H.R. 1871, Baseline Reform Act of 2013

Cost Estimate
June 21, 2013

As ordered reported by the House Committee on the Budget on June 19, 2013

H.R. 1871 would change certain assumptions governing baseline budget projections and require the Congressional Budget Office to provide its Long-Term Budget Outlook report to the House and Senate Committees on the Budget annually. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1871 would not have a significant impact on the federal budget. Enacting H.R. 1871 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

The legislation would change the way in which discretionary appropriations for individual accounts are projected in CBO’s baseline. Under H.R. 1871, projections of such spending would still be based on the current year’s appropriations, but would not be adjusted for inflation going forward. Other adjustments to projections of future discretionary spending would also be eliminated. (In its baseline, CBO assumes that appropriations through 2021 will comply with the caps and other provisions of the Budget Control Act of 2011; as a result, the method of extrapolating discretionary spending may not affect the totals reported in CBO’s projections.)

H.R. 1871 also would require that CBO produce its Long-Term Budget Outlook by July 1 each year. Any additional administrative costs to implement H.R. 1871 would be insignificant, because CBO already carries out similar activities.

H.R. 1871 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would have no impact on the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.