respect to fiscal year 2012–

 

`(A) for the security category, $684,000,000,000 in new budget authority; and

 

`(B) for the nonsecurity category, $359,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

 

`(2) with respect to fiscal year 2013–

 

`(A) for the security category, $686,000,000,000 in new budget authority; and

 

`(B) for the nonsecurity category, $361,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

 

`(3) with respect to fiscal year 2014, for the discretionary category, $1,066,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

 

`(4) with respect to fiscal year 2015, for the discretionary category, $1,086,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

 

`(5) with respect to fiscal year 2016, for the discretionary category, $1,107,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

 

`(6) with respect to fiscal year 2017, for the discretionary category, $1,131,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

 

`(7) with respect to fiscal year 2018, for the discretionary category, $1,156,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

 

`(8) with respect to fiscal year 2019, for the discretionary category, $1,182,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

 

`(9) with respect to fiscal year 2020, for the discretionary category, $1,208,000,000,000 in new budget authority; and

 

`(10) with respect to fiscal year 2021, for the discretionary category, $1,234,000,000,000 in new budget authority;

 

as adjusted in strict conformance with subsection (b).’.

 

SEC. 102. DEFINITIONS.

 

Section 250(c) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is amended as follows:

 

(1) Strike paragraph (4) and insert the following new paragraph:

 

`(4)(A) The term `nonsecurity category’ means all discretionary appropriations not included in the security category defined in subparagraph (B).

 

`(B) The term `security category’ includes discretionary appropriations associated with agency budgets for the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the intelligence community management account (95-0401-0-1-054), and all budget accounts in budget function 150 (international affairs).

 

`(C) The term `discretionary category’ includes all discretionary appropriations.’.

 

(2) In paragraph (8)(C), strike `the food stamp program’ and insert `the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’.

 

(3) Strike paragraph (14) and insert the following new paragraph:

 

`(14) The term `outyear’ means a fiscal year one or more years after the budget year.’.

 

(4) At the end, add the following new paragraphs:

 

`(20) The term `emergency’ means a situation that–

 

`(A) requires new budget authority and outlays (or new budget authority and the outlays flowing therefrom) for the prevention or mitigation of, or response to, loss of life or property, or a threat to national security; and

 

`(B) is unanticipated.

 

`(21) The term `unanticipated’ means that the underlying situation is–

 

`(A) sudden, which means quickly coming into being or not building up over time;

 

`(B) urgent, which means a pressing and compelling need requiring immediate action;

 

`(C) unforeseen, which means not predicted or anticipated as an emerging need; and

 

`(D) temporary, which means not of a permanent duration.’.

 

SEC. 103. REPORTS AND ORDERS.

 

Section 254 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is amended as follows:

 

(1) In subsection (c)(2), strike `2002′ and insert `2021′.

 

(2) At the end of subsection (e), insert `This report shall also contain a preview estimate of the adjustment for disaster funding for the upcoming fiscal year.’.

 

(3) In subsection (f)(2)(A), strike `2002′ and insert `2021′; before the concluding period insert `, including a final estimate of the adjustment for disaster funding’.

 

SEC. 104. EXPIRATION.

 

(a) Repealer- Section 275 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is repealed.

 

(b) Conforming Change- Sections 252(d)(1), 254(c), 254(f)(3), and 254(i) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 shall not apply to the Congressional Budget Office.

 

SEC. 105. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET AND IMPOUNDMENT CONTROL ACT OF 1974.

 

(a) Adjustments- Section 314 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 is amended as follows:

 

(1) Strike subsection (a) and insert the following:

 

`(a) Adjustments- After the reporting of a bill or joint resolution or the offering of an amendment thereto or the submission of a conference report thereon, the chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the House of Representatives or the Senate may make appropriate budgetary adjustments of new budget authority and the outlays flowing therefrom in the same amount as required by section 251(b) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.’.

 

(2) Strike subsections (b) and (e) and redesignate subsections (c) and (d) as subsections (b) and (c), respectively.

 

(3) At the end, add the following new subsections:

 

`(d) Emergencies in the House of Representatives- (1) In the House of Representatives, if a reported bill or joint resolution, or amendment thereto or conference report thereon, contains a provision providing new budget authority and outlays or reducing revenue, and a designation of such provision as an emergency requirement pursuant to 251(b)(2)(A) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, the chair of the Committee on the Budget of the House of Representatives shall not count the budgetary effects of such provision for purposes of title III and title IV of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and the Rules of the House of Representatives.

 

`(2)(A) In the House of Representatives, if a reported bill or joint resolution, or amendment thereto or conference report thereon, contains a provision providing new budget authority and outlays or reducing revenue, and a designation of such provision as an emergency pursuant to paragraph (1), the chair of the Committee on the Budget shall not count the budgetary effects of such provision for purposes of this title and title IV and the Rules of the House of Representatives.

 

`(B) In the House of Representatives, a proposal to strike a designation under subparagraph (A) shall be excluded from an evaluation of budgetary effects for purposes of this title and title IV and the Rules of the House of Representatives.

 

`(C) An amendment offered under subparagraph (B) that also proposes to reduce each amount appropriated or otherwise made available by the pending measure that is not required to be appropriated or otherwise made available shall be in order at any point in the reading of the pending measure.

 

`(e) Enforcement of Discretionary Spending Caps- It shall not be in order in the House of Representatives or the Senate to consider any bill, joint resolution, amendment, motion, or conference report that would cause the discretionary spending limits as set forth in section 251 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act to be exceeded.’.

 

(b) Definitions- Section 3 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

 

`(11) The terms `emergency’ and `unanticipated’ have the meanings given to such terms in section 250(c) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.’.

 

(c) Appeals for Discretionary Caps- Section 904(c)(2) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 is amended by striking `and 312(c)’ and inserting `312(c), and 314(e)’.

 

SEC. 106. SENATE BUDGET ENFORCEMENT.

 

(a) In General-

 

(1) For the purpose of enforcing the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 through April 15, 2012, including section 300 of that Act, and enforcing budgetary points of order in prior concurrent resolutions on the budget, the allocations, aggregates, and levels set in subsection (b)(1) shall apply in the Senate in the same manner as for a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2012 with appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2011 and 2013 through 2021.

 

(2) For the purpose of enforcing the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 after April 15, 2012, including section 300 of that Act, and enforcing budgetary points of order in prior concurrent resolutions on the budget, the allocations, aggregates, and levels set in subsection (b)(2) shall apply in the Senate in the same manner as for a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2013 with appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2012 and 2014 through 2022.

 

(b) Committee Allocations, Aggregates, and Levels-

 

(1) As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this section, the Chairman of the Committee on the Budget shall file–

 

(A) for the Committee on Appropriations, committee allocations for fiscal years 2011 and 2012 consistent with the discretionary spending limits set forth in this Act for the purpose of enforcing section 302 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974;

 

(B) for all committees other than the Committee on Appropriations, committee allocations for fiscal years 2011, 2012, 2012 through 2016, and 2012 through 2021 consistent with the Congressional Budget Office’s March 2011 baseline adjusted to account for the budgetary effects of this Act and legislation enacted prior to this Act but not included in the Congressional Budget Office’s March 2011 baseline, for the purpose of enforcing section 302 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974;

 

(C) aggregate spending levels for fiscal years 2011 and 2012 and aggregate revenue levels for fiscal years 2011, 2012, 2012 through 2016, 2012 through 2021 consistent with the Congressional Budget Office’s March 2011 baseline adjusted to account for the budgetary effects of this Act and legislation enacted prior to this Act but not included in the Congressional Budget Office’s March 2011 baseline, and the discretionary spending limits set forth in this Act for the purpose of enforcing section 311 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974; and

 

(D) levels of Social Security revenues and outlays for fiscal years 2011, 2012, 2012 through 2016, and 2012 through 2021 consistent with the Congressional Budget Office’s March 2011 baseline adjusted to account for the budgetary effects of this Act and legislation enacted prior to this Act but not included in the Congressional Budget Office’s March 2011 baseline, for the purpose of enforcing sections 302 and 311 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

 

