U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., introduced an amendment to prohibit the use of a budget gimmick to exceed spending limits. Corker's amendment (S.A. 295) prohibits certain so-called "ChiMPS" (changes in mandatory program spending).
"The Budget Control Act established discretionary spending caps that we've all committed to living within, and yet we are still using budget gimmicks to get around them. One of these gimmicks involves using a scoring loophole that allows us to use money that will not be spent in a mandatory program as an offset for spending that will occur in a discretionary program--without having to call it new spending. In the last two years alone, this gimmick has allowed Congress to spend $35 billion more than would have otherwise been allowed by the Budget Control Act. My amendment would make sure that only mandatory changes that actually save money can be used to offset increased discretionary spending. Ultimately, my amendment makes it harder for legislators to use budget gimmicks to exceed spending limits," stated Corker.
Not all ChiMPS are budgetary gimmicks, and some actually save money to offset discretionary spending. Corker's amendment solely prevents ChiMPS that do not reduce outlays in the current year, budget year and over the ten year window from scoring as negative budget authority.