During the week of February 6, the House of Representatives passed bills that would alter the Congressional budget process.
On February 8, H.R. 3521, the Expedited Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act, passed the House with bipartisan support by a vote of 254 to 173. The bill would provide the President with the authority to rescind specific funding provisions in bills or resolutions passed by Congress (see Memo, 2/3). The White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) in favor of the bill on February 6. In the SAP, the Administration says it is supportive of “new tools to eliminate unnecessary spending and discourage waste.”
The next day, the House passed H.R. 3581, the Budget and Accounting Transparency Act of 2011, by a vote of 245-180. The bill would alter the accounting processes used in assessing the cost of federal credit programs. Opponents say the bill could inflate the cost of those programs by using a “fair value basis” instead of the actual costs the government incurs in administering the credits (see Memo, 1/27).