(2) Not later than April 15, 2012, the Chairman of the Committee on the Budget shall file–

 

(A) for the Committee on Appropriations, committee allocations for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 consistent with the discretionary spending limits set forth in this Act for the purpose of enforcing section 302 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974;

 

(B) for all committees other than the Committee on Appropriations, committee allocations for fiscal years 2012, 2013, 2013 through 2017, and 2013 through 2022 consistent with the Congressional Budget Office’s March 2012 baseline for the purpose of enforcing section 302 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974;

 

(C) aggregate spending levels for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 and aggregate revenue levels for fiscal years 2012, 2013, 2013-2017, and 2013-2022 consistent with the Congressional Budget Office’s March 2012 baseline and the discretionary spending limits set forth in this Act for the purpose of enforcing section 311 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974; and

 

(D) levels of Social Security revenues and outlays for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, 2013-2017, and 2013-2022 consistent with the Congressional Budget Office’s March 2012 baseline budget for the purpose of enforcing sections 302 and 311 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

 

(c) Senate Pay-as-you-go Scorecard-

 

(1) Effective on the date of enactment of this section, for the purpose of enforcing section 201 of S. Con. Res. 21 (110th Congress), the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget shall reduce any balances of direct spending and revenues for any fiscal year to 0 (zero).

 

(2) Not later than April 15, 2012, for the purpose of enforcing section 201 of S. Con. Res. 21 (110th Congress), the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Budget shall reduce any balances of direct spending and revenues for any fiscal year to 0 (zero).

 

(3) Upon resetting the Senate paygo scorecard pursuant to paragraph (2), the Chairman shall publish a notification of such action in the Congressional Record.

 

(d) Further Adjustments-

 

(1) The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate may revise any allocations, aggregates, or levels set pursuant to this section to account for any subsequent adjustments to discretionary spending limits made pursuant to this Act.

 

(2) With respect to any allocations, aggregates, or levels set or adjustments made pursuant to this section, sections 412 through 414 of S. Con. Res. 13 (111th Congress) shall remain in effect.

 

(e) Expiration-

 

(1) Subsections (a)(1), (b)(1), and (c)(1) shall expire if a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2012 is agreed to by the Senate and House of Representatives pursuant to section 301 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

 

(2) Subsections (a)(2), (b)(2), and (c)(2) shall expire if a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2013 is agreed to by the Senate and House of Representatives pursuant to section 301 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

 

TITLE II–VOTE ON THE BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT
 

SEC. 201. VOTE ON THE BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT.

 

After September 30, 2011, and not later than December 31, 2011, the House of Representatives and Senate, respectively, shall vote on passage of a joint resolution, the title of which is as follows: `Joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States.’.

 

SEC. 202. CONSIDERATION BY THE OTHER HOUSE.

 

(a) House Consideration-

 

(1) REFERRAL- If the House receives a joint resolution described in section 201 from the Senate, such joint resolution shall be referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. If the committee fails to report the joint resolution within five legislative days, it shall be in order to move that the House discharge the committee from further consideration of the joint resolution. Such a motion shall not be in order after the House has disposed of a motion to discharge the joint resolution. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to its adoption without intervening motion except twenty minutes of debate equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. If such a motion is adopted, the House shall proceed immediately to consider the joint resolution in accordance with paragraph (3). A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.

 

(2) PROCEEDING TO CONSIDERATION- After the joint resolution has been referred to the appropriate calendar or the committee has been discharged (other than by motion) from its consideration, it shall be in order to move to proceed to consider the joint resolution in the House. Such a motion shall not be in order after the House has disposed of a motion to proceed with respect to the joint resolution. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to its adoption without intervening motion. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.

 

(3) CONSIDERATION- The joint resolution shall be considered as read. All points of order against the joint resolution and against its consideration are waived. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the joint resolution to its passage without intervening motion except two hours of debate equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent and one motion to limit debate on the joint resolution. A motion to reconsider the vote on passage of the joint resolution shall not be in order.

 

(b) Senate Consideration- (1) If the Senate receives a joint resolution described in section 201 from the House of Representatives, such joint resolution shall be referred to the appropriate committee of the Senate. If such committee has not reported the joint resolution at the close of the fifth session day after its receipt by the Senate, such committee shall be automatically discharged from further consideration of the joint resolution and it shall be placed on the appropriate calendar.

 

(2) Consideration of the joint resolution and on all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith, shall be limited to not more than 20 hours, which shall be divided equally between the majority and minority leaders or their designees. A motion further to limit debate is in order and not debatable. An amendment to, or a motion to postpone, or a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business, or a motion to recommit the joint resolution is not in order. Any debatable motion or appeal is debatable for not to exceed 1 hour, to be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the motion or appeal. All time used for consideration of the joint resolution, including time used for quorum calls and voting, shall be counted against the total 20 hours of consideration.

 

(3) If the Senate has voted to proceed to a joint resolution, the vote on passage of the joint resolution shall be taken on or before the close of the seventh session day after such joint resolution has been reported or discharged or immediately following the conclusion of consideration of the joint resolution, and a single quorum call at the conclusion of the debate if requested in accordance with the rules of the Senate.

 

TITLE III–DEBT CEILING DISAPPROVAL PROCESS
 

SEC. 301. DEBT CEILING DISAPPROVAL PROCESS.

 

(a) In General- Subchapter I of chapter 31 of subtitle III of title 31, United States Code, is amended–

 

(1) in section 3101(b), by striking `or otherwise’ and inserting `or as provided by section 3101A or otherwise'; and

 

(2) by inserting after section 3101 the following:

 

`Sec. 3101A. Presidential modification of the debt ceiling

 

`(a) In General-

 

`(1) $900 BILLION-

 

`(A) CERTIFICATION- If, not later than December 31, 2011, the President submits a written certification to Congress that the President has determined that the debt subject to limit is within $100,000,000,000 of the limit in section 3101(b) and that further borrowing is required to meet existing commitments, the Secretary of the Treasury may exercise authority to borrow an additional $900,000,000,000, subject to the enactment of a joint resolution of disapproval enacted pursuant to this section. Upon submission of such certification, the limit on debt provided in section 3101(b) (referred to in this section as the `debt limit’) is increased by $400,000,000,000.

 

`(B) RESOLUTION OF DISAPPROVAL- Congress may consider a joint resolution of disapproval of the authority under subparagraph (A) as provided in subsections (b) through (f). The joint resolution of disapproval considered under this section shall contain only the language provided in subsection (b)(2). If the time for disapproval has lapsed without enactment of a joint resolution of disapproval under this section, the debt limit is increased by an additional $500,000,000,000.

 

`(2) ADDITIONAL AMOUNT-

 

`(A) CERTIFICATION- If, after the debt limit is increased by $900,000,000,000 under paragraph (1), the President submits a written certification to Congress that the President has determined that the debt subject to limit is within $100,000,000,000 of the limit in section 3101(b) and that further borrowing is required to meet existing commitments, the Secretary of the Treasury may, subject to the enactment of a joint resolution of disapproval enacted pursuant to this section, exercise authority to borrow an additional amount equal to–

 

`(i) $1,200,000,000,000, unless clause (ii) or (iii) applies;

 

`(ii) $1,500,000,000,000 if the Archivist of the United States has submitted to the States for their ratification a proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States pursuant to a joint resolution entitled `Joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States'; or

 

`(iii) if a joint committee bill to achieve an amount greater than $1,200,000,000,000 in deficit reduction as provided in section 401(b)(3)(B)(i)(II) of the Budget Control Act of 2011 is enacted, an amount equal to the amount of that deficit reduction, but not greater than $1,500,000,000,000, unless clause (ii) applies.

 

`(B) RESOLUTION OF DISAPPROVAL- Congress may consider a joint resolution of disapproval of the authority under subparagraph (A) as provided in subsections (b) through (f). The joint resolution of disapproval considered under this section shall contain only the language provided in subsection (b)(2). If the time for disapproval has lapsed without enactment of a joint resolution of disapproval under this section, the debt limit is increased by the amount authorized under subparagraph (A).

