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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


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