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S. 44: Balanced Budget Accountability Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 8, 2019.

Balanced Budget Accountability Act

This bill requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), upon adoption by a chamber of Congress of a concurrent budget resolution for a fiscal year, to certify to the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the President pro tempore of the Senate whether that chamber has adopted a balanced budget.

Balanced budget means a concurrent budget resolution providing that for FY2027 and each succeeding fiscal year to which the resolution applies total outlays do not exceed total receipts and are not more than 18% of the projected domestic product for such fiscal year.

The bill requires the salary of Members of Congress to be held in escrow if OMB determines a chamber has not adopted a balanced budget for FY2020 before April 16, 2019, and for FY2021 before April 16, 2020. The bill also provides for the release of such funds to the Members.

Beginning in FY2022, if OMB does not certify that a chamber has adopted a balanced budget before April 16 of the prior fiscal year, each Member of that chamber shall be paid at the rate of $1 annually for pay periods after that date in the same calendar year.

This bill requires legislation in either chamber that increases revenue to be agreed upon only by an affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members of that chamber.