Budget Process Reform 2013

Baseline Reform Act of 2013
(H.R. 1871)


Under current law, the baseline assumes higher spending each year. Discretionary accounts are annually increased by inflation and a number of other factors. This legislation removes the pro-spending bias.

Major Provisions

  • Removes the assumption that discretionary spending will increase by inflation in each year of the baseline. This assumption added approximately $1.2 trillion in outlays (over 10 years) to the discretionary baseline.

  • Removes the exceptions to the general inflationary rule for expiring housing contracts, social-insurance administrative expenses, and annualization of federal-employee pay. 

  • Codifies CBO’s current practice of providing a long-term budget outlook no later than July 1 each year.

  • Doesn’t change the way the mandatory or revenue baselines are calculated.

Pro-Growth Budgeting Act of 2013
(H.R. 1874)


This bill requires CBO to prepare an analysis of the effect that major legislation would have on the U.S. economy. This macroeconomic-impact analysis would be supplemental information in addition to the official congressional cost estimate of the legislation.   

Major Provisions

  • Requires committee reports to include a CBO analysis of major legislation that includes an estimate of the legislation’s impact on gross domestic product (GDP), business investment, capital stock, employment, interest rates, and labor supply. This analysis must also include an estimate of the legislation’s potential fiscal impact, including any changes in tax revenues resulting from changes in GDP.

  • Requires CBO to submit a statement identifying critical assumptions and sources of data underlying the estimate.

  • Defines major legislation as any estimated by CBO to have a budgetary effect of at least 0.25 percent of annual GDP (approximately $40 billion in 2013) in any year within the 10-year budget window.

  • Requires these analyses to cover the 10-year budget window and the subsequent 30-year period.