The Congressional Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017
In mid-March, House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) introduced the Congressional budget for Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, which commences on October 1, 2016. The Congressional budget does not go to the President for a signature, nor is it legally binding. Instead, it is passed as a concurrent resolution and outlines spending limits in broad strokes, known as budget outlays and budget authority. In other words, The Congressional budget establishes overall spending caps; it does not address funding limits for specific agencies, such as the Social Security Administration (SSA).
This year, things worked a little differently, because spending limits for FY 2017 were already set by the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015. The BBA, which passed in October, increased spending caps for non-defense discretionary programs by $15 billion, raising the overall total to $518.531 billion.
In addition to establishing funding limits, the Congressional budget generally includes a variety of policy statements, some of which deal with Social Security policy. The following are several of the SSA-related policy statements this year’s budget resolution included:
-Bipartisan efforts in the House geared toward making Social Security consistently solvent
-Based on recommendations from Social Security’s Board of Trustees, the President should submit to Congress legislation that will help achieve a positive 75-year actuarial balance for Social Security in any year in which they find one is lacking. Both houses of Congress should address the legislation within 60 days of its receipt
-Congress and the President should work together to restructure the Disability Insurance program (projected to become insolvent in 2022), but should not raid the Social Security retirement system in order to do it.
-In its efforts to reform the Disability Insurance trust fund, Congress should also work to achieve sustainable solvency for the combined Old Age and Survivors Disability Insurance (OASDI) trust fund
Interested in learning more? You can read the budget resolution at budget.house.gov