January 12, 2012
Under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Deficit Control Act), as amended by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-25), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is required to issue a sequestration report for the current fiscal year within 10 days of the end of a session of Congress. That report must provide estimates of the caps on discretionary budget authority for the current year (in this case, 2012) and for each year through 2021. In CBO's estimation, a sequestration (cancellation of budgetary resources), which would be triggered by a breaching of the caps, will not be required in 2012. However, CBO's estimates do not govern the outcome because the Administration's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has sole authority to determine whether a sequestration is required and, if so, the proportional allocations of any necessary cuts. Those determinations are based on OMB's own estimates of federal spending.