Budget Counsel Reference Directory

Budget Process Reform

The phrase budget process reform encompasses a broad swath of changes to the current system by which Congress proposes, considers, and adapts the laws and rules of the law related to the budget of the Federal Government.

Congressional Budget Restoration Act

Everyone and his uncle Bobby Big Daddy Byrd has a budget reform proposal, but there are very few comprehensive budget proposals. When the term “comprehensive” is used in this context, it very often just means throwing a bunch of stuff from a list of other stuff to generate a really big pile of stuff, all of which is, by the very magnitude of the stuff in it, “comprehensive”. Actually, there is a more specific, more effective definition of what a broad budget reform should be, and one which merits more than will be put down here. A link to come (maybe).

For now, the makings of what a comprehensive proposal might look like occupies space here. It was started by the then Chief Counsel of the House Budget Committee some years ago, and is in a state of confusion (better than D.C., which is not a state at all).

At the time, the powers that were (they’re all gone now), unclear what they wanted and when they wanted it was always just about the time but never quite the right time …

For cross reference purposes in drafting the skeleton, a placeholder name was necessary and hence the “Congressional Budget Restoration Act” was born as a name since it is in name only. The notion would be to combine all the existing budget laws and reconstruct them into a new law.


Budget Process Reform Legislation

In the 112th Congress, a series of bills intended to reform the budget process were introduced, and certain ones reported by the House Budget Committee. All from the 112th Congress:

H.R.3521 – Expedited Line Item Veto and Rescissions Act of 2012
H.R. 3575 – Legally Binding Budget Act of 2011
H.R.3576 – Spending Control Act of 2011
H.R.3577 – Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight of 2011
H.R. 3578 – Baseline Reform Act of 2012
H.R. 3579 – Review Every Dollar Act of 2011
H.R. 3580 – Balancing Our Obligations for the Long-Term Act of 2011
H.R. 3581 – Budget and Accounting Transparency Act of 2012
H.R. 3582 – Pro-Growth Budgeting Act of 2012
H.R. 3583 – Government Shutdown Prevention Act of 2011

Budget Process Reform Proposals

Federal Capital Revolving Fund

FCRF – Legislative Text, with Transmittal Letter to Congress (pdf)
FCRF – Legislative Text (BCR)


House Budget Committee  – Introduction to the Budget Process (Briefing Book) September 2011

Deschler’s Precedents on Budget Process Reform

The Congressional Budget Process: 1974-1993

The Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform Committee


§008. Budget Process Law Annotated


§010. Budget Resolutions

[BCR §009]