 

`(b) Joint Resolution of Disapproval-

 

`(1) IN GENERAL- Except for the $400,000,000,000 increase in the debt limit provided by subsection (a)(1)(A), the debt limit may not be raised under this section if, within 50 calendar days after the date on which Congress receives a certification described in subsection (a)(1) or within 15 calendar days after Congress receives the certification described in subsection (a)(2) (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.

 

`(2) CONTENTS OF JOINT RESOLUTION- For the purpose of this section, the term `joint resolution’ means only a joint resolution–

 

`(A)(i) for the certification described in subsection (a)(1), that is introduced on September 6, 7, 8, or 9, 2011 (or, if the Senate was not in session, the next calendar day on which the Senate is in session); and

 

`(ii) for the certification described in subsection (a)(2), that is introduced between the date the certification is received and 3 calendar days after that date;

 

`(B) which does not have a preamble;

 

`(C) the title of which is only as follows: `Joint resolution relating to the disapproval of the President’s exercise of authority to increase the debt limit, as submitted under section 3101A of title 31, United States Code, on XXXXXX‘ (with the blank containing the date of such submission); and

 

`(D) the matter after the resolving clause of which is only as follows: `That Congress disapproves of the President’s exercise of authority to increase the debt limit, as exercised pursuant to the certification under section 3101A(a) of title 31, United States Code.’.

 

`(c) Expedited Consideration in House of Representatives-

 

`(1) RECONVENING- Upon receipt of a certification described in subsection (a)(2), the Speaker, if the House would otherwise be adjourned, shall notify the Members of the House that, pursuant to this section, the House shall convene not later than the second calendar day after receipt of such certification.

 

`(2) REPORTING AND DISCHARGE- Any committee of the House of Representatives to which a joint resolution is referred shall report it to the House without amendment not later than 5 calendar days after the date of introduction of a joint resolution described in subsection (a). If a committee fails to report the joint resolution within that period, the committee shall be discharged from further consideration of the joint resolution and the joint resolution shall be referred to the appropriate calendar.

 

`(3) PROCEEDING TO CONSIDERATION- After each committee authorized to consider a joint resolution reports it to the House or has been discharged from its consideration, it shall be in order, not later than the sixth day after introduction of a joint resolution under subsection (a), to move to proceed to consider the joint resolution in the House. All points of order against the motion are waived. Such a motion shall not be in order after the House has disposed of a motion to proceed on a joint resolution addressing a particular submission. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to its adoption without intervening motion. The motion shall not be debatable. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.

 

`(4) CONSIDERATION- The joint resolution shall be considered as read. All points of order against the joint resolution and against its consideration are waived. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the joint resolution to its passage without intervening motion except two hours of debate equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. A motion to reconsider the vote on passage of the joint resolution shall not be in order.

 

`(d) Expedited Procedure in Senate-

 

`(1) RECONVENING- Upon receipt of a certification under subsection (a)(2), if the Senate has adjourned or recessed for more than 2 days, the majority leader of the Senate, after consultation with the minority leader of the Senate, shall notify the Members of the Senate that, pursuant to this section, the Senate shall convene not later than the second calendar day after receipt of such message.

 

`(2) PLACEMENT ON CALENDAR- Upon introduction in the Senate, the joint resolution shall be immediately placed on the calendar.

 

`(3) FLOOR CONSIDERATION-

 

`(A) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, it is in order at any time during the period beginning on the day after the date on which Congress receives a certification under subsection (a) and, for the certification described in subsection (a)(1), ending on September 14, 2011, and for the certification described in subsection (a)(2), on the 6th day after the date on which Congress receives a certification under subsection (a) (even though a previous motion to the same effect has been disagreed to) to move to proceed to the consideration of the joint resolution, and all points of order against the joint resolution (and against consideration of the joint resolution) are waived. The motion to proceed is not debatable. The motion is not subject to a motion to postpone. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to shall not be in order. If a motion to proceed to the consideration of the resolution is agreed to, the joint resolution shall remain the unfinished business until disposed of.

 

`(B) CONSIDERATION- Consideration of the joint resolution, and on all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith, shall be limited to not more than 10 hours, which shall be divided equally between the majority and minority leaders or their designees. A motion further to limit debate is in order and not debatable. An amendment to, or a motion to postpone, or a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business, or a motion to recommit the joint resolution is not in order.

 

`(C) VOTE ON PASSAGE- If the Senate has voted to proceed to a joint resolution, the vote on passage of the joint resolution shall occur immediately following the conclusion of consideration of the joint resolution, and a single quorum call at the conclusion of the debate if requested in accordance with the rules of the Senate.

 

`(D) RULINGS OF THE CHAIR ON PROCEDURE- Appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the rules of the Senate, as the case may be, to the procedure relating to a joint resolution shall be decided without debate.

 

`(e) Amendment Not in Order- A joint resolution of disapproval considered pursuant to this section shall not be subject to amendment in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.

 

`(f) Coordination With Action by Other House-

 

`(1) IN GENERAL- If, before passing the joint resolution, one House receives from the other a joint resolution–

 

`(A) the joint resolution of the other House shall not be referred to a committee; and

 

`(B) the procedure in the receiving House shall be the same as if no joint resolution had been received from the other House until the vote on passage, when the joint resolution received from the other House shall supplant the joint resolution of the receiving House.

 

`(2) TREATMENT OF JOINT RESOLUTION OF OTHER HOUSE- If the Senate fails to introduce or consider a joint resolution under this section, the joint resolution of the House shall be entitled to expedited floor procedures under this section.

 

`(3) TREATMENT OF COMPANION MEASURES- If, following passage of the joint resolution in the Senate, the Senate then receives the companion measure from the House of Representatives, the companion measure shall not be debatable.

 

`(4) CONSIDERATION AFTER PASSAGE- (A) If Congress passes a joint resolution, the period beginning on the date the President is presented with the joint resolution and ending on the date the President signs, allows to become law without his signature, or vetoes and returns the joint resolution (but excluding days when either House is not in session) shall be disregarded in computing the appropriate calendar day period described in subsection (b)(1).

 

`(B) Debate on a veto message in the Senate under this section shall be 1 hour equally divided between the majority and minority leaders or their designees.

 

`(5) VETO OVERRIDE- If within the appropriate calendar day period described in subsection (b)(1), Congress overrides a veto of the joint resolution with respect to authority exercised pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a), the limit on debt provided in section 3101(b) shall not be raised, except for the $400,000,000,000 increase in the limit provided by subsection (a)(1)(A).

 

`(6) SEQUESTRATION- (A) If within the 50-calendar day period described in subsection (b)(1), the President signs the joint resolution, the President allows the joint resolution to become law without his signature, or Congress overrides a veto of the joint resolution with respect to authority exercised pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection (a), there shall be a sequestration to reduce spending by $400,000,000,000. OMB shall implement the sequestration forthwith.

 

`(B) OMB shall implement each half of such sequestration in accordance with section 255, section 256, and subsections (c), (d), (e), and (f) of section 253 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, and for the purpose of such implementation the term `excess deficit’ means the amount specified in subparagraph (A).

 

`(g) Rules of House of Representatives and Senate- This subsection and subsections (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f) (other than paragraph (6)) are enacted by Congress–

 

`(1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, and as such it is deemed a part of the rules of each House, respectively, but applicable only with respect to the procedure to be followed in that House in the case of a joint resolution, and it supersedes other rules only to the extent that it is inconsistent with such rules; and

 

`(2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of either House to change the rules (so far as relating to the procedure of that House) at any time, in the same manner, and to the same extent as in the case of any other rule of that House.’.

 

(b) Conforming Amendment- The table of sections for chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 3101 the following new item:

 

`3101A. Presidential modification of the debt ceiling.’.

 

SEC. 302. ENFORCEMENT OF BUDGET GOAL.

 

(a) In General- The Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is amended by inserting after section 251 the following new section:

 

`SEC. 251A. ENFORCEMENT OF BUDGET GOAL.

