The Congressional Budget Office estimates a proposed Senate bill that wouldÂ make some changes to the State Department‘s operations could trigger a $6.5 billion increase in direct spending from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal 2021.
CBO said Wednesday theÂ Department of State Authorization ActÂ (S. 2937) would allow theÂ department to retain itsÂ passport and visa applications processing service fees as well as useÂ the surcharges it collects to facilitate consular activitiesÂ up to two years without further appropriation action.
The department spentÂ more than $3.4 billion in consular fees collected during fiscal 2015 onÂ consular, border security and information technologyÂ programs andÂ remittedÂ about $0.8 billion to the Treasury, according to CBO.
The bill also contains provisions that seek to expandÂ the purposes for which the state can spend registration fees for defense-related items from manufacturers and exporters as well as extend the Fishermenâs Protection Fund through 2018.
CBO added the implementation of the billÂ would reduce the State Department’s net discretionary costs by nearlyÂ $50 million duringÂ the next five fiscal years.
The agency also estimates the bill would increaseÂ net direct spending and on-budget deficits byÂ more than $5 billion overÂ four consecutive 10-year periods from fiscalÂ 2027.