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Public Budgeting Systems

Week 5 Discussion

1. Legislatures are seeking greater control over executive budgeting at all levels, and there is continuing tension as we are currently seeing at the federal level. Discuss the impact of the following issues in this legislative control movement:

– The media

– Apportionment

– Fragmentation of the process in the legislature

– Party leadership and the issue of weak parties in the US and why might I call them weak?

– The committee process

– Legislative session length and legislator compensation

– Increased partisanship

2. What are the tools available for legislatures to oversee executive budgeting?

3. Discuss the history and development of the presidential budget process in the US, and discuss the major reforms enacted in 1974. What led to those reforms, and did those reforms achieve their aims?

4. What important additional reforms took place since then?

5. Discuss the current process of recisions and deferrals, and consider if these should be strengthened. Why or why not?

6. If Congress followed the process as defined during the major reforms, budgets would be submitted, a Budget Resolution would be passed, then Authorizations would be passed, and finally Appropriations would be passed. Discuss the intent of each of these processes. Do you believe they take place in that order–why or why not? Are any of these processes Constitutionally mandated?

7. I would argue there really is not a single federal budget. How would I support such an assertion? Do you agree? Why or why not?

8. Consider my “Reform/Solutions” slide. If it is accurate to say that federal budget process needs reform, then consider the pros and cons of each of the following as methods for reform, and discuss the likelihood of such change:

– Line item veto

– Balanced Budget Amendment

– Congressional Reorganization

– Changing the resolution process

– Biennial Budgeting

– Other proposals