S. 2000, U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

S. 2000 would authorize appropriations of $134 million over the 2022-2026 period for defense-related assistance to Greece. Using historical spending rates for those programs, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost a total of $62 million over that period, subject to appropriation of the specified amounts. The remainder would be spent after 2026.

The bill would authorize $125 million ($25 million each year) in assistance to Greece through the European Recapitalization Incentive Program, a Department of State program that supports the efforts of European partners and allies to adopt U.S. defense equipment and training while transitioning away from Russian (or Soviet legacy) military articles.

S. 2000 also would authorize $9 million ($1.8 million each year) for International Military Education and Training (IMET) assistance for Greece. IMET is a Department of State led program executed by the Department of Defense that seeks to improve military-to-military relations and defense cooperation.

Finally, the bill would require the Department of Defense to report annually to the Congress on Greece’s defense needs and on transfers of excess military equipment from the United States to Greece. On the basis of information about the costs to prepare similar reports, CBO estimates that satisfying those requirements would cost less than $500,000 over the 2021‑2026 period. Such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

The costs of the legislation, detailed in Table 1, fall within budget function 150 (international affairs).

S. 1041, Reinforcing Nicaragua’s Adherence to Conditions for Electoral Reform Act of 2021

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

S. 1041 would require the Department of State to assess and report to the Congress on efforts to use targeted sanctions and diplomacy to promote free, fair, and transparent elections in Nicaragua, and to coordinate the department’s efforts with U.S. allies. The bill also would require the department to report to the Congress on several related issues, including cooperation between Nicaragua and Russia on military, intelligence, and other matters. Finally, S. 1041 would require the Department of the Treasury to increase its scrutiny of assistance provided to Nicaragua by international financial institutions and to report to the Congress on its actions.

On the basis of information about the costs to prepare similar reports, CBO estimates that satisfying those various reporting requirements would cost less than $500,000 each year and total $1 million over the 2021-2026 period. Such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

The bill would require the President to evaluate whether to impose sanctions on foreign persons who may be engaging in corruption or undermining democracy in Nicaragua. It also would require the Department of State to assess whether Nicaragua has made significant purchases of Russian equipment, infrastructure, or technology for its military or intelligence sector, and to impose sanctions if it did.

H.R. 1619, Catawba Indian Nation Lands Act

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 1619 would affirm the status of approximately 17 acres of land in North Carolina that were taken into trust in 2020 by the Department of the Interior (DOI)for the benefit of the Catawba Indian Nation. The bill also would make gaming activities conducted on that land subject to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Using information provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, CBO estimates that the administrative costs to implement H.R. 1619 would not be significant; any spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

H.R. 1619 would impose an intergovernmental mandate as defined by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Cherokee Nation, by restricting their existing right of action to pursue a case against DOI under the Administrative Procedures Act. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is challenging how the DOI applied its procedures to transfer land into trust for the Catawba Indian Tribe. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia denied the challenge motion, but the case is currently before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals – D.C. Circuit. There are no costs associated with the mandate because there is no loss to be made whole by compensatory damages to the plaintiffs in the court of appeals.

H.R. 1619 does not contain private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.

H.R. 3599, Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act of 2021

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 3599 would direct the Office of Personnel Management to create policies and procedures to allow federal cybersecurity professionals to temporarily work for another agency for up to one year. That requirement would expire five years following enactment. In addition, the bill would require the Government Accountability Office to report to the Congress on the effectiveness of the rotational program.

CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3599 would cost less than $500,000 over the 2021‑2026 period to issue regulations, train staff, and prepare the required report. Such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriations. For this estimate, CBO assumes that the bill will be enacted in fiscal year 2021. Under that assumption, agencies could incur some costs in 2021, but CBO expects that most of the costs would be incurred in 2022 and later.

Enacting H.R. 3599 could affect direct spending by some agencies that can use fees, receipts from the sale of goods, and other collections to cover operating costs. Because most of those agencies can adjust amounts collected to reflect changes in operating costs, any net changes in direct spending by those agencies would be negligible, CBO estimates.

