Budget Control Act of 2011 Passes Senate, Made Law

S. 365, the Budget Control Act of 2011, passed both Houses of Congress and was signed by the President in three days. The bill provides for a number of budgetary issues, mainly the following: it places an upper limit on discretionary spending for the years 2012 – 2021, beginning with $1.043 trillion for 2012, rising to $1.234 trillion in 2021. There are a number of spending exceptions to these limits, among which are highways, defense, and disaster relief. S. 365 also requires both the Senate and the House to vote on passage of a joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, authorizes the Treasury to borrow an additional $900 billion above the $14.294 trillion already authorized, and establishes a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

The votes for the bill were mixed in both houses, with 66 Republican House members voting against it, 95 Democrat House members voting for it, and in the Senate, seven Democrats joined 19 Republicans against the measure.


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