 

`Unless a joint committee bill achieving an amount greater than $1,200,000,000,000 in deficit reduction as provided in section 401(b)(3)(B)(i)(II) of the Budget Control Act of 2011 is enacted by January 15, 2012, the discretionary spending limits listed in section 251(c) shall be revised, and discretionary appropriations and direct spending shall be reduced, as follows:

 

`(1) REVISED SECURITY CATEGORY; REVISED NONSECURITY CATEGORY- (A) The term `revised security category’ means discretionary appropriations in budget function 050.

 

`(B) The term `revised nonsecurity category’ means discretionary appropriations other than in budget function 050.

 

`(2) REVISED DISCRETIONARY SPENDING LIMITS- The discretionary spending limits for fiscal years 2013 through 2021 under section 251(c) shall be replaced with the following:

 

`(A) For fiscal year 2013–

 

`(i) for the security category, $546,000,000,000 in budget authority; and

 

`(ii) for the nonsecurity category, $501,000,000,000 in budget authority.

 

`(B) For fiscal year 2014–

 

`(i) for the security category, $556,000,000,000 in budget authority; and

 

`(ii) for the nonsecurity category, $510,000,000,000 in budget authority.

 

`(C) For fiscal year 2015–

 

`(i) for the security category, $566,000,000,000 in budget authority; and

 

`(ii) for the nonsecurity category, $520,000,000,000 in budget authority.

 

`(D) For fiscal year 2016–

 

`(i) for the security category, $577,000,000,000 in budget authority; and

 

`(ii) for the nonsecurity category, $530,000,000,000 in budget authority.

 

`(E) For fiscal year 2017–

 

`(i) for the security category, $590,000,000,000 in budget authority; and

 

`(ii) for the nonsecurity category, $541,000,000,000 in budget authority.

 

`(F) For fiscal year 2018–

 

`(i) for the security category, $603,000,000,000 in budget authority; and

 

`(ii) for the nonsecurity category, $553,000,000,000 in budget authority.

 

`(G) For fiscal year 2019–

 

`(i) for the security category, $616,000,000,000 in budget authority; and

 

`(ii) for the nonsecurity category, $566,000,000,000 in budget authority.

 

`(H) For fiscal year 2020–

 

`(i) for the security category, $630,000,000,000 in budget authority; and

 

`(ii) for the nonsecurity category, $578,000,000,000 in budget authority.

 

`(I) For fiscal year 2021–

 

`(i) for the security category, $644,000,000,000 in budget authority; and

 

`(ii) for the nonsecurity category, $590,000,000,000 in budget authority.

 

`(3) CALCULATION OF TOTAL DEFICIT REDUCTION- OMB shall calculate the amount of the deficit reduction required by this section for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2021 by–

 

`(A) starting with $1,200,000,000,000;

 

`(B) subtracting the amount of deficit reduction achieved by the enactment of a joint committee bill, as provided in section 401(b)(3)(B)(i)(II) of the Budget Control Act of 2011;

 

`(C) reducing the difference by 18 percent to account for debt service; and

 

`(D) dividing the result by 9.

 

`(4) ALLOCATION TO FUNCTIONS- On January 2, 2013, for fiscal year 2013, and in its sequestration preview report for fiscal years 2014 through 2021 pursuant to section 254(c), OMB shall allocate half of the total reduction calculated pursuant to paragraph (3) for that year to discretionary appropriations and direct spending accounts within function 050 (defense function) and half to accounts in all other functions (nondefense functions).

 

`(5) DEFENSE FUNCTION REDUCTION- OMB shall calculate the reductions to discretionary appropriations and direct spending for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2021 for defense function spending as follows:

 

`(A) DISCRETIONARY- OMB shall calculate the reduction to discretionary appropriations by–

 

`(i) taking the total reduction for the defense function allocated for that year under paragraph (4);

 

`(ii) multiplying by the discretionary spending limit for the revised security category for that year; and

 

`(iii) dividing by the sum of the discretionary spending limit for the security category and OMB’s baseline estimate of nonexempt outlays for direct spending programs within the defense function for that year.

 

`(B) DIRECT SPENDING- OMB shall calculate the reduction to direct spending by taking the total reduction for the defense function required for that year under paragraph (4) and subtracting the discretionary reduction calculated pursuant to subparagraph (A).

 

`(6) NONDEFENSE FUNCTION REDUCTION- OMB shall calculate the reduction to discretionary appropriations and to direct spending for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2021 for programs in nondefense functions as follows:

 

`(A) DISCRETIONARY- OMB shall calculate the reduction to discretionary appropriations by–

 

`(i) taking the total reduction for nondefense functions allocated for that year under paragraph (4);

 

`(ii) multiplying by the discretionary spending limit for the revised nonsecurity category for that year; and

 

`(iii) dividing by the sum of the discretionary spending limit for the revised nonsecurity category and OMB’s baseline estimate of nonexempt outlays for direct spending programs in nondefense functions for that year.

 

`(B) DIRECT SPENDING- OMB shall calculate the reduction to direct spending programs by taking the total reduction for nondefense functions required for that year under paragraph (4) and subtracting the discretionary reduction calculated pursuant to subparagraph (A).

 

`(7) IMPLEMENTING DISCRETIONARY REDUCTIONS-

 

`(A) FISCAL YEAR 2013- On January 2, 2013, for fiscal year 2013, OMB shall calculate and the President shall order a sequestration, effective upon issuance and under the procedures set forth in section 253(f), to reduce each account within the security category or nonsecurity category by a dollar amount calculated by multiplying the baseline level of budgetary resources in that account at that time by a uniform percentage necessary to achieve–

 

`(i) for the revised security category, an amount equal to the defense function discretionary reduction calculated pursuant to paragraph (5); and

 

`(ii) for the revised nonsecurity category, an amount equal to the nondefense function discretionary reduction calculated pursuant to paragraph (6).

 

`(B) FISCAL YEARS 2014-2021- On the date of the submission of its sequestration preview report for fiscal years 2014 through 2021 pursuant to section 254(c) for each of fiscal years 2014 through 2021, OMB shall reduce the discretionary spending limit–

 

`(i) for the revised security category by the amount of the defense function discretionary reduction calculated pursuant to paragraph (5); and

 

`(ii) for the revised nonsecurity category by the amount of the nondefense function discretionary reduction calculated pursuant to paragraph (6).

 

`(8) IMPLEMENTING DIRECT SPENDING REDUCTIONS- On the date specified in paragraph (4) during each applicable year, OMB shall prepare and the President shall order a sequestration, effective upon issuance, of nonexempt direct spending to achieve the direct spending reduction calculated pursuant to paragraphs (5) and (6). When implementing the sequestration of direct spending pursuant to this paragraph, OMB shall follow the procedures specified in section 6 of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, the exemptions specified in section 255, and the special rules specified in section 256, except that the percentage reduction for the Medicare programs specified in section 256(d) shall not be more than 2 percent for a fiscal year.

 

`(9) ADJUSTMENT FOR MEDICARE- If the percentage reduction for the Medicare programs would exceed 2 percent for a fiscal year in the absence of paragraph (8), OMB shall increase the reduction for all other discretionary appropriations and direct spending under paragraph (6) by a uniform percentage to a level sufficient to achieve the reduction required by paragraph (6) in the non-defense function.

 

`(10) IMPLEMENTATION OF REDUCTIONS- Any reductions imposed under this section shall be implemented in accordance with section 256(k).

 

`(11) REPORT- On the dates specified in paragraph (4), OMB shall submit a report to Congress containing information about the calculations required under this section, the adjusted discretionary spending limits, a listing of the reductions required for each nonexempt direct spending account, and any other data and explanations that enhance public understanding of this title and actions taken under it.’.

 

(b) Conforming Amendment- The table of contents set forth in section 250(a) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 251 the following:

 

`Sec. 251A. Enforcement of budget goal.’.

 

TITLE IV–JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE ON DEFICIT REDUCTION
 

SEC. 401. ESTABLISHMENT OF JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE.

 

(a) Definitions- In this title:

 

(1) JOINT COMMITTEE- The term `joint committee’ means the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction established under subsection (b)(1).

 

(2) JOINT COMMITTEE BILL- The term `joint committee bill’ means a bill consisting of the proposed legislative language of the joint committee recommended under subsection (b)(3)(B) and introduced under section 402(a).

