OMB Re-Scores FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations

May 19, 2017

The Office of Management and Budget on May 16 released its “seven-day-after” report estimating the budgetary impact of the just-enacted omnibus appropriations act for fiscal year 2017 (Public Law 115-31).

The official OMB score is required by law to determine whether or not total appropriations legislation enacted for the year exceeds the spending caps in the Budget Control Act and will thus require a new round of budgetary sequestration. (The estimates of the Congressional Budget Office, used by the Appropriations Committees to draft the bill, cannot be used for sequestration purposes, per the Supreme Court’s decision in Bowsher v. Synar.)

OMB determined that total 2017 appropriations for the defense category were $3 million over the BCA cap level (+.0005%) while total non-defense appropriations were $1.553 billion below the cap level (-0.3%). However, the appropriators took the possibility of rounding errors into account – section 7 of the omnibus bill provides for the cap levels to be amended in the event of an overage in either category due solely to scorekeeping differences if the total upwards adjustment does not exceed 0.2% – and $3 million out of $1.07 trillion is way, way less than 0.2 percent. Sequestration avoided.

The non-defense differences were once again due almost entirely to the Transportation-HUD subcommittee, where CBO estimated that offsetting receipts from Federal Housing Administration mortgage fees in 2017 will be $7.5 billion but OMB estimates they will be $9.1 billion.


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