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H.J.Res. 59 (113th): Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (H.J.Res. 59; Pub.L. 113–67) is a federal statute concerning spending and the budget in the United States, that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 26, 2013. On December 10, 2013, pursuant to the provisions of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014 calling for a joint budget conference to work on possible compromises, Representative Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray announced a compromise that they had agreed to after extended discussions between them. The law raises the sequestration caps for fiscal years 2014 and 2015, in return for extending the imposition of the caps into 2022 and 2023, and miscellaneous savings elsewhere in the budget. Overall, the bill is projected to lower the deficit by $23 billion over the long term.

In forming the deal behind the bill that was passed, Ryan and Murray explicitly avoided trying to find a "grand bargain", in which Democrats would buy into reduced entitlements spending while Republicans would agree to higher tax rates, as several past negotiations along such lines had failed. Instead, in Ryan's words, negotiations sought to "focus on common ground ... to get some minimal accomplishments". The deal did represent a rare example of bipartisanship during this period and promised to end for a while the last-minute, crisis-driven budget battles that had consumed Congress for much of the prior three years.

This summary is from Wikipedia.

Last updated Oct 11, 2018. Source: Wikipedia

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 26, 2013.

Division A: Bipartisan Budget Agreement - Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 - Division A [sic]: Budget Enforcement and Deficit Reduction - Title I: Budget Enforcement - Subtitle A: Amendments to the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act - (Sec. 101) Amends the Balanced Budget Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act) to establish (increased) discretionary spending limits (spending caps) for the revised security and nonsecurity categories for FY2014-FY2015. Continues the existing spending limits in such categories for FY2016-FY2021 imposed under the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). (Pursuant to BCA procedures, the initial limits for FY2014-FY2021 are to be lowered (sequestered) by the Office of Management and Budget [OMB] each fiscal year to achieve certain budgetary savings.)

Amends the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act to direct OMB to make the calculations necessary to implement the direct defense and nondefense spending reductions calculated pursuant to the BCA without regard to this Act's revisions of the discretionary spending limits for FY2014-FY2015.

Directs the President, upon issuance of OMB sequestration preview reports for FY2022-FY2023, to order a sequestration, effective upon issuance so that the percentage reductions for nonexempt direct spending for the defense and nondefense functions are the same percent as the corresponding percentage reductions for such spending for FY2021.

Makes conforming amendments to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act to define:

"revised security category" as discretionary appropriations in budget function 050, "revised nonsecurity category" as discretionary appropriations other than in budget function 050, and "category" as the subsets of these discretionary appropriations. Requires:

discretionary appropriations in each of the categories to be those designated in the joint explanatory statement accompanying the conference report on the Balanced Budget Act of 1997; and new accounts or activities to be categorized only after consultation with congressional appropriations and budget committees, and to the extent practicable, to include written communication to those committees that affords them the opportunity to comment before official action is taken for such accounts or activities. Subtitle B: Establishing a Congressional Budget - (Sec. 111) Sets forth the congressional budget for the federal government for FY2014, including appropriate budgetary levels for FY2015-FY2023.

Requires the Chairmen of the congressional budget committees to submit statements for publication in the Congressional Record as soon as practicable after enactment of this Act that include:

committee allocations for the Committee on Appropriations of the respective chamber for FY2014 consistent with the discretionary spending limits set forth in this Act; committee allocations for all other committees of the respective chamber for: (1) FY2014, (2) FY2014-FY2018 in the Senate only, and (3) FY2014-FY2023; aggregate spending levels for FY2014 in accordance with such allocations; aggregate revenue levels for: (1) FY2014, (2) FY2014-FY2018 in the Senate only, and (3) FY2014-FY2023; and in the Senate only, levels of Social Security revenues and outlays for FY2014-FY2023 consistent with the CBO May 2013 baseline adjusted to account for the budgetary effects of this Act and legislation enacted before this Act but not included in such baseline. Authorizes the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, after enactment of this Act, to reduce the aggregates, allocations, and other budgetary levels included in the Chairman's statement to reflect the budgetary effects of any legislation enacted during the 113th Congress that reduces the deficit.

