H. R. 2041
To reduce Federal spending in a responsible manner.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 26, 2011
Mr. KINGSTON (for himself, Mr. JORDAN, Mr. FLAKE, and Mr. GRAVES of Georgia)
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
To reduce Federal spending in a responsible manner.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Returning to Responsible Fiscal Policies Act'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) This Act is authorized by the United States Constitution under clause
1 of section 8 of article I, relating to the power of the Congress to tax
(2) Should an amendment to the United States Constitution be adopted and
ratified by the States setting a lower limitation on outlays than provided
in this Act, it is appropriate for Congress to consider legislation immediately
modifying maximum outlay amounts in this Act.
(3) Total Federal outlays have averaged 20.6 percent of gross domestic product
over the past 40 years.
(4) Total Federal outlays in fiscal year 2010 were 23.8 percent of gross
(5) Total Federal outlays in fiscal year 2020 are projected to be 25.9 percent
of gross domestic product according to the Congressional Budget Office's
Alternative Fiscal Scenario.
(6) It is appropriate and urgently necessary to put total Federal outlays
under a limitation as a percentage of gross domestic product to ensure spending
is constrained sufficiently to reduce the Federal debt to much lower, sustainable
SEC. 3. OUTLAYS EXCEEDING THE GDP OUTLAY LIMIT.
(a) Definitions- Section 250(c)(4) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit
Control Act of 1985 is amended by striking paragraph (4), redesignating the
succeeding paragraphs accordingly, and adding the following paragraphs:
`(19) The term `GDP', for any fiscal year, means the gross domestic product
during such fiscal year consistent with Department of Commerce definitions.
`(20)(A) The term `emergency requirement' means any provision that provides
new budget authority and resulting outlays for a situation that poses a
threat to life, property, or national security and is--
`(i) sudden, quickly coming into being, and not building up over time;
`(ii) an urgent, pressing, and compelling need requiring immediate action;
`(iii) unforeseen, unpredictable, and unanticipated; and
`(iv) not permanent, temporary in nature.
`(B) An emergency that is part of an aggregate level of anticipated emergencies,
particularly when normally estimated in advance, is not unforeseen.
`(21) The term `target fiscal year' means the fiscal year in which a GDP
outlay limit is in effect under section 253A.'.
(b) Caps- The Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is
amended by inserting after section 253 the following:
`SEC. 253A. ENFORCING GDP OUTLAY LIMITS.
`(a) Enforcing GDP Outlay Limits- In this section, the term `GDP outlay limit'
means an amount, as estimated by OMB, equal to--
`(1) the average GDP for the first 5 of the 6 fiscal years preceding the
target fiscal year; multiplied by
`(2) 23 percent for fiscal year 2012; 22 percent for fiscal year 2013; 21
percent for fiscal year 2014; 19.5 percent for fiscal year 2015; and 18
percent for fiscal year 2016 and each subsequent fiscal year.
`(b) GDP Outlay Limit and Outlays-
`(1) DETERMINING THE GDP OUTLAY LIMIT- The Office of Management and Budget
shall estimate the GDP outlay limit for the target fiscal year at the outset
of the previous fiscal year, on April 30, on August 20, and 15 days after
the conclusion of the fiscal year. CBO shall provide advisory reports calculating
the GDP outlay limit at identical times.
`(2) TOTAL FEDERAL OUTLAYS- In this section, total Federal outlays shall
include all on-budget and off-budget outlays.
`(A) EXCESS SPENDING- Not later than 45 calendar days after the beginning
of a fiscal year, OMB shall conduct a sequestration to eliminate the excess
`(B) DEFINITION- For purposes of this subsection, the term `excess outlay
amount' means the amount by which total Federal outlays for a fiscal year
exceed the GDP outlay limit as adjusted pursuant to paragraph (2).
