Budget Committee Releases Working Paper on Making Budget Enforcement More Effective

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Budget Committee released its fourth in a series of working papers focused on the Committee’s effort to overhaul the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and reform the congressional budget process. The paper follows a hearing the Committee held on June 22nd that examined how Congress can more effectively enforce the budget.

The working paper focuses on four main themes:

  • The Importance of Budget Enforcement
  • Pre-1974 Federal Budgeting
  • Basic Flaws in Current Practices and Potential Remedies
  • Other Enforcement Models

In its opening, the paper notes that budget enforcement is essential and critically important to Congress’s constitutional authority:

“A budget lacking enforcement is not a budget at all, and this dilutes Congress’s constitutional ‘power of the purse.’ The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 has several enforcement provisions, and Congress has adopted additional rules and statutes over the years to enforce budgetary goals. Most of these have failed, however, due to poor design or because they can easily be waived or circumvented. The result has been a cluster of ineffective budgetary rules that only make the budget process more complicated. The necessity of developing better budget rules is clearly evident. Enforcement regimes can be strengthened by streamlining rules, plugging loopholes, and changing defaults and incentives.”


To learn more about the House Budget Committee’s efforts to reform the congressional budget process, visit budget.house.gov/BudgetProcessReform.

Previous budget process reform working papers: