GAO Views on H.R. 2898, the 'Social Security Protection Act of 1991'

T-AFMD-91-11: Published: Sep 26, 1991. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 1991.

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GAO discussed a bill's proposed treatment of the administrative expenses of the Social Security old-age, survivors, and disability insurance (OASDI) programs. GAO noted that: (1) since fiscal year 1986 and prior to the enactment of the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, the receipts and disbursements of the OASDI programs were off-budget, but were included in the deficit calculations of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985; (2) the 1990 act provided that receipts and disbursements for OASDI programs should not be counted for the purposes of the 1985 act, or for purposes of the budget submitted by the President or the congressional budget; (3) while the Congressional Budget Office asserts that for fiscal years after 1991 the provision applies to outlays for OASDI administrative expenses as well as to benefit payments, the Office of Management and Budget believes that the 1990 act's definition of the discretionary category requires that the outlays for OASDI administrative expenses be included in this category and has included those expenses in its calculations for purposes of the 1985 act; and (4) the net effect of proposed legislation would be to exempt OASDI administrative expenses from the constraints imposed by the 1990 act discretionary spending limits and the normal operations of the Congressional Budget Act, and make about $2.5 billion in outlays available annually for other domestic discretionary spending programs, which could potentially increase the deficit by that amount.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: H.R. 2898, which would require OMB to remove OASDI administrative expenses from BEA discretionary caps, was not enacted during the 102nd Congress. No new legislation has been introduced.

    Matter: Congress should allow the Office of Management and Budget to make the adjustment required by the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 so that discretionary savings are not eroded.


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