 

(b) Establishment of Joint Select Committee-

 

(1) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established a joint select committee of Congress to be known as the `Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction’.

 

(2) GOAL- The goal of the joint committee shall be to reduce the deficit by at least $1,500,000,000,000 over the period of fiscal years 2012 to 2021.

 

(3) DUTIES-

 

(A) IN GENERAL-

 

(i) IMPROVING THE SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM FISCAL IMBALANCE- The joint committee shall provide recommendations and legislative language that will significantly improve the short-term and long-term fiscal imbalance of the Federal Government.

 

(ii) RECOMMENDATIONS OF COMMITTEES- Not later than October 14, 2011, each committee of the House of Representatives and the Senate may transmit to the joint committee its recommendations for changes in law to reduce the deficit consistent with the goal described in paragraph (2) for the joint committee’s consideration.

 

(B) REPORT, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND LEGISLATIVE LANGUAGE-

 

(i) IN GENERAL- Not later than November 23, 2011, the joint committee shall vote on–

 

(I) a report that contains a detailed statement of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the joint committee and the estimate of the Congressional Budget Office required by paragraph (5)(D)(ii); and

 

(II) proposed legislative language to carry out such recommendations as described in subclause (I), which shall include a statement of the deficit reduction achieved by the legislation over the period of fiscal years 2012 to 2021.

 

Any change to the Rules of the House of Representatives or the Standing Rules of the Senate included in the report or legislative language shall be considered to be merely advisory.

 

(ii) APPROVAL OF REPORT AND LEGISLATIVE LANGUAGE- The report of the joint committee and the proposed legislative language described in clause (i) shall require the approval of a majority of the members of the joint committee.

 

(iii) ADDITIONAL VIEWS- A member of the joint committee who gives notice of an intention to file supplemental, minority, or additional views at the time of final joint committee vote on the approval of the report and legislative language under clause (ii) shall be entitled to 3 calendar days in which to file such views in writing with the staff director of the joint committee. Such views shall then be included in the joint committee report and printed in the same volume, or part thereof, and their inclusion shall be noted on the cover of the report. In the absence of timely notice, the joint committee report may be printed and transmitted immediately without such views.

 

(iv) TRANSMISSION OF REPORT AND LEGISLATIVE LANGUAGE- If the report and legislative language are approved by the joint committee pursuant to clause (ii), then not later than December 2, 2011, the joint committee shall submit the joint committee report and legislative language described in clause (i) to the President, the Vice President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the majority and minority Leaders of each House of Congress.

 

(v) REPORT AND LEGISLATIVE LANGUAGE TO BE MADE PUBLIC- Upon the approval or disapproval of the joint committee report and legislative language pursuant to clause (ii), the joint committee shall promptly make the full report and legislative language, and a record of the vote, available to the public.

 

(4) MEMBERSHIP-

 

(A) IN GENERAL- The joint committee shall be composed of 12 members appointed pursuant to subparagraph (B).

 

(B) APPOINTMENT- Members of the joint committee shall be appointed as follows:

 

(i) The majority leader of the Senate shall appoint three members from among Members of the Senate.

 

(ii) The minority leader of the Senate shall appoint three members from among Members of the Senate.

 

(iii) The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint three members from among Members of the House of Representatives.

 

(iv) The minority leader of the House of Representatives shall appoint three members from among Members of the House of Representatives.

 

(C) CO-CHAIRS-

 

(i) IN GENERAL- There shall be two Co-Chairs of the joint committee. The majority leader of the Senate shall appoint one Co-Chair from among the members of the joint committee. The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint the second Co-Chair from among the members of the joint committee. The Co-Chairs shall be appointed not later than 14 calendar days after the date of enactment of this Act.

 

(ii) STAFF DIRECTOR- The Co-Chairs, acting jointly, shall hire the staff director of the joint committee.

 

(D) DATE- Members of the joint committee shall be appointed not later than 14 calendar days after the date of enactment of this Act.

 

(E) PERIOD OF APPOINTMENT- Members shall be appointed for the life of the joint committee. Any vacancy in the joint committee shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled not later than 14 calendar days after the date on which the vacancy occurs, in the same manner as the original designation was made. If a member of the joint committee ceases to be a Member of the House of Representatives or the Senate, as the case may be, the member is no longer a member of the joint committee and a vacancy shall exist.

 

(5) ADMINISTRATION-

 

(A) IN GENERAL- To enable the joint committee to exercise its powers, functions, and duties, there are authorized to be disbursed by the Senate the actual and necessary expenses of the joint committee approved by the co-chairs, subject to the rules and regulations of the Senate.

 

(B) EXPENSES- In carrying out its functions, the joint committee is authorized to incur expenses in the same manner and under the same conditions as the Joint Economic Committee is authorized by section 11 of Public Law 79-304 (15 U.S.C. 1024 (d)).

 

(C) QUORUM- Seven members of the joint committee shall constitute a quorum for purposes of voting, meeting, and holding hearings.

 

(D) VOTING-

 

(i) PROXY VOTING- No proxy voting shall be allowed on behalf of the members of the joint committee.

 

(ii) CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATES- The Congressional Budget Office shall provide estimates of the legislation (as described in paragraph (3)(B)) in accordance with sections 308(a) and 201(f) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 639(a) and 601(f))(including estimates of the effect of interest payment on the debt). In addition, the Congressional Budget Office shall provide information on the budgetary effect of the legislation beyond the year 2021. The joint committee may not vote on any version of the report, recommendations, or legislative language unless such estimates are available for consideration by all members of the joint committee at least 48 hours prior to the vote as certified by the Co-Chairs.

 

(E) MEETINGS-

 

(i) INITIAL MEETING- Not later than 45 calendar days after the date of enactment of this Act, the joint committee shall hold its first meeting.

 

(ii) AGENDA- The Co-Chairs of the joint committee shall provide an agenda to the joint committee members not less than 48 hours in advance of any meeting.

 

(F) HEARINGS-

 

(i) IN GENERAL- The joint committee may, for the purpose of carrying out this section, hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, require attendance of witnesses and production of books, papers, and documents, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the joint committee considers advisable.

 

(ii) HEARING PROCEDURES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF CO-CHAIRS-

 

(I) ANNOUNCEMENT- The Co-Chairs of the joint committee shall make a public announcement of the date, place, time, and subject matter of any hearing to be conducted, not less than 7 days in advance of such hearing, unless the Co-Chairs determine that there is good cause to begin such hearing at an earlier date.

 

(II) WRITTEN STATEMENT- A witness appearing before the joint committee shall file a written statement of proposed testimony at least 2 calendar days before the appearance of the witness, unless the requirement is waived by the Co-Chairs, following their determination that there is good cause for failure to comply with such requirement.

 

(G) TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE- Upon written request of the Co-Chairs, a Federal agency shall provide technical assistance to the joint committee in order for the joint committee to carry out its duties.

 

(c) Staff of Joint Committee-

 

(1) IN GENERAL- The Co-Chairs of the joint committee may jointly appoint and fix the compensation of staff as they deem necessary, within the guidelines for employees of the Senate and following all applicable rules and employment requirements of the Senate.

 

(2) ETHICAL STANDARDS- Members on the joint committee who serve in the House of Representatives shall be governed by the ethics rules and requirements of the House. Members of the Senate who serve on the joint committee and staff of the joint committee shall comply with the ethics rules of the Senate.

 

(d) Termination- The joint committee shall terminate on January 31, 2012.

 

SEC. 402. EXPEDITED CONSIDERATION OF JOINT COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS.

 

(a) Introduction- If approved by the majority required by section 401(b)(3)(B)(ii), the proposed legislative language submitted pursuant to section 401(b)(3)(B)(iv) shall be introduced in the Senate (by request) on the next day on which the Senate is in session by the majority leader of the Senate or by a Member of the Senate designated by the majority leader of the Senate and shall be introduced in the House of Representatives (by request) on the next legislative day by the majority leader of the House or by a Member of the House designated by the majority leader of the House.

