Points of Order

The following overview is based on excerpts from Points of Order in the Congressional Budget Process, 97-865, last updated Oct. 20, 2015 by CRS:

  • The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (Titles I-IX of P.L. 93-344, as amended) created a process
    that Congress uses each year to establish and enforce aggregate levels for Federal spending and revenues,  and enforce spending allocations to congressional committees.
  • Enforcement of budgetary decisions can be accomplished through the use of points of order, and
    through the budget reconciliation process.
  • Points of order are prohibitions against legislation or congressional actions that may violate budget resolution spending and revenue levels.
  • However, the prohibitions are not self-executing;  the prohibitions are enforced only when a Member raises a point of order against legislation that may violate the budget resolution levels or other rules.
  • Following are points of order currently in effect under the Congressional Budget Act
    of 1974, as amended, as well as related points of order established in budget resolutions for fiscal years 2015 and 2009, and other other measures including the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-508), and the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-139).
  • These provisions have been adopted pursuant to the constitutional authority of each chamber to
    determine its rules of proceeding.

Click here for tables displaying the points of order.