Budget Counsel Reference Directory

Budget Enforcement

Enforcing Budgetary Policy Levels.—A difficult, perhaps the most difficult, aspect of Congressional budgeting is much like any other budget: Making people stick to it. “Enforcement” in a Congressional Budget process means enforcing the rules, enforcing the law, and enforcing the ethical nature of the process. The rules take the form of points of order, the laws take the form of automatic spending cuts (sequestration), and the the ethical form is the respect for the institution of the Congress and the Nation. Doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. 

Excerpt from a history of the Committee on the Budget, United States Senate, 1974-2006:

Ms. McGuire: One of the biggest victories in the early days for Chairman Muskie was that he took on the aviation bill for excessive spending. Everyone thought that he was nuts to go down to the floor and make the budget arguments. He decided that he needed to go down and say, ‘‘This is outside the budget resolution, and we need to re-think this bill.’’ He actually won on one of the points of order, which was a huge boost of morale to the Budget Committee because it was hard to get these other committees to change their ways.

Committee on the Budget, United States Senate, 1974–2006; S. Doc. 109–24, Washington D.C. 20515, GPO, p. 81.  Carole McGuire was Deputy Staff Director and Director of Appropriations, 1995–2002.

Enforcement Provisions in H. Con. Res. 64 (103rd Congress)


§006. Biennial Budgeting


§008. Budget Process Law Annotated

[BCR §007]