Budget Committee Releases Working Paper on Alternative Approaches to the Federal Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Budget Committee released its fifth 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 July 6th that examined what sort of alternative budget approach or approaches could better serve the goal of fiscal responsibility and a more effective, efficient, and accountable government.

The working paper focuses on four main examples:

·         Performance-Based Budgeting

·         Portfolio Budgeting

·         Capital Budgeting

·         Zero-Based Budgeting

In its opening, the paper notes that the current budget process contains a number of flaws that make it inadequate at serving the American people:

“The Federal budget today is viewed principally on a cash basis that measures priorities mainly by how much Congress spends on them in the present. It does not contain a systematic means of applying measures of program and agency performance to budgetary decisions. It does not comprehensively evaluate the full range of policies employed to achieve national goals. It does not distinguish between spending for immediate consumption and spending with longer-term benefits. Its process begins by assuming the legitimacy of the previous year’s spending levels rather than forcing Congress to justify programs in each budget cycle.”


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:

·         Reclaiming Constitutional Authority Through the “Power of the Purse” (8/2/2016)

·         The Need to Control Automatic Spending and Unauthorized Programs (8/9/2016)

·         The Need for Fiscal Goals (8/16/2016)

·         Making Budget Enforcement More Effective (8/23/2016)