`(2) PREVIEW REPORT- CBO shall submit an advisory sequestration preview
report as described in section 254(c)(4) on August 10 of each year. OMB
shall produce a sequestration preview report on August 20 as described in
section 254(c)(4). Fifteen days after the fiscal year begins, OMB shall
issue an updated sequestration report as described in section 254(e). Thirty
days later, the OMB should issue its final sequestration report as described
in section 254(f)(3). It shall be accompanied by a Presidential order detailing
the uniform spending reductions. The reductions should generally follow
the process set forth in section 253 and 254, except as provided in this
`(3) CONGRESSIONAL ACTION- If the August 20 OMB report projects a sequestration,
the Senate and House Budget Committees may report a resolution directing
their committees to change the existing law to achieve the goals outlined
in the August 20 report.
`(4) REDUCING NONEXEMPT BUDGETARY RESOURCES BY A PROPORTIONAL PERCENTAGE-
`(A) CALCULATION- OMB shall calculate the increase in outlays attributable
to each of the 3 categories described in subparagraph (B) such that the
outlay savings resulting from sequestration, as calculated under this
subsection, eliminate excess outlays.
`(B) CATEGORIES- The 3 categories are as follows:
`(i) Direct spending (social security, medicare, and other such programs).
`(ii) Discretionary security spending.
`(iii) Discretionary non-security spending.
`(C) REDUCTIONS PROPORTIONAL- The percentage reductions for each category
described in subparagraph (B) shall be in proportion to the growth in
outlays in such category from the previous fiscal year.
`(D) UNIFORM REDUCTION WITHIN CATEGORIES- To achieve the percent reduction
within a category under subparagraph (C), a uniform reduction will occur
across all programs within that category to achieve the percent reduction
required for that category.
`(E) PRO RATA BASIS- If legislation funding the Government does not reflect
funding amounts for the entire fiscal year, sequestration required by
this section shall be done on a pro rata basis. If legislation funding
the Government for the remainder of a fiscal year is enacted, the total
sequestration required in a fiscal year shall total the necessary level
which may be undertaken in a single step or in a sequence of steps.
`(d) No Exempt Programs- Section 255 shall not apply to this section, except
that payments for net interest (budget function 900) shall be exempt.
`(e) Look Back- If, after November 15, a bill resulting in outlays for the
fiscal year in progress is enacted that causes excess outlays, the excess
outlays for the next fiscal year shall be increased by the amount or amounts
of that breach.'.
(c) BBEDCA- Notwithstanding section 275 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency
Deficit Control Act of 1985, the relevant provisions of such Act shall apply
to the extent necessary to enforce this Act, including amendments made by
(d) Effective Date- This section shall apply beginning in fiscal year 2013
and beyond, including any reports and calculations required for implementation
in fiscal year 2013.
SEC. 4. ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES UNDER THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET ACT OF 1974.
(a) Enforcement- Title III of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 is amended
by adding after section 315 the following:
`SEC. 316. ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES.
`(a) GDP Outlay Limits- It shall not be in order in the House of Representatives
or the Senate to consider any bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference
report that includes any provision that would cause the most recently reported,
current GDP outlay limits set forth in section 253A of the Balanced Budget
and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 to be exceeded.
`(b) Waiver or Suspension-
`(1) IN THE SENATE- The provisions of this section may be waived or suspended
in the Senate only by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members,
present and voting.
`(2) IN THE HOUSE- The provisions of this section may be waived or suspended
in the House of Representatives only by a rule or order proposing only to
waive such provisions by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Members,
present and voting.
`(c) Point of Order Protection- In the House, it shall not be in order to
consider a rule or order that waives the application of paragraph (2) of subsection
`(d) Motion To Suspend- It shall not be in order for the Speaker to entertain
a motion to suspend the application of this section under clause 1 of rule
(b) Table of Contents- The table of contents in section 1(b) of the Congressional
Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 is amended by inserting after the
item relating to section 315 the following:
`Sec. 316. Enforcement procedures.'.