Additional Information About the Updated Budget and Economic Outlook: 2021 to 2031

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

The Congressional Budget Office regularly publishes its baseline projections of what the federal budget and the economy would look like in the current year and over the next 10 years if current laws governing taxes and spending generally remained unchanged. This report provides additional detail about the agency’s latest baseline projections, which were published earlier this month.

The Budget

CBO projects a federal budget deficit of $3.0 trillion in 2021 as the economic disruption caused by the 2020–2021 coronavirus pandemic and the legislation enacted in response continue to boost the deficit (which was large by historical standards even before the pandemic). At 13.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the deficit in 2021 would be the second largest since 1945, exceeded only by the 14.9 percent shortfall recorded last year.

In CBO’s projections, deficits fall over the next few years as pandemic-related spending wanes. They increase in most years thereafter—boosted by rising interest costs and greater spending for entitlement programs—and reach 5.5 percent of GDP in 2031. (Revenues remain largely stable relative to GDP over the projection period.)

Interactive

With such deficits, federal debt held by the public totals 103 percent of GDP at the end of 2021 in CBO’s projections. Debt then falls modestly through 2024 and rises thereafter, reaching 106 percent of GDP in 2031—about equal to its previous peak, recorded in 1946.

Interactive

Changes in CBO’s Budget Projections Since February 2021

Compared with the baseline projections that CBO published in February 2021, the agency’s estimate of the deficit for this year is now $0.7 trillion (or 33 percent) larger, and its current projection of the cumulative deficit for the 2022–2031 period, $12.1 trillion, is $0.2 trillion (or 1 percent) smaller. In 2021, the costs of recently enacted legislation are partly offset by the effects of a stronger economy and technical changes (changes that are neither legislative nor economic). In later years, technical changes that reduce projected deficits more than offset the effects of recently enacted legislation and revisions to the economic forecast.

The Economy

As the pandemic eases and demand for consumer services surges, real (inflation-adjusted) GDP in CBO’s projections grows by 7.4 percent this year and surpasses its potential (maximum sustainable) level by the end of the year. Annual output growth averages 2.8 percent from 2021 to 2025, exceeding the 2.0 percent growth rate of real potential GDP. Over the 2026–2031 period, real GDP growth averages 1.6 percent annually.

Employment grows quickly in the second half of 2021 in CBO’s projections and surpasses its prepandemic level in mid-2022. Inflation rises in 2021 to its highest rate since 2008 as increases in the supply of goods and services lag behind increases in the demand for them. By 2022, supply adjusts more quickly, and inflation falls but remains above its prepandemic rate through 2025. As the economy continues to expand over the forecast period, the interest rate on 10-year Treasury notes rises, reaching 2.7 percent in 2025 and 3.5 percent in 2031—still low by historical standards.

Changes in CBO’s Economic Projections Since February 2021

CBO now projects stronger economic growth than it projected in February 2021 because of recently enacted legislation, the diminishing effects of social distancing, and increased consumer spending. As a result, the agency’s projections of inflation and interest rates are now higher than they were in February.

Federal Debt and the Statutory Limit, July 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. Currently, there is no statutory limit on the issuance of new federal debt because the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 (Public Law 116-37), enacted in August 2019, suspended the limit through July 31, 2021. On August 1, 2021, the debt limit will be reset to the previous ceiling of $22.0 trillion, plus the cumulative borrowing that occurred during the period of suspension. Unless additional legislation either extends the suspension or increases the limit, existing statutes will allow the Treasury to declare a “debt issuance suspension period” and to take “extraordinary measures” to borrow additional funds for a period of time without breaching the debt ceiling.

The Treasury’s cash balance and those extraordinary measures would enable it to continue financing the government’s activities for a while. However, if the debt limit remained unchanged, the ability to borrow using those measures would ultimately be exhausted, and the Treasury would probably run out of cash sometime in the first quarter of the next fiscal year (which begins on October 1, 2021), most likely in October or November, the Congressional Budget Office estimates. If that occurred, the government would be unable to pay its obligations fully, and it would delay making payments for its activities, default on its debt obligations, or both.

