July 9, 2014

Q&A: 40th Anniversary of the Congressional Budget Act

This Saturday (July 12th) marks the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974. Along with creating the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the House and Senate budget committees, this important piece of legislation established the federal budget process still in use today.

To mark the milestone, PGPF has prepared a Q&A document highlighting the history and key features of the Congressional Budget Act. Among the highlights:

Has the Congressional Budget Act been effective in improving the budget process?

Outcomes have been mixed. While the Congressional Budget Act established a systematic framework for the Congress to develop budgets, it also shifted more power to an increasingly gridlocked and partisan Congress, where special interests can have outsized influence... The Congress has produced budget resolutions on time only 6 times in the past 40 years, most recently in 2003. Moreover, since 1974, the Congress has failed to adopt budget resolutions 9 times — all since 1999. In fact, the Congress has failed to adopt a budget resolution in the last 5 years.

The Q&A also explores potential reforms for the federal budget process. Click here for the full document.

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