 

(b) Consideration in the House of Representatives-

 

(1) REFERRAL AND REPORTING- Any committee of the House of Representatives to which the joint committee bill is referred shall report it to the House without amendment not later than December 9, 2011. If a committee fails to report the joint committee bill within that period, it shall be in order to move that the House discharge the committee from further consideration of the bill. Such a motion shall not be in order after the last committee authorized to consider the bill reports it to the House or after the House has disposed of a motion to discharge the bill. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to its adoption without intervening motion except 20 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. If such a motion is adopted, the House shall proceed immediately to consider the joint committee bill in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3). A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.

 

(2) PROCEEDING TO CONSIDERATION- After the last committee authorized to consider a joint committee bill reports it to the House or has been discharged (other than by motion) from its consideration, it shall be in order to move to proceed to consider the joint committee bill in the House. Such a motion shall not be in order after the House has disposed of a motion to proceed with respect to the joint committee bill. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to its adoption without intervening motion. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is disposed of shall not be in order.

 

(3) CONSIDERATION- The joint committee bill shall be considered as read. All points of order against the joint committee bill and against its consideration are waived. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the joint committee bill to its passage without intervening motion except 2 hours of debate equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent and one motion to limit debate on the joint committee bill. A motion to reconsider the vote on passage of the joint committee bill shall not be in order.

 

(4) VOTE ON PASSAGE- The vote on passage of the joint committee bill shall occur not later than December 23, 2011.

 

(c) Expedited Procedure in the Senate-

 

(1) COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION- A joint committee bill introduced in the Senate under subsection (a) shall be jointly referred to the committee or committees of jurisdiction, which committees shall report the bill without any revision and with a favorable recommendation, an unfavorable recommendation, or without recommendation, not later than December 9, 2011. If any committee fails to report the bill within that period, that committee shall be automatically discharged from consideration of the bill, and the bill shall be placed on the appropriate calendar.

 

(2) MOTION TO PROCEED- Notwithstanding Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, it is in order, not later than 2 days of session after the date on which a joint committee bill is reported or discharged from all committees to which it was referred, for the majority leader of the Senate or the majority leader’s designee to move to proceed to the consideration of the joint committee bill. It shall also be in order for any Member of the Senate to move to proceed to the consideration of the joint committee bill at any time after the conclusion of such 2-day period. A motion to proceed is in order even though a previous motion to the same effect has been disagreed to. All points of order against the motion to proceed to the joint committee bill are waived. The motion to proceed is not debatable. The motion is not subject to a motion to postpone. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to shall not be in order. If a motion to proceed to the consideration of the joint committee bill is agreed to, the joint committee bill shall remain the unfinished business until disposed of.

 

(3) CONSIDERATION- All points of order against the joint committee bill and against consideration of the joint committee bill are waived. Consideration of the joint committee bill and of all debatable motions and appeals in connection therewith shall not exceed a total of 30 hours which shall be divided equally between the Majority and Minority Leaders or their designees. A motion further to limit debate on the joint committee bill is in order, shall require an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members duly chosen and sworn, and is not debatable. Any debatable motion or appeal is debatable for not to exceed 1 hour, to be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the motion or appeal. All time used for consideration of the joint committee bill, including time used for quorum calls and voting, shall be counted against the total 30 hours of consideration.

 

(4) NO AMENDMENTS- An amendment to the joint committee bill, or a motion to postpone, or a motion to proceed to the consideration of other business, or a motion to recommit the joint committee bill, is not in order.

 

(5) VOTE ON PASSAGE- If the Senate has voted to proceed to the joint committee bill, the vote on passage of the joint committee bill shall occur immediately following the conclusion of the debate on a joint committee bill, and a single quorum call at the conclusion of the debate if requested. The vote on passage of the joint committee bill shall occur not later than December 23, 2011.

 

(6) RULINGS OF THE CHAIR ON PROCEDURE- Appeals from the decisions of the Chair relating to the application of the rules of the Senate, as the case may be, to the procedure relating to a joint committee bill shall be decided without debate.

 

(d) Amendment- The joint committee bill shall not be subject to amendment in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.

 

(e) Consideration by the Other House-

 

(1) IN GENERAL- If, before passing the joint committee bill, one House receives from the other a joint committee bill–

 

(A) the joint committee bill of the other House shall not be referred to a committee; and

 

(B) the procedure in the receiving House shall be the same as if no joint committee bill had been received from the other House until the vote on passage, when the joint committee bill received from the other House shall supplant the joint committee bill of the receiving House.

 

(2) REVENUE MEASURE- This subsection shall not apply to the House of Representatives if the joint committee bill received from the Senate is a revenue measure.

 

(f) Rules to Coordinate Action With Other House-

 

(1) TREATMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE BILL OF OTHER HOUSE- If the Senate fails to introduce or consider a joint committee bill under this section, the joint committee bill of the House shall be entitled to expedited floor procedures under this section.

 

(2) TREATMENT OF COMPANION MEASURES IN THE SENATE- If following passage of the joint committee bill in the Senate, the Senate then receives the joint committee bill from the House of Representatives, the House-passed joint committee bill shall not be debatable. The vote on passage of the joint committee bill in the Senate shall be considered to be the vote on passage of the joint committee bill received from the House of Representatives.

 

(3) VETOES- If the President vetoes the joint committee bill, debate on a veto message in the Senate under this section shall be 1 hour equally divided between the majority and minority leaders or their designees.

 

(g) Loss of Privilege- The provisions of this section shall cease to apply to the joint committee bill if–

 

(1) the joint committee fails to vote on the report or proposed legislative language required under section 401(b)(3)(B)(i) not later than November 23, 2011; or

 

(2) the joint committee bill does not pass both Houses not later than December 23, 2011.

 

SEC. 403. FUNDING.

 

Funding for the joint committee shall be derived in equal portions from–

 

(1) the applicable accounts of the House of Representatives; and

 

(2) the contingent fund of the Senate from the appropriations account `Miscellaneous Items’, subject to the rules and regulations of the Senate.

 

SEC. 404. RULEMAKING.

 

The provisions of this title are enacted by Congress–

 

(1) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the House of Representatives and the Senate, respectively, and as such they shall be considered as part of the rules of each House, respectively, or of that House to which they specifically apply, and such rules shall supersede other rules only to the extent that they are inconsistent therewith; and

 

(2) with full recognition of the constitutional right of either House to change such rules (so far as relating to such House) at any time, in the same manner, and to the same extent as in the case of any other rule of such House.

 

TITLE V–PELL GRANT AND STUDENT LOAN PROGRAM CHANGES
 

SEC. 501. FEDERAL PELL GRANTS.

 

Section 401(b)(7)(A)(iv) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a(b)(7)(A)(iv)) is amended–

 

(1) in subclause (II), by striking `$3,183,000,000′ and inserting `$13,183,000,000′; and

 

(2) in subclause (III), by striking `$0′ and inserting `$7,000,000,000′.

 

SEC. 502. TERMINATION OF AUTHORITY TO MAKE INTEREST SUBSIDIZED LOANS TO GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL STUDENTS.

 

Section 455(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087e(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

 

`(3) TERMINATION OF AUTHORITY TO MAKE INTEREST SUBSIDIZED LOANS TO GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL STUDENTS-

 

`(A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraph (B) and notwithstanding any provision of this part or part B, for any period of instruction beginning on or after July 1, 2012–

 

`(i) a graduate or professional student shall not be eligible to receive a Federal Direct Stafford loan under this part; and

 

`(ii) the maximum annual amount of Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loans such a student may borrow in any academic year (as defined in section 481(a)(2)) or its equivalent shall be the maximum annual amount for such student determined under section 428H, plus an amount equal to the amount of Federal Direct Stafford loans the student would have received in the absence of this subparagraph.

 

`(B) EXCEPTION- Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to an individual enrolled in course work specified in paragraph (3)(B) or (4)(B) of section 484(b).’.

 

SEC. 503. TERMINATION OF DIRECT LOAN REPAYMENT INCENTIVES.

