Budget Counsel Reference
Budget Process Law Annotated (1993)
Introduction and Explanatory Notes
This is an addendum to the Budget Process Law Annotated (BPLA) published in 1993, and as such is not a comprehensive annotated supplement nor does does it include significant updated analytic or explanatory notes applying to the years since that year. Though it has been more than 25 years, the BPLA remains an essential reference resource for anyone with a serious interest in the Congressional Budget process.
With the collapse of the Congressional budget process, the accomplishment of this document may seem irrelevant, but it is not: Congressional budgeting is inherent in the functions of the federal form of American government, and hence its current hiatus is simply that. Ultimately, a reemergence of the importance of budget law will occur, as will the obvious importance of this document. Even so, the BPLA is a major historical source for an understanding of where the U.S. has been in its development as a Constitutional republic.
Since the Congressional Budget process is essential to understanding the overall legislative process, the claim that the BPLA is also an essential Congressional document is not exaggeration nor any other form of hyperbole.
This BPLA Companion is largely a verbatim reproduction of the BPLA, though it adds some footnotes where it may be helpful. Though limited, it is in other ways a recension of the original BPLA since it has been reformatted, though the pagination is indicated and the Notes retain the same numbers. The edits that have been made are largely very minor: In certain places, commas that originally were placed inside quotation marks have been placed outside when they refer to a definition, since the comma itself is not part of the term being defined. Also, the reference to “Gramm-Rudman-Hollings” has largely been replaced by “Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985” since that colloquialism has largely fallen out of use in budgetary discussions. In certain places, the style references to Conference Reports or Public Laws has been slightly altered, such as public laws being referred to as “Pub. L.” rather than “Pub. L. No.”
No edit has been made to change anything of any substance since that would defeat the entire purpose of preparing this volume: To make an essential document available in yet another venue for the both those working for Congress and those simply interested in the workings of the legislative branch of the United States Government.