(Sec. 112) Makes it out of order to consider in the Senate any legislation that would require advanced appropriations, except by a supermajority waiver, other than for:

up to $28.852 billion in new budget authority in FY2015-FY2016 for programs, projects, activities, or accounts identified in the joint explanatory statement of managers accompanying this budget resolution; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the Medical Services, Medical Support and Compliance, and Medical Facilities accounts of the Veterans Health Administration. Makes this requirement inapplicable if a budget resolution for FY2015 is adopted in both chambers.

(Sec. 113) Provides that, for the remainder of the 113th Congress in the House of Representatives, the provisions of H.Con.Res. 25 (113th Congress), as deemed in force by H.Res. 243 (113th Congress), shall remain in force to the extent its budgetary levels are not superseded by this subtitle or by further action of the House.

(Sec. 114) Requires the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee (Chairman in this section), for enforcement of the Senate Pay-As-You-Go Scorecard requirements, to: (1) reduce any balances of direct spending and revenues for any fiscal year to zero, effective upon enactment of this joint resolution; and (2) do the same for FY2015 between April 15 and May 15, 2014.

Authorizes the Chairman to revise the committee allocations, aggregates, and other appropriate levels and limits set pursuant to this subtitle for any legislation that amends the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act to repeal or revise the enforcement procedures established under it, by the amounts provided in that legislation for those purposes, provided that it would not increase the deficit over the FY2014-FY2023 total. (Thus requires a deficit-neutral reserve fund to replace sequestration.)

Declares that specified deficit-neutral reserve funds established in S.Con.Res. 8 (113th Congress), as passed by the Senate, shall have force and effect.

Makes certain requirements of this section expire, including such deficit-neutral reserve funds, if a budget resolution for FY2015 is agreed to by both chambers.

(Sec. 115) Requires the allocations, aggregates, and levels in this Act to apply in the House and the Senate after April 15, 2014, in the same manner as an FY2015 budget resolution if an actual budget resolution for FY2015 has not been adopted by that date.

Subtitle C: Technical Corrections - (Sec. 121) Makes technical corrections to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act and to the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

Title II: Prevention of Waste, Fraud, and Abuse - (Sec. 201) Amends title III (Unemployment Insurance) of the Social Security Act (SSA) to require all states to use a specified mechanism (Treasury Offset Program) under the Internal Revenue Code for collecting unemployment compensation debts to recover any such debt remaining uncollected one year after the date when it was finally determined to be due and collected.

(Sec. 202) Amends SSA title XIX (Medicaid) with respect to payment for prenatal and preventive pediatric care without regard to a third party's liability to pay for such services. Authorizes a state Medicaid plan to make such a payment, if cost-effective and unable to adversely affect access to care, only if a liable third party has not made payment within 90 days after the service provider has initially submitted a payment claim to that third party.

Authorizes the state Medicaid plan to do the same with respect to any covered services provided to an individual on whose behalf the proper state agency is enforcing child support. Allows the state, however, to make such a payment within 30 days only if doing so is cost effective and necessary to ensure access to care.

Allows a state to recover Medicaid expenditures from liable third parties pursuant to rights it has acquired or has had assigned to it.

(Sec. 203) Prohibits the Secretary of Commerce from disclosing to any person information contained in the Death Master File with respect to any deceased individual during the three calendar years after the individual's death, unless that person is certified, under a program established by the Secretary, as eligible to access such information and to perform periodic audits. Prescribes penalties for unauthorized disclosure.

(Sec. 204) Includes anticipated or actual release dates among the types of information prisons are required to report to the Social Security Administration through the Prisoner Update Processing System (PUPS).

Authorizes the Commissioner of Social Security, under an agreement with a state or local detention facility, to provide PUPS data to any agency administering a federal or federally-assisted cash, food, or medical assistance program for research conducted by federal and state agencies, and to the Secretary of the Treasury for the purpose of tax administration, debt collection, and identifying, preventing, and recovering improper payments under federally funded programs.