 

Section 455(b)(8) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087e(b)(8)) is amended–

 

(1) in subparagraph (A)–

 

(A) by amending the header to read as follows: `(A) INCENTIVES FOR LOANS DISBURSED BEFORE JULY 1, 2012- ‘; and

 

(B) by inserting `with respect to loans for which the first disbursement of principal is made before July 1, 2012,’ after `of this part';

 

(2) in subparagraph (B), by inserting `with respect to loans for which the first disbursement of principal is made before July 1, 2012′ after `repayment incentives'; and

 

(3) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

 

`(C) NO REPAYMENT INCENTIVES FOR NEW LOANS DISBURSED ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 2012- Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, the Secretary is prohibited from authorizing or providing any repayment incentive not otherwise authorized under this part to encourage on-time repayment of a loan under this part 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 a borrower of such a loan, except that the Secretary may 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. INAPPLICABILITY OF TITLE IV NEGOTIATED RULEMAKING AND MASTER CALENDAR EXCEPTION.

 

Sections 482(c) and 492 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1089(c), 1098a) shall not apply to the amendments made by this title, or to any regulations promulgated under those amendments.

Attest:

Clerk.

 

112th CONGRESS
 

1st Session
 

S. 365
 

AMENDMENT

Frustrated Democrat: Tea Party Makes it Impossible to Spend Money

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. Especially when a Democrat Congressmen shares with the American public exactly why the Democrats are so frustrated with the Tea Party.

Mike Doyle

Vice President Biden reportedly compared Tea Partiers to terrorists in  a private meeting with Democrats. While many other Democrats and  media outlets like polico and the New York Times are using the the “Tea Party Terrorist” line, no one expressed the real feeling of liberal Democrats better than Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA).

“We have negotiated with terrorists,” an angry Doyle said in reference to the Tea Party Republicans according to sources. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.”

For more than 50 years, Congress has been on a spend-fest. F.D.R. started the country on the road to ruin and the velocity has increased drastically during the most-recent Democrat Congress.

The Tea Parties are looking to reverse the trend in an effort to bring the nation back to living within its means. They were elected with the charge of going to Washington and actually changing how Congress behaves. It appears that they’ve done it.

As the saying goes, if you’re not taking any flack, you aren’t over the target – the Tea Party freshmen are clearly over the target – the big spenders in Congress. Those tax-and-spend members of the House and Senate are detecting the end of an era and are lashing out at the Tea Partiers – both Democrats and Republicans are lashing out.

A few weeks ago, John McCain called them “Tea Party Hobbits”. Nancy Pelosi referred to them as “the dark side” in her pre-vote debate remarks and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-FL) called them extremists in her few minutes of fame on the House floor.

The Tea Parties are a purely fiscally-Conservative  set of groups that focus on the size of government and how it spends tax money – your tax money.

If American voters are as frustrated with how Congress conducts its business as polls indicate –  If the electorate is tired of not being able to trust Congress to do what it says, isn’t this little independent, grass roots movement the answer? Maybe a little extremism is exactly the medicine Washington D.C. needed.

 

Making the Cut

As we all know money is on most everybody’s mind in these hard economic times, coupled with our Congress fighting each other over the debt and spending issues. No one in Congress has put any permanent solutions on the table but Cut, Cap and Balance seemed to be a step in the right direction. The House Republicans came up with a plan and the Democrats say it is DOA before the House ever voted on it.

When will the toddlers on Capitol Hill figure out they were hired to do a job, not argue and refuse to work together? We The People are their boss and if they cannot work things out with their fellow employees then they should be FIRED! No matter which side of the aisle they sit on they should be fired if they cannot work things out like the adults they claim to be.

With over six trillion dollars spent by the federal government there is plenty of room to make cuts. Senator Harry Reid got upset when the House Republicans wanted to cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The last status I could find on the bill was that it had been “returned to the calendar.” Every road taken to try and bring our national budget into the realm of the real world has met road blocks by the Senate.

We spend almost a trillion dollars out of the federal budget on education.  Before these tax dollars can reach our schools we must pay four thousand people on the federal level. The money collected could be spent much more effectively on the state and local level and have a greater impact on our children. I have heard some say that the Department of Education should be eliminated. I personally think that we should keep the Department of Education, but we need to cut it back to roughly one hundred people from the four thousand we have now. I think that one hundred people are more than adequate staff to set forth the guidelines our schools teach to. I know there are countless programs that they “administer” but again the local and state levels normally do most of the “administering” and could make more of each dollar reach the classroom.

The Department of Labor is another fat laden federal waste of tax payer dollars. Sixteen thousand employees that shuffle papers and make up a few figures every now and then. Each state has agencies that actually take care of the people in their state.

The Department of Labor’s mission statement:

“To foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.”

The DOL has its enforcer OSHA who is in charge of collecting the extortion money from contractors and companies that employee we Americans. I do admit that there is some need for OSHA inspectors in some cases but most of the time it is all about the money.

There are countless contractors and those in manufacturing that can attest to the way many OSHA inspectors do not understand the codes they are sent to enforce. Some do not even know the function of pieces of equipment that they are sent to “inspect”. The same ones that are supposed to make sure America’s workforce is safe and properly trained themselves are oftentimes not properly trained.

In 2008 the number of civilian federal employees (excluding the postal service) was just under two million. How many of these positions are not needed? How much money could we save if we could eliminate these unneeded positions? How much of the national debt could we pay off by eliminating the unneeded positions?

These are just a couple of examples where we could eliminate wasteful spending. We need to clean house from top to bottom. Like businesses nationwide the government needs to cut overhead costs. Cutting the overhead cost would enable the lowering of taxes which in turn would create more jobs in the private sector and raise our economy and stabilize it.

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For those of you that own firearms, train hard and well and teach those that do not know how.
Be good stewards of the right to bear arms, for we are the last line of defense against tyranny.

-Benjamin Wallace

The Debt “Deal” Is A Bad Idea

For what feels like the millionth time, I am utterly disgusted by the goings on in Washington.  This, of course, is nothing new, but the stakes are much higher this time and I feel like I’m watching a slow-motion train-wreck in action.

For weeks, we’ve been warned by Congressional leaders in both parties, and by the President, himself, that August 2nd was coming and that this date, due to the ending of borrowing authority for the United States, would be tantamount to Biblical Armageddon.  The message was that something had to happen, a deal had to be reached, or the world as we know it would come to an instant and abrupt end.

Of course, we all know that this was simply political speak in their best Chicken Little impersonation, and the American people bought it, hook, line, and sinker.

Over the course of the last 24 hours, we have been lead to believe a number of things about this deal.  First, that the crisis has been averted and that tomorrow will be just like any other day before it.  Second, that there truly will be real, meaningful cuts and finally, that taxes would not be increased for anyone.

Let’s address these fallacies one by one.

Has the crises truly been averted?  We’ve been lectured over and over that now was the time to address this; that they did not want to “kick the can down the road” yet again, That, however, is exactly what they’ve done.  The can has been kicked.  The crisis hasn’t been averted, just delayed, yet again.  True, the debt ceiling has been raised enough to get the country past the all-important 2012 election, but then what?

The “deal” calls for the creation of another blue-ribbon 12 member Super Congress that will be tasked with the heavy lifting.  Certain triggers were put in place to entice both sides to play ball, but, from my reading of things, puts more pressure on the GOP than on the Democrats due to the size and scope of the Pentagon cuts that will happen if the panel fails to accomplish anything.

The second lie is in the description of the so-called cuts.  Once again, the American people are snowballed into believing that base-line cuts are, in fact, real cuts that actually mean something.  They are not.  They are simply cuts in the projected rates of increase,  For example, let’s say you have a program that is scheduled to get a 10% increase in funding next year from this year’s budget, but because of so-called fiscal responsibility, will now only get a 7% increase next year.  In Washington-speak, that’s a 3% cut in that program.  To you and me, that’s still a 7% increase in spending.  Time and time again, this accounting trick has been played on the American people.  The card was just played again.  Rest assured, that when the panel meets, more of these kinds of cuts, rather than real, substantive cuts will be proposed and hailed as the best thing since sliced bread.  That’s business as usual, and it continues unabated to this day.

