October 30, 2014

Experts Suggest Budget Process Reforms

  • The federal budget process is a mixture of rules, timelines and norms that work together to influence policy decisions. It shapes how the...

Wednesday was the 40th anniversary of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act, the law that created the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the modern budget process.

The Bipartisan Policy Center marked the occasion last week with two panel discussions featuring former budget committee chairmen and CBO directors. There was a consensus that while partisan politics had “broken” the budget process in recent years, the law should be revised rather than repealed altogether.

Panelists agreed that the law’s budget deadlines -- even if not strictly adhered to -- force lawmakers and presidents to consider aggregate tax and spending levels. The panelists also suggested reforms like biennial budgeting and mechanisms for addressing entitlement spending.