H.R. 1908, Ka‘ena Point National Heritage Area Act

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 1908 would direct the National Park Service (NPS) to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating Honolulu County on the island of O‘ahu as the Ka‘ena Point National Heritage Area. Under the bill, the NPS would conduct a study in consultation with Hawai’i and other local organizations and report their findings to the Congress.

Using information from the NPS, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1908 would cost less than $500,000 over the 2022-2026 period; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

H.R. 3095, Fair and Open Skies Act

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 3095 would amend the criteria that the Department of Transportation (DOT) must consider when processing permit applications for foreign air carriers to provide foreign air transportation in the United States. Specifically, the bill would prohibit DOT from issuing new permits to foreign air carriers unless the carrier adheres to labor standards reflected in the guidelines to the United States-European Union Air Transport Agreement of April 2007 (as amended).

H.R. 3095 would increase DOT’s administrative costs related to processing and reviewing permit applications. The bill also could affect DOT’s collections of permit filing fees if the legislation caused certain foreign air carriers to not apply for permits. However, most filing fees, which are treated as discretionary offsetting collections, are waived under current law as part of international agreements with approximately 80 countries. Using information from DOT, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3095 would cost about $2 million over the 2022‑2026 period; any spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

H.R. 3616, Bear River National Heritage Area Study Act

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 3616 would direct the National Park Service (NPS) to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating areas in Utah and Idaho as the Bear River National Heritage Area. Under the act, the NPS would conduct a study in consultation with state, local, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations and report their findings to the Congress.

Using information from the NPS, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3616 would cost less than $500,000 over the 2022-2026 period; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

H.R. 4785, Uyghur Policy Act of 2021

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 4785 would authorize the appropriation of $250,000 each year over the 2022-2024 period for the Department of State’s U.S. Speaker Program. Under that program the department would send experts to speak at international forums and to advocate for the human rights and freedoms of Uyghurs and other persecuted minorities in China. The bill also would authorize the department to appoint a special coordinator to manage federal policies and programs affecting Uyghurs. Finally, H.R. 4785 would require the department to offer Uyghur language training to Foreign Service officers and to assign Uyghur-speaking officers to U.S. diplomatic missions in China. Implementing the bill would cost $5 million over the 2022-2026 period, CBO estimates; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

H.R. 5151, Col. James Floyd Turner IV U.S.M.C. GI Bill Transfer Act of 2021

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 5151 would make changes to two education benefit programs that are managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Enacting the bill would increase direct spending by $3 million over the 2022-2031 period, CBO estimates.

Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, VA pays for tuition, housing, and other expenses for up to 36 months for beneficiaries pursuing approved education or training programs. Service members who complete at least six years of active duty and agree to perform another four years can typically transfer all or a portion of their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to their dependents. Those dependents must be designated to receive transferred benefits before service members are discharged from the armed forces. That designation is typically made by service members initially transferring at least one month of benefits to each dependent.

Federal Debt and the Statutory Limit, November 2021

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

The debt limit—commonly called the debt ceiling—is the maximum amount of debt that the Department of the Treasury can issue to the public or to other federal agencies. The amount is set by law and has been increased over the years to finance the government’s operations. On October 14, 2021, lawmakers raised the debt limit by $480 billion to a total of $28.9 trillion. On October 18, the Treasury announced a continuation of the “debt issuance suspension period” during which, under current law, it could take “extraordinary measures” to borrow additional funds without breaching the debt ceiling. (The debt issuance suspension period began on August 1, 2021.)

The Treasury has already reached the new debt limit of $28.9 trillion, so it currently has no room to borrow under its standard operating procedures, other than to replace maturing debt. To avoid breaching the limit, the Treasury is using the extraordinary measures that allow it to continue to borrow additional amounts for a limited time.

How long those extraordinary measures last will be heavily influenced by transactions scheduled over the coming weeks. For example, the Treasury has announced that it will implement a provision of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Public Law 117-58) by transferring $118 billion to the Highway Trust Fund on December 15.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that, if the debt limit remained unchanged and if the Treasury made that transfer in full, the government’s ability to borrow using extraordinary measures would be exhausted soon after it made the transfer. In that case, the Treasury would most likely run out of cash before the end of December. If that occurred, the government would be unable to pay its obligations fully, and it would delay making payments for some activities, default on its debt obligations, or both.

The Secretary of the Treasury may have the authority to defer all or part of the transfer to the Highway Trust Fund. If payments were made to the Highway Trust Fund only in the amounts needed for immediate use, the government would be able to pay its obligations for a few weeks longer than it would if the payments were made in full—until sometime in January.

The timing and amount of revenue collections and outlays over the next few weeks are especially uncertain, given the magnitude of outlays related to the 2020–2021 coronavirus pandemic, and could differ from CBO’s projections. Therefore, the extraordinary measures could be exhausted, and the Treasury could run out of cash, earlier or later than CBO projects.

Legislation considered under suspension of the Rules of the House of Representatives during the week of November 29, 2021

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives announces bills that will be considered under suspension of the rules in that chamber. Under suspension, floor debate is limited, all floor amendments are prohibited, points of order against the bill are waived, and final passage requires a two-thirds majority vote.

