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S. 493 (114th): Balanced Budget Accountability Act


The text of the bill below is as of Feb 12, 2015 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

114th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 493

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 12, 2015

(for himself, Mr. Cassidy, Mr. Gardner, and Mr. Cotton) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Budget

A BILL

To reduce a portion of the annual pay of Members of Congress for the failure to adopt a concurrent resolution on the budget which does not provide for a balanced budget, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; findings

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Balanced Budget Accountability Act.

(b)

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

The Federal debt exceeds $18,000,000,000,000, continues to grow rapidly, and is larger than the size of the United States economy.

(2)

The Federal budget has shown an annual deficit in 45 of the last 50 years.

(3)

Deficits and the Federal debt threaten to shatter confidence in the Nation’s economy, suppress job creation and economic growth, and leave future generations of Americans with a lower standard of living and fewer opportunities.

(4)

It is the duty of Members of Congress to develop and implement policies, including balancing the Federal budget, that encourage robust job creation and economic growth in the United States.

(5)

Members of Congress should be held accountable for failing to pass annual budgets that result in a balanced budget.

2.

Requiring adoption of budget resolution providing for balanced budgets

(a)

Adoption of budget resolution

Each House of Congress shall adopt a concurrent resolution on the budget for a fiscal year which provides that, for each fiscal year for which a budget is provided under the resolution (beginning not later than with the budget for fiscal year 2025)—

(1)

total outlays do not exceed total receipts; and

(2)

total outlays are not more than 18 percent of the gross domestic product of the United States (as determined by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce) for such fiscal year.

(b)

Certification by Congressional Budget Office

Upon the adoption by a House of Congress of a concurrent resolution on the budget for a fiscal year, the Director of the Congressional Budget Office shall transmit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the President pro tempore of the Senate (as the case may be) a certification as to whether or not that House of Congress has met the requirements of subsection (a) with respect to the resolution.

(c)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2016 and each succeeding fiscal year.

3.

Effect of failure to adopt resolution

(a)

Rule for fiscal years 2016 and 2017

(1)

Fiscal year 2016

(A)

Holding salaries in escrow

If the Director does not certify that a House of Congress has met the requirements of section 2(a) with respect to fiscal year 2016 before April 16, 2015, during the period described in subparagraph (B) the payroll administrator of that House of Congress shall deposit in an escrow account all payments otherwise required to be made during such period for the compensation of Members of Congress who serve in that House of Congress, and shall release such payments to such Members only upon the expiration of such period.

(B)

Period described

With respect to a House of Congress, the period described in this subparagraph is the period that begins on April 16, 2015, and ends on the earlier of—

(i)

the date on which the Director certifies that the House of Congress has met the requirements of section 2(a) with respect to fiscal year 2016; or

(ii)

the last day of the One Hundred Fourteenth Congress.

(2)

Fiscal year 2017

(A)

Holding salaries in escrow

If the Director does not certify that a House of Congress has met the requirements of section 2(a) with respect to fiscal year 2017 before April 16, 2016, during the period described in subparagraph (B) the payroll administrator of that House of Congress shall deposit in an escrow account all payments otherwise required to be made during such period for the compensation of Members of Congress who serve in that House of Congress, and shall release such payments to such Members only upon the expiration of such period.

(B)

Period described

With respect to a House of Congress, the period described in this subparagraph is the period that begins on April 16, 2016, and ends on the earlier of—

(i)

the date on which the Director certifies that the House of Congress has met the requirements of section 2(a) with respect to fiscal year 2017; or

(ii)

the last day of the One Hundred Fourteenth Congress.

(3)

Withholding and remittance of amounts from payments held in escrow

The payroll administrator shall provide for the same withholding and remittance with respect to a payment deposited in an escrow account under paragraph (1) or (2) that would apply to the payment if the payment were not subject to paragraph (1) or (2).

(4)

Release of amounts at end of the congress

In order to ensure that this subsection is carried out in a manner that shall not vary the compensation of Senators or Representatives in violation of the twenty-seventh article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the payroll administrator of a House of Congress shall release for payments to Members of that House of Congress any amounts remaining in any escrow account under this section on the last day of the One Hundred Fourteenth Congress.

(5)

Role of secretary of the treasury

The Secretary of the Treasury shall provide the payroll administrators of the Houses of Congress with such assistance as may be necessary to enable the payroll administrators to carry out this subsection.

(6)

Payroll administrator defined

In this subsection, the payroll administrator of a House of Congress means—

(A)

in the case of the House of Representatives, the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives, or an employee of the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer who is designated by the Chief Administrative Officer to carry out this section; and

(B)

in the case of the Senate, the Secretary of the Senate, or an employee of the Office of the Secretary of the Senate who is designated by the Secretary to carry out this section.

(b)

Rule for fiscal year 2018 and subsequent fiscal years

If the Director of the Congressional Budget Office does not certify that a House of Congress has met the requirements of section 2(a) with respect to fiscal year 2018, or any fiscal year thereafter, before April 16 of the fiscal year before such fiscal year, during pay periods which occur in the same calendar year after that date each Member of that House shall be paid at an annual rate of pay equal to $1.

(c)

Definitions

In this section—

(1)

the term Director means the Director of the Congressional Budget Office; and

(2)

the term Member includes a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to Congress.

4.

Supermajority requirement for increasing revenue

(a)

In general

In the Senate and the House of Representatives, a bill, joint resolution, amendment, conference report, or amendment between the Houses that increases revenue shall only be agreed to upon an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members of that House of Congress duly chosen and sworn.

(b)

Rules of Senate and the House of Representatives

Subsection (a) is 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 bill, joint resolution, amendment, conference report, or amendment between the Houses that increases revenue, 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.