Senator: Budget enforcement package possible

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said Thursday he is working on a budget enforcement package similar to legislation passed by the House this month, even though he remains unsure which vehicle will carry it.

"Taking my resolution to the floor, if the House isn't going to do one, doesn't make sense," Conrad said. "But doing some sort of budget enforcement resolution, which sets a [discretionary] spending cap but does much more that ... could be a very important message to be sending." The Senate Budget Committee approved in April a five-year budget resolution that capped fiscal 2011 discretionary spending at $1.124 trillion. But the measure never went to the Senate floor because House Democrats at the time were undecided on whether to do a full five-year resolution and on how much discretionary funding to provide.

The House eventually decided on a budget package that included a provision capping discretionary spending for fiscal 2011 at $1.121 trillion. That measure passed the House July 1.

The package also included a provision that reconciled differences between the pay/go law and the House pay/go rule, which have different budget windows, as well as nonbinding language stating that savings found by the presidential deficit commission must be used to reduce the deficit, not to offset legislation.

"That would be the supreme irony, if we went through all of that and then people hijacked some of the savings for other savings. That can't be," Conrad said.

Conrad added he was considering the war supplemental as a legislative vehicle, but he said the Senate is not expected to pass the bill in its current form. The White House has issued a veto threat over an $800 million rescission to offset emergency domestic funding in the package, and that cut would result in less funding for education programs.

"We are sort of waiting to see how the supplemental turns out, and from all appearances that supplemental that was sent here cannot pass here [and] cannot get 60 votes," Conrad said. "It doesn't have to be done on that vehicle, but some sort of budget enforcement resolution would be useful."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.