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H.R. 9979 (93rd): Budget Control 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.

8/3/1973--Introduced. Budget Control Act - Title I: Changes in Rules of House and Senate - Establishes in the House of Representatives a Committee on the Budget consisting of 21 members: 7 members from the Committee on Appropriations, 7 members from the Committee on Ways and Means, and 7 members appointed by the Speaker of the House. Provides for the selection of the Chairman of the Committee and for the filling of vacancies on the Committee. Refers to the Committee matters relating to (a) the establishment of an overall limitation on budget outlays, and an overall limitation on new budget authority; (b) the determination of the overall level of Federal revenues, and the overall level of the public debt of the United States; (c) the determination of the appropriate level of surplus or deficit in the budget in the light of economic conditions and, (d) the allocation of the overall limitation on budget outlays, and the overall limitation on new budgetary authority. Requires the Committee to report during each regular session of Congress at least two concurrent resolutions concerning matters referred to the Committee and to make continuing studies of the effect on budget outlays of existing and proposed legislation and to report the results of these studies to the House of Representatives. Establishes in the United States Senate a Committee on the Budget consisting of 15 members: 5 members from the Committee on Appropriations, 5 members from the Committee on Finance, and 5 members appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate. Grants to the Senate Committee the same matters for consideration and the same duties as the House Committee. Declares that annually, on or before May 1, Congress shall complete action on a concurrent resolution setting forth the congressional budget for the United States Government for the fiscal year beginning July 1. States that the concurrent resolution shall include with respect to budget outlays and with respect to new budget authority: (1) a general contingency reserve (for allocation only by a subsequent concurrent resolution on the budget) for possible new legislation (including enlargements of existing programs and activities); and (2) an emergency reserve (in amounts which do not exceed 2 percent of the amount of budget outlays otherwise allocated to the Committees on Appropriations and 2 percent of the amount of new budget authority otherwise allocated to such committees) which shall be available only for allocation by the Committees on Appropriations to specific programs and activities (or to subcommittees) to meet emergencies and other unforeseen contingencies. Provides for other matters which may be dealt with in the concurrent resolution. Sets forth a timetable for the first concurrent resolution on the budget for the fiscal year. Requires Congress to adopt a final concurrent resoltuion on the budget before adjourning and provides for consideration of concurrent resolution to be expedited. Declares that a tax surcharge is required where the budget deficit will be greater, or the surplus will be smaller, than that determined to be appropriate. States the requirements for amendments to concurrent resolutions. Provides that legislation dealing with the congressional budget must be handled by budget committees and that the concurrent resolution on budget must be adopted before appropriations and changes in revenues and public debt limit are made. Sets forth the requirements for legislation and amendments providing new budget authority, and declares that budget authority legislation may be required to contain outlay limitations. Places limitations on new permanent budget authority and on new spending authority. Requires the legislative committees to authorize the enactment of new budget authority before the beginning of the fiscal year. Authorizes the House Committee on Appropriations and the Senate Committee on Appropriations to consider and to report legislation rescinding budget authority. Provides for technical and conforming amendments to the Rules of the House of Representatives and to the Standing Rules of the United States Senate, as well as amendments to the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 and 1970. Title II: Legislative Budget Director and Staff - Establishes a Joint Legislative Budget Staff headed by a Legislative Budget Director appointed by the record vote of a majority of the members of the Committee on the Budget of each House, and provides for staffing and compensation. Authorizes the Legislative Budget Director to secure directly from any executive department or instrumentality of the government, information, data, estimates, and statistics relating to the function of the Joint Legislative Budget Staff. Directs the Joint Legislative Budget Staff to develop methods of using computers and other techniques for the analysis of information to improve not only the quantative but the qualitative evaluation of budgetary requirements.