H.R. 4338 (110th): Social Security and Medicare Lock-Box Act

110th Congress, 2007–2009. Text as of Dec 06, 2007 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

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110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 4338

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 6, 2007

(for himself, Mrs. Drake, and Mrs. Jones of Ohio) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Budget, and in addition to the Committee on Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To establish a procedure to safeguard the surpluses of the social security and medicare hospital insurance trust funds.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Social Security and Medicare Lock-Box Act.

2.

Findings and purpose

(a)

Findings

The Congress finds that—

(1)

fiscal pressures will mount as an aging population increases the Government’s obligations to provide retirement income and health services;

(2)

social security and medicare surpluses should be reserved for strengthening and preserving the social security trust funds; and

(3)

preserving social security and medicare surpluses would restore confidence in the long-term financial integrity of social security and medicare.

(b)

Purpose

It is the purpose of this Act to prevent the social security and medicare hospital insurance trust funds from being used for any purpose other than providing retirement and health security.

3.

Protection of Social Security and Medicare surpluses

(a)

Protection of social security and medicare surpluses

Title III of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

316.

Lock-Box for social security and hospital insurance surpluses

(a)

Lock-box for social security and hospital insurance Surpluses

(1)

Concurrent resolutions on the budget

(A)

In general

It shall not be in order in the House of Representatives or the Senate to consider any concurrent resolution on the budget, or an amendment thereto or conference report thereon, that would set forth a surplus for any fiscal year that is less than the surplus of the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund for that fiscal year.

(B)

Exception

(i)

Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to the extent that a violation of such subparagraph would result from an assumption in the resolution, amendment, or conference report, as applicable, of an increase in outlays or a decrease in revenue relative to the baseline underlying that resolution for social security reform legislation or medicare reform legislation for any such fiscal year.

(ii)

If a concurrent resolution on the budget, or an amendment thereto or conference report thereon, would be in violation of subparagraph (A) because of an assumption of an increase in outlays or a decrease in revenue relative to the baseline underlying that resolution for social security reform legislation or medicare reform legislation for any such fiscal year, then that resolution shall include a statement identifying any such increase in outlays or decrease in revenue.

(2)

Spending and tax legislation

(A)

In general

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 if—

(i)

the enactment of that bill or resolution, as reported;

(ii)

the adoption and enactment of that amendment; or

(iii)

the enactment of that bill or resolution in the form recommended in that conference report,

would cause the surplus for any fiscal year covered by the most recently agreed to concurrent resolution on the budget to be less than the surplus of the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund for that fiscal year.
(B)

Exception

Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to social security reform legislation or medicare reform legislation.

(b)

Enforcement

(1)

Budgetary levels with respect to concurrent resolutions on the budget

For purposes of enforcing any point of order under subsection (a)(1), the surplus for any fiscal year shall be—

(A)

the levels set forth in the later of the concurrent resolution on the budget, as reported, or in the conference report on the concurrent resolution on the budget; and

(B)

adjusted to the maximum extent allowable under all procedures that allow budgetary aggregates to be adjusted for legislation that would cause a decrease in the surplus for any fiscal year covered by the concurrent resolution on the budget (other than procedures described in paragraph (2)(A)(ii)).

(2)

Current levels with respect to spending and tax legislation

(A)

In general

For purposes of enforcing subsection (a)(2), the current levels of the surplus for any fiscal year shall be—

(i)

calculated using the following assumptions—

(I)

direct spending and revenue levels at the baseline levels underlying the most recently agreed to concurrent resolution on the budget; and

(II)

for the budget year, discretionary spending levels at current law levels and, for outyears, discretionary spending levels at the baseline levels underlying the most recently agreed to concurrent resolution on the budget; and

(ii)

adjusted for changes in the surplus levels set forth in the most recently agreed to concurrent resolution on the budget pursuant to procedures in such resolution that authorize adjustments in budgetary aggregates for updated economic and technical assumptions in the mid-session report of the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

Such revisions shall be included in the first current level report on the congressional budget submitted for publication in the Congressional Record after the release of such mid-session report.
(B)

Budgetary treatment

Outlays (or receipts) for any fiscal year resulting from social security or medicare reform legislation in excess of the amount of outlays (or less than the amount of receipts) for that fiscal year set forth in the most recently agreed to concurrent resolution on the budget or the section 302(a) allocation for such legislation, as applicable, shall not be taken into account for purposes of enforcing any point of order under subsection (a)(2).

(3)

Disclosure of hi Surplus

For purposes of enforcing any point of order under subsection (a), the surplus of the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund for a fiscal year shall be the levels set forth in the later of the report accompanying the concurrent resolution on the budget (or, in the absence of such a report, placed in the Congressional Record prior to the consideration of such resolution) or in the joint explanatory statement of managers accompanying such resolution.

(c)

Additional Content of Reports Accompanying Budget Resolutions and of Joint Explanatory Statements

The report accompanying any concurrent resolution on the budget and the joint explanatory statement accompanying the conference report on each such resolution shall include the levels of the surplus in the budget for each fiscal year set forth in such resolution and of the surplus or deficit in the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, calculated using the assumptions set forth in subsection (b)(2)(A).

(d)

Definitions

As used in this section:

(1)

The term medicare reform legislation means a bill or a joint resolution to save Medicare that includes a provision stating the following: For purposes of section 316(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this Act constitutes medicare reform legislation..

(2)

The term social security reform legislation means a bill or a joint resolution to save social security that includes a provision stating the following: For purposes of section 316(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this Act constitutes social security reform legislation..

(e)

Waiver and Appeal

Subsection (a) may be waived or suspended in the Senate only by an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. An affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members of the Senate, duly chosen and sworn, shall be required in the Senate to sustain an appeal of the ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under this section.

(f)

Effective Date

This section shall cease to have any force or effect upon the enactment of social security reform legislation and medicare reform legislation.

.

(b)

Conforming Amendment

The item relating to section 316 in the table of contents set forth in section 1(b) of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 316. Lock-box for social security and hospital insurance surpluses.

.

4.

Presidents’ budget

(a)

Protection of social security and medicare surpluses

If the budget of the Government submitted by the President under section 1105(a) of title 31, United States Code, recommends an on-budget surplus for any fiscal year that is less than the surplus of the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund for that fiscal year, then it shall include a detailed proposal for social security reform legislation or medicare reform legislation.

(b)

Effective Date

Subsection (a) shall cease to have any force or effect upon the enactment of social security reform legislation and medicare reform legislation as defined by section 316(d) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.