United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: May 27, 2020

§ 907.
The baseline
In general

For any budget year, the baseline refers to a projection of current-year levels of new budget authority, outlays, revenues, and the surplus or deficit into the budget year and the outyears based on laws enacted through the applicable date.

Direct spending and receipts
For the budget year and each outyear, the baseline shall be calculated using the following assumptions:
In general

Laws providing or creating direct spending and receipts are assumed to operate in the manner specified in those laws for each such year and funding for entitlement authority is assumed to be adequate to make all payments required by those laws.

No program established by a law enacted on or before August 5, 1997
On the expiration of the suspension of a provision of law that is suspended under section 7301 of title 7 and that authorizes a program with estimated fiscal year outlays that are greater than $50,000,000, for purposes of clause (i), the program shall be assumed to continue to operate in the same manner as the program operated immediately before the expiration of the suspension.
The increase for veterans’ compensation for a fiscal year is assumed to be the same as that required by law for veterans’ pensions unless otherwise provided by law enacted in that session.
Excise taxes dedicated to a trust fund, if expiring, are assumed to be extended at current rates.
If any law expires before the budget year or any outyear, then any program with estimated current year outlays greater than $50,000,000 that operates under that law shall be assumed to continue to operate under that law as in effect immediately before its expiration.
Hospital Insurance Trust Fund

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the receipts and disbursements of the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund shall be included in all calculations required by this Act.

Discretionary appropriations
For the budget year and each outyear, the baseline shall be calculated using the following assumptions regarding all amounts other than those covered by subsection (b):
Inflation of current-year appropriations

Budgetary resources other than unobligated balances shall be at the level provided for the budget year in full-year appropriation Acts. If for any account a full-year appropriation has not yet been enacted, budgetary resources other than unobligated balances shall be at the level available in the current year, adjusted sequentially and cumulatively for expiring housing contracts as specified in paragraph (2), for social insurance administrative expenses as specified in paragraph (3), to offset pay absorption and for pay annualization as specified in paragraph (4), for inflation as specified in paragraph (5), and to account for changes required by law in the level of agency payments for personnel benefits other than pay.

Expiring housing contracts

New budget authority to renew expiring multiyear subsidized housing contracts shall be adjusted to reflect the difference in the number of such contracts that are scheduled to expire in that fiscal year and the number expiring in the current year, with the per-contract renewal cost equal to the average current-year cost of renewal contracts.

Social insurance administrative expenses

Budgetary resources for the administrative expenses of the following trust funds shall be adjusted by the percentage change in the beneficiary population from the current year to that fiscal year: the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, the Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund, the Unemployment Trust Fund, and the railroad retirement account.

Pay annualization; offset to pay absorption

Current-year new budget authority for Federal employees shall be adjusted to reflect the full 12-month costs (without absorption) of any pay adjustment that occurred in that fiscal year.


The inflator used in paragraph (1) to adjust budgetary resources relating to personnel shall be the percent by which the average of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Cost Index (wages and salaries, private industry workers) for that fiscal year differs from such index for the current year. The inflator used in paragraph (1) to adjust all other budgetary resources shall be the percent by which the average of the estimated gross domestic product chain-type price index for that fiscal year differs from the average of such estimated index for the current year.

Current-year appropriations

If, for any account, a continuing appropriation is in effect for less than the entire current year, then the current-year amount shall be assumed to equal the amount that would be available if that continuing appropriation covered the entire fiscal year. If law permits the transfer of budget authority among budget accounts in the current year, the current-year level for an account shall reflect transfers accomplished by the submission of, or assumed for the current year in, the President’s original budget for the budget year.

Up-to-date concepts

In deriving the baseline for any budget year or outyear, current-year amounts shall be calculated using the concepts and definitions that are required for that budget year.

Asset sales

Amounts realized from the sale of an asset shall not be included in estimates under section 901, 902, or 903 of this title if that sale would result in a financial cost to the Federal Government as determined pursuant to scorekeeping guidelines.

(Pub. L. 99–177, title II, § 257, formerly §§ 251(a)(6)(I), 257, Dec. 12, 1985, 99 Stat. 1092; Pub. L. 100–119, title I, §§ 102(a), (b)(4)–(8), 104(c)(2), 106(b), Sept. 29, 1987, 101 Stat. 754, 773, 774, 777, 780; renumbered § 257 and amended Pub. L. 101–508, title XIII, § 13101(b), (e)(1), (2), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–589, 1388–591, 1388–593; Pub. L. 105–33, title X, § 10209(a), Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 710; Pub. L. 113–67, div. A, title I, § 121(9), Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 1175.)
cite as: 2 USC 907