Cyclopedia

Joint Committee on the Legislative Budget 

Summary

The Joint Committee on the Legislative Budget was an early attempt to establish a Budget Committee, which was created by the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (Pub. L. 79-601). It was discontinued after 1949.


Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946

Joint Committee on the Legislative Budget

The joint committee was created in  by section 138 of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946. The text of the provision is as follows:

LEGISLATIVE BUDGET

Sec. 138. (a) Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, and the the Committee on Finance and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, or duly authorized subcommittees thereof, are authorized and directed to meet jointly at the beginning of each regular session of Congress and after study and consultation, giving due consideration to the budget recommendations of the President, report to their respective Houses a legislative budget for the ensuing fiscal year, including the estimated over-all Federal receipts and expenditures for such year. Such report shall contain a recommendation for the maximum amount to be appropriated for expenditure in such year which shall include such an amount to be reserved for deficiencies as may be deemed necessary by such committees. If the estimated receipts exceed the estimated expenditures, such report shall contain a recommendation for a reduction in the public debt. Such report shall be made by February 15.

(b) The report shall be accompanied by a concurrent resolution adopting such budget, and fixing the maximum amount to be appropriated for expenditure in such year. If the estimated expenditures exceed the estimated receipts, the concurrent resolution shall include a section substantially as follows :”That it is the sense of the Congress that the public debt shall be increased in an amount equal to the amount by which the estimated expenditures for the ensuing fiscal year exceed the estimated receipts, such amount being $ ______.”

Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (Pub. L. 79-601, 60 Stat. 812, 832; Chapter 753, August 2, 1946)   


Senate Budget Committee History of Budget Laws

History of Budget Laws

Joint Committee on the Legislative Budget

The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 created the Joint Committee on the Legislative Budget. Its membership was comprised of members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. The Joint Committee was to meet at the beginning of each session of Congress and report to their respective Houses a legislative budget for the ensuing fiscal year, including total estimated Federal receipts and expenditures. A concurrent resolution was to accompany the report adopting such a budget, which would fix the maximum amount to be appropriated during the year. If estimated expenditures were to exceed estimated receipts, the resolution was to include a statement that it was the sense of Congress that the public debt would be increased by that amount.

Attempts were made in 1947 and 1948 to carry out the intent of the legislative budget provision. In 1947, conferees were unable to reach a final agreement. In 1948, a joint resolution was adopted by both Houses, but a strongly worded minority report noted basic defects in the procedure. No further attempts were made to comply with the Act after 1949.

U.S. Congress, Senate Budget Committee, The Congressional Budget Process – An Explanation (S. Prt. 105-67) December 1998, p. 7.


References

U.S. Congress, The Need for a National Budget: Message from the President of the United States, Submitted by President William Howard Taft, (H. Doc. 62-854) June 27, 1912

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