The timing and size of revenue collections and outlays over the coming months could differ noticeably from CBO’s projections. Therefore, the extraordinary measures could be exhausted, and the Treasury could run out of cash, either earlier or later than CBO projects.

S. 1917, K-12 Cybersecurity Act of 2021

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

S. 1917 would require the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to study cybersecurity challenges that are unique to primary and secondary schools, such as safeguarding student records and securing remote-learning technology. The bill also would require CISA to make available on a public website its recommendations on how schools can mitigate cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities.

On the basis of information from CISA about the costs of similar activities, CBO estimates that staff salaries and other expenses to produce the required study and recommendations would be less than $500,000 over the 2021-2026 period. Such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriations.

For this estimate, CBO assumes that the bill will be enacted in fiscal year 2021. Under that assumption, CISA could incur some costs in 2021, but CBO expects that most of the costs would be incurred in 2022 and later.

CBO’s Estimate of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Effects of the Rules Committee Print of H.R. 2467, PFAS Action Act of 2021, as amended by the Pallone Amendment #7

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 2467 would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) within one year of enactment and to consider designating other PFAS substances within five years.

CBO’s Estimate of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Effects of H.R. 2668, the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 2668 would restore the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) authority to obtain monetary relief through restitution or disgorgement. When the FTC cannot return that relief to harmed consumers, the money is remitted to the Treasury as revenues. Using information from the FTC on the amount of revenues remitted to the Treasury prior to the decision in AMG Capital Management, LLC v. FTC., CBO estimates those additional revenues would total about $4 million per year. Because the collection of those amounts would reduce the base of income and payroll taxes, that authority would lead to reductions in revenues from income and payroll taxes. As a result, the gross collections under the bill would be partially offset by a loss of receipts. On that basis, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2668 would increase net revenues by $29 million over the 2021-2031 period.

Legislation considered under suspension of the Rules of the House of Representatives during the week of July 19, 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 July 19, 2021, include:

  • H.Res. 277 , Reaffirming the commitment of the House of Representatives to media diversity and pledging to work with media entities and diverse stakeholders to develop common ground solutions to eliminate barriers to media diversity
  • H.Res. 294 , Encouraging reunions of divided Korean-American families
  • H.R. 678 , PHONE Act
  • H.R. 826 , Divided Families Reunification Act
  • H.R. 1036, Bassam Barabandi Rewards for Justice Act
  • H.R. 1079, Desert Locust Control Act
  • H.R. 1158 , Refugee Sanitation Facility Safety Act of 2021
  • H.R. 1250 , Emergency Reporting Act
  • H.R. 1754 , MEDIA Diversity Act of 2021
  • H.R. 1833 , DHS Industrial Control Systems Capabilities Enhancement Act of 2021, as amended
  • H.R. 1850 , Supporting Research and Development for First Responders Act
  • H.R. 1870 , Strengthening Local Transportation Security Capabilities Act of 2021, as amended
  • H.R. 1871 , Transportation Security Transparency Improvement Act
  • H.R. 1877 , Security Screening During COVID-19 Act, as amended
  • H.R. 1893 , Transportation Security Preparedness Act of 2021
  • H.R. 1895 , Transportation Security Public Health Threat Preparedness Act of 2021
  • H.R. 2118 , Securing America From Epidemics Act
  • H.R. 2795 , DHS Blue Campaign Enhancement Act, as amended
  • H.R. 2928 , Cyber Sense Act of 2020
  • H.R. 2931 , Enhancing Grid Security through Public-Private Partnerships Act
  • H.R. 2980 , Cybersecurity Vulnerability Remediation Act, as amended
  • H.R. 3003 , Promoting United States Wireless Leadership Act of 2021
  • H.R. 3119 , Energy Emergency Leadership Act
  • H.R. 3138 , State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act, as amended
  • H.R. 3223 , CISA Cyber Exercise Act
  • H.R. 3263 , DHS Medical Countermeasures Act
  • H.R. 3264 , Domains Critical to Homeland Security Act