This bill would give all expired and unauthorized federal programs that still receive funding three years to close up shop. During those three years, funding for those programs would be cut substantially over the following two years.
If the unauthorized program or agency is reauthorized at any point during the three years after this bill’s enactment, funding reductions and sunset clauses would be lifted and the program could operate at full funding.
The three-year path to the end of all programs that are unauthorized (or "zombie" programs, as this bill calls them) would be triggered as soon as this legislation is enacted. All reauthorizations would have to include a sunset clause. During the first year, zombie programs would face a 10 percent funding reduction (aka sequester) and receive only 90 percent of the funding they were allocated in the program’s original expiration year. In the second and third years the sequester would rise to 15 percent, before the program’s final expiration at the end of the third year.
A Spending Accountability Commission (SAC) would be created and charged with:
- Making a full authorization schedule of all discretionary programs and agencies;
- Reviewing mandatory spending programs;
- And determining mandatory spending cuts.
SAC could propose a new sequester (or funding cut) schedule to Congress for consideration. In order to override a sequester, the SAC would have to report mandatory cuts in an equal amount that Congress could then consider enacting.