At the request of the Majority Leader and the House Committee on the Budget, CBO estimates the effects of those bills on direct spending and revenues. CBO has limited time to review the legislation before consideration. Although it is possible in most cases to determine whether the legislation would affect direct spending or revenues, time may be insufficient to estimate the magnitude of those effects. If CBO has prepared estimates for similar or identical legislation, a more detailed assessment of budgetary effects, including effects on spending subject to appropriation, may be included.

CBO’s estimates of all the bills scheduled to be considered under suspension of the rules during the week of November 29, 2021, include:

  • H.R. 550, Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2021, as amended
  • H.R. 897, Agua Caliente Land Exchange Fee to Trust Confirmation Act
  • H.R. 951, Maternal Vaccination Act, as amended
  • H.R. 1550, PREVENT HPV Cancers Act of 2021, as amended  
  • H.R. 2074, Indian Buffalo Management Act  
  • H.R. 2355, Opioid Prescription Verification Act of 2021, as amended  
  • H.R. 2364, Synthetic Opioid Danger Awareness Act, as amended  
  • H.R. 2685, Understanding Cybersecurity of Mobile Networks Act, as amended
  • H.R. 2930, STOP Act  
  • H.R. 3531, Women Who Worked on the Home Front World War II Memorial Act  
  • H.R. 3743, Supporting the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health and the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration Act  
  • H.R. 3894, CARING for Social Determinants Act of 2021, as amended  
  • H.R. 4026, Social Determinants of Health Data Analysis Act of 2021  
  • H.R. 4045, FUTURE Networks Act, as amended
  • H.R. 4055, American Cybersecurity Literacy Act, as amended  
  • H.R. 4352, To amend the Act of June 18, 1934, to reaffirm the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian Tribes, and for other purposes  
  • H.R. 4706, Blackwell School National Historic Site Act  
  • H.R. 5677, To make technical amendments to update statutory references to certain provisions classified to title 2, United States Code, title 50, United States Code, and title 52, United States Code  
  • H.R. 5679, To make technical amendments to update statutory references to certain provisions classified to title 7, title 20, and title 43, United States Code
  • H.R. 5695, To make technical amendments to update statutory references to certain provisions which were formerly classified to chapters 14 and 19 of title 25, United States Code  
  • H.R. 5705, To make technical amendments to update statutory references to provisions reclassified to title 34, United States Code  
  • H.R. 5720, Courthouse Ethics and Transparency Act of 2021, as amended
  • H.R. 5961, To make revisions in title 5, United States Code, as necessary to keep the title current, and to make technical amendments to improve the United States Code  
  • H.R. 5982, To make revisions in title 51, United States Code, as necessary to keep the title current, and to make technical amendments to improve the United States Code  

H.R. 4374, Broadband Internet Connections for Rural America Act

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 4374 would establish or reauthorize programs administered by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to increase broadband connectivity in rural areas and would authorize the appropriation of specific annual amounts over the 2022-2029 period. Because specific amounts are already authorized for most of the programs, this cost estimate accounts for the difference between the amounts specified in the bill and those authorized under current law.

On net, H.R. 4374 would authorize the appropriation of about $42.3 billion. Using historical spending patterns for similar activities and information provided by USDA, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 4374 would cost $9.0 billion over the 2022-2026 period, $33.5 billion over the 2022-2031 period and $7.0 billion after 2031, assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts.

The costs of the legislation, detailed in Table 1, fall within budget function 450 (community and regional development).

H.R. 4590, Promoting New and Diverse Depository Institutions Act

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 4590 would direct the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporate (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Reserve to study the challenges faced by new depository institutions seeking a charter. Those banking regulators also would be required to jointly issue a strategic plan to increase the number of entities applying for new depository institution charters.

The operating costs for the CFPB, FDIC, NCUA, and OCC are classified in the federal budget as direct spending. Using information from some of those agencies, CBO estimates that each agency would require about two employees to complete the bill’s requirements over a two-year period, increasing gross direct spending by $4 million over the 2022-2031 period. However, the NCUA and the OCC collect fees from financial institutions to offset their operating costs; those fees are treated as reductions in direct spending. Thus, on net, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would increase direct spending by $2 million over the same period.

Costs incurred by the Federal Reserve reduce remittances to the Treasury, which are recorded in the budget as revenues. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4590 would decrease revenues by $1 million over the 2022-2031 period.

S. 1402, Durbin Feeling Native American Languages Act of 2021

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

S. 1402 would require the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a survey every five years on the use of Native American languages in the United States. The bill would authorize the appropriation of $1.5 million in each survey year and in each year prior to the survey. The bill also would require federal agencies, including the Departments of the Interior, Education, and Health and Human Services, to consult with Indian tribes to evaluate their policies and procedures regarding Native American languages. Within a year, those agencies would need to report to the Congress with legislative recommendations.

For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 1402 will be enacted before the end of calendar year 2021. Based on the timeline specified in the bill, CBO expects that the first survey on Native American languages would be conducted in 2023. CBO estimates that implementing that requirement would cost $3 million over the 2022-2026 period, assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts.

CBO estimates that implementing the requirements for various agencies to evaluate their policies and procedures regarding Native American languages would cost about $300,000 over the 2022-2026 period.

The costs of the legislation, detailed in Table 1, fall within budget functions 450 (community and regional development) and 500 (education, training, employment, and social services).