Amends the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012, with respect to the Do Not Pay Initiative, to require federal agencies to review PUPS data before certifying a payment or award.

Title III: Natural Resources - (Sec. 301) Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to repeal the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and and Other Petroleum Resources program. Rescinds unobligated funds appropriated for it.

(Sec. 302) Amends the Mineral Leasing Act to: (1) reduce by 2%, beginning in FY2014, the amount of payments to the states for administrative costs incurred by the United States in implementing the program for leasing and prospecting on federal land; and (2) require the amount of such reduction to be deposited to miscellaneous receipts of the Treasury.

(Sec. 303) Approves the Agreement between the United States of America and the United Mexican States Concerning Transboundary Hydrocarbon Reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico, signed at Los Cabos, February 20, 2012.

(Sec. 304) Amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary in this title) to implement any transboundary hydrocarbon agreement for the management of transboundary hydrocarbon reservoirs entered into by the President and approved by Congress after enactment of this Act.

Instructs the Secretary, in implementing such an agreement, to protect U.S. interests to promote domestic job creation and ensure the expeditious and orderly development and conservation of domestic mineral resources in accordance with federal laws governing the exploration, development, and production of hydrocarbon resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OTS).

Prescribes procedures for submission to Congress of a transboundary hydrocarbon agreement that does not constitute a treaty in the judgment of the President.

Authorizes the Secretary to take necessary action to implement the Transboundary Agreement with Mexico.

Prohibits any construction of this Act as: (1) authorizing the Secretary to participate in any negotiations, conferences, or consultations with Cuba regarding exploration, development, or production of hydrocarbon resources in the Gulf of Mexico along the U.S. maritime border with Cuba or the area known by the Department of the Interior as the "Eastern Gap"; or (2) affecting the sovereign rights and the jurisdiction of the United States under international law over the OTS that appertains to it.

(Sec. 305) Amends the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 regarding royalty management and enforcement to prohibit the payment of interest on any excessive overpayment (currently, on any aggregate overpayment exceeding 10% of the monthly royalties paid on all of a lessee's or designee's federal leases).

(Sec. 306) Amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to repeal the authority of the Secretary to acquire in-kind royalty crude oil.

Rescinds permanently any unobligated balances available in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Petroleum Account in the Treasury on the date of enactment of this Act.

Title IV: Federal Civilian and Military Retirement - (Sec. 401) Defines "further revised annuity employee" for purposes of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) as any individual who, on December 31, 2013: (1) is not a federal employee or Member of Congress under FERS; (2) is not performing civilian service which is credible service under FERS; (3) has less than five years of credible civilian service; and (4) after December 31, 2013, becomes employed as a federal employee or Member of Congress and performs service which is credible service under FERS.

Increases the rate of contribution to FERS for further revised annuity employees, including federal employees, Members of Congress, congressional employees, law enforcement employees or air traffic controllers, nuclear materials couriers, and customs and border protection officers.

Requires federal agencies to continue their current level of contributions to FERS after December 31, 2013, and to apply excess contributions to the reduction of the unfunded liability of the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).

(Sec. 402) Amends the Foreign Service Act of 1980 to increase the rate of contribution to the Foreign Service Retirement and Disability System (FRSDF) by foreign service employees who begin service after December 31, 2013. Requires agencies that participate in FRSDF to continue their current level of contributions to FRSDF to reduce its unfunded liability.

(Sec. 403) Revises the cost-of-living adjustment to the retirement pay of members of the Armed Forces who have not reached age 62 to require an annual adjustment to such pay, beginning on December 1, 2015, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) less 1%. Requires the Secretary of Defense (DOD) to recompute the retired pay of members when they reach age 62 to restore reductions made to their cost-of-living adjustments.

Title V: Higher Education - (Sec. 501) Amends the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program under title IV (Student Assistance) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to allow guaranty agencies to assign rehabilitated FFELs to the Secretary of Education if they are unable to sell the loans to eligible lenders. (Currently, the Secretary would also have to determine that market conditions unduly limit their ability to sell such loans.)