Finally, the tax issue continues to rear its ugly head.  The media continues to paint this deal as a victory for the Tea Party in that revenue increases appear to be off the table.  The 800 pound gorilla in the room is the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.  Obama extended those last year, but they are set to expire again and this time, they probably will.  That, my friends, is a tax increase.  In November, when the Wonder Panel meets, it is almost certain that they will propose other revue adjustments (read tax increases for those who can afford it so that they will then pay their “fair share”).

Its almost as if Wimpy walked into Washington and promised to pay us Tuesday for the hamburger today.  Obama got his debt ceiling increase today, while we all have to wait till Tuesday for the payment.  A payment that will only come when this whole house of cards comes crashing down.  One day, perhaps sooner that we all would like to think, that is exactly what is going to happen.

Liberalism and Child Play

Spend and Trim D-BombI’m seeing a certain attitude from the left that I usually see in children. I’m talking actions that could be summed up in childhood hit phrases such as “I know you are but what am I”, “It wasn’t me”, and our dear leader’s favorite, “Lalalalala I’m not listening. Lalalalala.”

Thing is, when any grown adult acts this way (especially if they’re a liberal) it’s very difficult to argue with them in any rational way. You can see the difference in the speeches that our respective party leaders have been giving.

Exhibit A:

The President is a great orator to be sure, but behind the teleprompter laced façade of intelligence lays the truth; Obama is a whiny man-child, and not just a whiny man-child, but the kind of whiny man-child that points at his older brother while standing amongst the mess he created and proclaiming “he did it!”

For one, while the budget crisis is looming on us like it’s the “Debt Star” coming to blow up our fancy little civilization, the Republican congress has sent out its best fighters and came up with a bill called Cut, Cap, and Balance to stop and eventually destroy it. This did not please our whiner in chief, since he could not put his name on such a bill that went against the very fiber of his darker political leanings, and you don’t know the power of the dark side. Sorry, I’ll stop the space movie references here.

Boehner talks about it here:

Simply put, the bill would put a lid on government spending, cut the unnecessary fat off our budget, and allow an amendment to be added to the Constitution that essentially forbids the government from spending more money than it has, or takes in. It’s pretty straight forward and simplistic, but it got a veto before it even hit the President’s desk. The defense of the action is the video you see above.

As you can see, in the video, Obama flat our rejects it because…well, short answer: He doesn’t like it. It’s not left enough for one. It was made by a bunch of Republicans after all, namely his chief political rival, Boehner. Where CC&B wanted to cut spending and trim fat, Obama wanted to raise taxes and keep on truckin’ with what he calls a more “…balanced approach”.

“The first approach says, let’s live within our means by making serious, historic cuts in government spending.  Let’s cut domestic spending to the lowest level it’s been since Dwight Eisenhower was President.  Let’s cut defense spending at the Pentagon by hundreds of billions of dollars.  Let’s cut out the waste and fraud in health care programs like Medicare – and at the same time, let’s make modest adjustments so that Medicare is still there for future generations.  Finally, let’s ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to give up some of their tax breaks and special deductions.”

 Like that song? It’s become one of his biggest hits behind “It’s Bush’s Fault”.

That approach of his might sound soothing but when you break it down, it’s another left leaning, liberal progressive idea. Take from the rich and give to the government. Weaken the military, and strengthen our social programs. You know how the tune goes.

After that he points his finger at the Republicans and claims they are merely “…kicking the can further down the road.” he lashes out with a dire warning about how the right does things.

“Based on what we’ve seen these past few weeks, we know what to expect six months from now.  The House will once again refuse to prevent default unless the rest of us accept their cuts-only approach.  Again, they will refuse to ask the wealthiest Americans to give up their tax cuts or deductions.  Again, they will demand harsh cuts to programs like Medicare.  And once again, the economy will be held captive unless they get their way.”

…and they’ll kick puppies.

This is projection in the worst form. Members of congress have thrown budget plans at the President multiple times, but each time they are shrugged off and the members who created it are chided and called names. We called this “bullying” when I was a kid.  We keep coming up with the ideas, they keep rejecting them. We provide facts and figures, they provide ideology and new tax hikes.

The only people holding the economy captive are the ones that currently hold the gun, and Obama’s not pulling any triggers. Not at least until he knows that pulling it will make him look real good in the next election, and that means as little Republican, or as much Democrat involvement as possible.

As we approach the climax of this crisis it’s important to note that the bipartisanry of either side is more or less non-existent but each has a different idea in mind when they go that route. Republicans have to stand firm on what they know is a good idea, while the left has to stand firm on what they know is their ideology. They’ll always think the rich must pay and the “have nots” should get what they didn’t earn because it’s only fair.

Well forget that! We can’t allow the left to weasel in anything that really will kick the can down the road, because in the end, if we just hike taxes and continue spending what’s the point of passing any debt budget? They want more of your money or you can’t continue living prosperously as American’s have for generations, and don’t try to come up with anything contrary to the leftist agenda or you’ll be shot down, called names, and made a fool of.

Shorter: Give us your lunch money, or you’ll be sorry.

Boehner Releases Framework of Debt Ceiling Deal

John BoehnerOn Sunday night, Obama announced that a deal on the debt ceiling had been reached. While House minority leader Nancy Pelosi was saying that some or none of her Democrats might vote for the proposal, House Speaker Boehner held a conference with the leaders on the right side of the aisle.

Later Sunday night, he released the details of the framework on his website.

The framework is a two-step increase with a trigger:

Phase one is an immediate $900 Billion increase to the debt ceiling that will hold the government over until roughly February. In exchange for that increase, discretionary spending will be cut and capped immediately which will save $917 Billion over ten years. In an effort to prevent the increase from happening without the savings (remember Reagan anyone?), the ceiling increase will not occur until Congress and the President implement the spending cuts. This would signal that a short term measure will need to be passed to allow a small debt limit increase (perhaps a week’s worth) while Congress irons out the spending cuts.

Phase two: The President can ask for a second debt limit increase of $1.5 Trillion if either a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is sent to the states for ratification or a the recommendation of a 12-member special committee are implemented that would save more than $1.5 Trillion.

The trigger: Specific spending caps would be put in-place to limit spending. If the government fails to remain below these limits, it will trigger across-the-board cuts to government spending. The trigger is specifically hit if the Joint Committee fails to achieve at least a drop of $1.2 Trillion in the deficit. Once the trigger fires-off, the President can request another $1.2 trillion increase in the debt-limit. If the increase is passed, across-the-board cuts in all government spending equal to the difference between $1.2 trillion and the amount of the deficit reduction enacted by Congress. These cuts would be equally applied to mandatory and discretionary spending, both defense and non-defense. While Medicare would be included in the cuts, Social Security, Medicaid, veterans benefits and government pay (civilian and military) would not be affected.

One way to read the summary presentation from Boehner is that the triggers could cause the spending cuts to be split 50-50 between Defense and Medicare spending. Some reports have said that the Medicare spending would only affect providers (hospitals, doctors, suppliers) not beneficiaries.

As a final note, the framework includes no tax hikes, but the committee will be free to recommend them as a method for reducing the deficit.

 

Band Jockeying

Paul Ryan’s solution for our debt solution held up only with the Conservative segments of the Republican coalition. Reid’s plan only appealed to Democrats and the remaining plans garnered support or disdain from many different factions within Congress, but none of them had the votes to pass.

Now, 11th hour negotiations have been happening in the offices of Congressional leaders and at the White House to find an 11th hour deal that can get the 60 votes needed in the Senate and the 214 votes needed in the house.

Debt Ceiling Plans and Caucuses

With prior plans appealing only to left or right segments of Congress, the current negotiations look to be forming a plan that will focus on creating a large coalition of members of Congress. It will however leave out the far-left and far-right.

By pandering to the middle, Congressional leaders can garner the number of votes that they need without kowtowing to the staunchest factions in their parties. They are actually writing off a portion of their base to achieve the end goal – a debt ceiling deal.

As expected, the Tea Party Conservatives and the Progressive Caucus won’t vote for the compromise. As long as they can keep enough of their centrist factions together, a coalition made up of both parties can pass a negotiated deal.

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