Number:  112-2
Date:  August 2, 2011

President Signs S. 365,
the Budget Control Act of 2011

On August 2, 2011 the President signed S. 365, the Budget Control Act of 2011 into law shortly after the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 74-26.  The House passed the bill on August 1, 2011 by a vote of 269-161.
Following are provisions of interest to Social Security.

Ten-Year Discretionary Spending Caps

  • The law generally establishes limits on government-wide discretionary spending through 2021 in the following amounts:

FY 2012               $1,043 billion
FY 2013               $1,047 billion
FY 2014               $1,066 billion
FY 2015               $1,086 billion
FY 2016               $1,107 billion
FY 2017               $1,131 billion
FY 2018               $1,156 billion
FY 2019               $1,182 billion
FY 2020               $1,208 billion
FY 2021               $1,234 billion

  • The law includes enforcement provisions to sequester any funds that cause a budget-year breach to the government-wide spending caps. The law also provides for adjustments to the caps in each fiscal year to account for funding designated for emergency requirements and disaster relief.

Funding for Continuing Disability Reviews and SSI Redeterminations

  • The law includes program integrity initiatives to reduce improper benefit payments under (among other Federal programs) the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance programs.  It allows adjustments to the government-wide discretionary caps in order to permit additional appropriations for purposes of conducting continuing disability reviews (CDRs) and SSI redeterminations to the extent that such appropriations for program integrity purposes exceed $273 million a year1.
  • The law establishes maximum annual amounts of such additional funding in the following amounts:

FY 2012                 $623 million
FY 2013                 $751 million
FY 2014                 $924 million
FY 2015               $1,123 million
FY 2016               $1,166 million
FY 2017               $1,309 million
FY 2018               $1,309 million
FY 2019               $1,309 million
FY 2020               $1,309 million
FY 2021               $1,309 million

Congressional Select Committee

  • The law establishes a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to propose further reductions in discretionary and direct spending with a goal to achieve at least $1.5 trillion in budgetary savings over 10 years. 

  • The 12-member Committee will be comprised of Members of Congress.  Not later than 14 days after enactment, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate will appoint three Senators each, and the Speaker and minority leader of the House will appoint three members each.  The Senate majority leader and House Speaker will each appoint co-chairs from the members of the Joint Committee.

  • Not later than October 14, 2011, each standing committee of the House and Senate may provide for consideration by the Joint Committee recommendations for legislative changes that would result in deficit reduction.

  •  Not later than November 23, 2011, the Joint Committee shall vote on a report that contains a detailed statement of the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the Joint Committee.

  • Not later than December 2, 2011, the Joint Committee is required to submit the report and legislative language to carry out deficit reduction proposals to the President, Vice-President, Speaker of the House, and majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate.

  • Not later than December 23, 2011, the House and Senate are required to consider and vote on the Joint Committee’s legislative recommendations.

  • Federal agencies are required to provide technical assistance to the Joint Committee if requested in writing.


1 $273 million is the base amount of dedicated program integrity funding included in SSA’s limitation on administrative expenses for FY 2010.