Emergency Spending Designations

WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Budget Committee today released its June 30, 2016, Budget Bulletin focused on the use of Emergency Spending Designations. The Budget Bulletin provides regular expert articles by Senate Budget Committee analysts on the issues before Congress relating to the budget, deficits, debt, and the economy.

Read the full Senate Budget Bulletin here.

Excerpts follow:

There are currently three separate emergency designations available to senators for budget enforcement purposes in budget law and rules. Each of these designations can exempt the budgetary effects of certain provisions from specific enforcement regimes. Given this ability to exempt, some of the most common questions the Budget Committee receives relate to the proper use and effects of emergency designations.

Three Emergency Designations

  1. The Budget Resolution’s Section 403
  2. Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985
  3. Statutory PAYGO’s Section 4(g)

Points of Order:

All three emergency designations give rise to a budget point of order. In each case, a senator may raise a surgical emergency-designation point of order, which would strike the designation and cause the spending in the bill to be counted as regular spending. Each such point of order, if raised on the floor, requires 60 votes to waive.

Examples of Designations in Use  

  1. Designating Emergency in Authorizing Bill
  2. Designating Emergency in Appropriations Bill
  3. Improper Usage of Emergency Designation and Its Effects

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