Budget Control Act of 2011 [August 19, 2011]   [open pdf - 489KB]

"The Budget Control Act (BCA) is the result of negotiations between the President and Congress held in response to the federal government having nearly reached its borrowing capacity. The BCA authorized increases in the debt limit of at least $2.1 trillion dollars (and up to $2.4 trillion under certain conditions), subject to a disapproval process that would likely require securing the support of two-thirds of each chamber to prevent a debt limit increase. It established caps on the amount of money that could be spent through the annual appropriations process for the next 10 years, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates will reduce federal spending by $917 billion. The BCA also created a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that is instructed to develop a bill to reduce the federal deficit by at least another $1.5 trillion over the 10 year period ending in FY2021. The legislation resulting from the joint committee recommendations can be considered under special procedures that prevent amendment and limit debate in both chambers. These procedures could have a significant impact in the Senate because they allow the bill to advance with simple majority support; under regular Senate procedures it can be necessary to obtain agreement among at least three-fifths of the Senate (normally 60 Senators) to advance consideration of legislation."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41965
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