Fact Sheet: The Spending, Deficit, and Debt Control Act of 2009

A Legally Binding Federal Budget

  • Gives the budget the force of law by converting it from a concurrent to a joint resolution, which requires the President’s signature.
  • Emergency reforms. Requires the President and Congress to budget for emergency spending by establishing budget reserves (“rainy day” fund) for emergency requirements.
  • Enforces budget limits through sequesters (automatic spending cuts) and two-thirds ‘supermajority’ points of order.
  • Sequesters. Broadens the base of programs subject to sequester, but limits sequesters to apply only to programs growing faster than inflation and cannot exceed 1%.
  • Points of order. Raises the bar to waive budget points of order by requiring a super-majority vote. Provides “point-of-order protection” that prohibits adoption of rules that waive budget points of order.
  • Government shutdown prevention. If Congress fails to enact appropriations bills by the fiscal year (Sept. 30) deadline, provides automatic authority to fund programs at the previous year’s level.

Read the full report here.