Lowers the maximum amount guaranty agencies may charge borrowers when they sell rehabilitated FFELs from 18.5% to 16% of the outstanding principal and interest on such loans.

Requires guaranty agencies, upon selling rehabilitated FFELs, to repay the Secretary all of the federal default reinsurance payment on such loans. (Currently, such agencies can retain 18.5% of that payment.)

(Sec. 502) Amends the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program to eliminate the requirement that the Secretary: (1) award Direct Loan servicing contracts to nonprofit servicers; (2) allocate the loan accounts of 100,000 borrowers to each of those nonprofit servicers; and (3) establish a separate pricing tier for each of those 100,000 borrower loan accounts at a competitive market rate.

Eliminates the mandatory funding set aside for contracting with those nonprofit servicers.

Title VI: Transportation- (Sec. 601) Repeals, effective October 1, 2014, the Aviation Infrastructure Security Service Fee imposed on domestic and foreign air carriers.

Revises aviation passenger security fee requirements.

Increases such fees, beginning July 1, 2014, to $5.60 per one-way trip for flights originating at a U.S. airport. (Under current law a fee of $2.50 is imposed per passenger enplanement, with a maximum one-way trip fee of $5.00.)

Requires that certain funds derived from such fees in the Aviation Security Capital Fund be credited as offsetting receipts and deposited into the general fund of the Treasury in specified amounts for FY2014-FY2023.

Eliminates the Checkpoint Screening Security Fund, but continues the availability of funds currently in it.

(Sec. 602) Repeals the authority of the Secretary of Transportation (DOT) to reimburse (subsidize) the Secretary of Agriculture and the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) for increased ocean freight and ocean freight differential transportation charges incurred in the export of agricultural commodities and their products.

(Sec. 603) Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to ensure that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for monitoring passenger exit points from the sterile areas at airports at which it provided such monitoring as of December 1, 2013.

Title VII: Miscellaneous Provisions - (Sec. 701) Amends the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 to extend through FY2023 the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to collect customs user fees for the processing of certain merchandise.

(Sec. 702) Revises the limitation on costs of compensation for contractor and subcontractor employees under federal civilian and defense contracts to impose a cap of $487,000, adjusted annually to reflect the change in the Employment Cost Index of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for all workers. Makes such revised limitation applicable to contracts entered into 180 days after the enactment of this Act. Repeals the authority of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to determine, on an annual basis, the allowable level of such compensation costs.

Requires the OMB Director, not later than 60 days after the end of each fiscal year, to report to specified congressional committees on contractor compensation.

Requires the Secretary of Defense (DOD) and the OMB Director, not later than 90 days after the enactment of this Act, to report to Congress on alternative benchmarks and industry standards for compensation costs for civilian and defense contracts.

(Sec. 703) Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to increase the flat-rate and variable rate premiums payable to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) in 2015 and 2016. Increases the variable rate premium cap to $500 for plan years beginning after 2015.

(Sec. 704) Cancels unobligated balances available under the Department of Justice (DOJ) Assets Forfeiture Fund and the Department of the Treasury Forfeiture Fund.

(Sec. 705) Amends the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act to allow the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the Department of Agriculture to collect user fees for conservation planning technical assistance. Limits such fees to $150 for each conservation plan for which technical assistance is provided. Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to waive such fee in certain instances, including for beginning farmers or farmers and ranchers who have limited resources or who are socially disadvantaged.

Establishes in the Treasury the Conservation Technical Assistance Fund to hold conservation planning technical assistance user fees to be used for carrying out the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act.

(Sec. 706) Modifies the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) to allow a "self plus one" enrollment tier (i.e., an enrolled employee plus one eligible family member).

Division B: Medicare and Other Health Provisions - Pathway for SGR Reform Act of 2013 - Title I: Medicare Extenders - (Sec. 1101) Amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act (SSA) to establish an update to the single conversion factor in the formula for the physician payment of 0.5% for January through March of 2014.

(Sec. 1102) Extends through March 31, 2014, the 1.0 floor on the geographic indexing adjustment to the work portion of the physician fee schedule.

(Sec. 1103) Extends through March 31, 2014, the process for granting exceptions to the dollar amount caps on Medicare coverage of physical therapy, speech-language pathology, and occupation therapy services.

(Sec. 1104) Extends through March 31, 2014, the bonus and increased payments for ground ambulance services as well as the increased payments for super rural ambulance services (in low population density areas).

(Sec. 1105) Extends the Medicare inpatient hospital payment adjustment for low-volume subsection (d) hospitals in certain rural areas to: (1) that portion of FY2014 beginning on April 1, 2014; (2) FY2015; and (3) subsequent fiscal years.

(Generally, a subsection (d) hospital is an acute care hospital, particularly one that receives payments under Medicare's inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) when providing covered inpatient services to eligible beneficiaries.) (Sec. 1106) Extends through March 31, 2014, the Medicare-dependent, small rural hospital program for subsection (d) hospitals.

(Sec. 1107) Extends the authorization for specialized MedicareAdvantage (MA) plans for special needs individuals through December 31, 2015.

(Sec. 1108) Extends through December 31, 2014, the authorization for Medicare reasonable cost reimbursement contracts with certain health maintenance organizations.

(Sec. 1109) Extends existing funding for contracts with consensus-based entity regarding development of an integrated national strategy and priorities for health care performance measurement in all applicable settings.

(Sec. 1110) Amends the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008, as amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, to provide additional funding for the portion of FY2014 before April 1, 2014, for grants to state health insurance programs, area agencies on aging, Aging and Disability Resource Centers, and the contract with the national center for benefits and outreach enrollment.

Title II: Other Health Provisions - (Sec. 1201) Amends SSA title XIX (Medicaid) to extend: (1) the qualifying individual (QI) program through March 31, 2014, and (2) the total amount available for allocation under such program.

(Sec. 1202) Extends the Transitional Medical Assistance (TMA) Program through March 31, 2014.

(Sec. 1203) Amends SSA title V (Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant) to extend funding for family-to-family health information centers through March 31, 2014.

(Sec. 1204) Amends SSA title XIX (Medicaid), with respect to adjustment in payments for inpatient hospital services furnished by disproportionate share hospitals (DSH), to delay until FY2016 specified reductions in Medicaid DSH allotments.

(Sec. 1205) Amends the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, as amended by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, with respect to implementation of direct spending reductions (sequester), to require application of the President's Medicare sequestration order for FY2023, notwithstanding the 2% limit for payments for the Medicare programs, so that: (1) for the first six months in which such order is effective the payment reduction shall be 2.90%, and (2) for the second six months in which the order is effective the payment reduction shall be 1.1%.

(Sec. 1206) Sets forth requirements for payment for inpatient services in long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) with application of site neutral IPPS payment rate in certain cases.

Directs the Medicare Payment Assessment Commission (MEDPAC) to examine the effect of applying such requirements on: (1) the quality of patient care in LTCHs, (2) the use of hospice care and post-acute care settings, (3) different types of LTCHs, and (4) the growth in Medicare spending for services in such hospitals

Amends the Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 to extend: (1) for an additional four years certain rules for payments for LTCH hospitals-within-hospitals and the delay in the 25% patient threshold payment adjustment (as well as a related assessment report); and (2) through calendar 2015-2017 the moratorium on establishment of and increase in beds for LTCHs.

Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) (Secretary in this title) to establish a functional status quality measure for change in mobility among LTCH inpatients requiring ventilator support.

Directs the Secretary to evaluate both the payment rates and regulations governing any subsection (d) hospital that first received an LTCH payment in 1986 which has: (1) an average inpatient length of stay of more than 20 days, and (2) 80% or more of its annual Medicare inpatient discharges with a principal diagnosis that reflects a finding of neoplastic disease in the 12-month cost reporting period ending in FY1997. Authorizes the Secretary, based on that evaluation, to adjust certain payment rates for such a hospital as well as the governing regulations.