Legislative Budget-Making

January 6, 1948

Report Outline
First Experiments Legislative Budgeting
Legislative Budgeting and Fiscal Control
Proposals for Improving Present Procedure

First Experiments Legislative Budgeting

Crucial Tests for Legislative Budget in 1948

The legislative budget, center of one of the stubbornest of controversies at the first session of the 80th Congress, will receive a second and crucial test at the present session. Last year the Senate and House were unable to agree on an expenditure ceiling for the current fiscal year and the effort was finally abandoned. Republican leaders will give the legislative budget another try this year in connection with their projects to cut government spending and reduce taxes. The future of legislative budget-making may well depend upon the outcome of this second experiment.

The legislative budget is an innovation adopted by Congress as a part of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946. Section 138 of the act provides that the four appropriating and taxing committees of Congress shall meet as a Budget Committee at the beginning of each regular session, and after considering the President's budget requests, shall formulate a “legislative budget,” estimating the government's receipts and expenditures for the ensuing fiscal year and recommending “the maximum amount to be appropriated for expenditure in such year.”

The Budget Committee is directed to report to Congress not later than Feb. 15, accompanying its report with a concurrent resolution adopting the budget and the appropriations ceiling. The purpose of Sec. 138, according to Rep. Monroney (D., Okla.), co-author of the Reorganization Act, is “to induce Congress to chart a financial course for the year and to follow it as closely as possible rather than continue the practice of unrelated action by spending and taxing committees, with the total expenditures still in doubt until the last appropriation bill is passed.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Federal Budget and National Debt
Sep. 01, 2017  National Debt
Jul. 12, 2013  Government Spending
May 15, 2012  State Capitalism
Mar. 18, 2011  National Debt
Nov. 14, 2008  The National Debt
Dec. 09, 2005  Budget Deficit
Apr. 13, 2001  Budget Surplus
Feb. 01, 1991  Recession's Regional Impact
Jan. 20, 1984  Federal Budget Deficit
Sep. 09, 1977  Federal Reorganization and Budget Reform
Nov. 24, 1972  Limits on Federal Spending
Jan. 08, 1969  Federal Budget Making
Dec. 06, 1967  National Debt Management
Aug. 01, 1962  Fiscal and Budget Policy
Nov. 27, 1957  National Debt Limit
Mar. 20, 1957  Spending Controls
Dec. 24, 1953  Public Debt Limit
Feb. 13, 1952  Tax and Debt Limitation
Nov. 30, 1949  Government Spending
Jan. 06, 1948  Legislative Budget-Making
May 23, 1944  The National Debt
Feb. 01, 1943  The Executive Budget and Appropriations by Congress
Dec. 27, 1939  Revision of the Federal Budget System
Oct. 10, 1938  The Outstanding Government Debt
Nov. 20, 1937  Budget Balancing vs. Pump Priming
May 02, 1936  The Deficit and the Public Debt
Oct. 19, 1934  The Federal Budget and the Public Debt
Feb. 10, 1933  Extraordinary Budgeting of Federal Finances
Dec. 01, 1932  Reduction of Federal Expenditures
Dec. 01, 1930  The National Budget System
Oct. 02, 1930  Federal Revenues and Expenditures
Nov. 02, 1927  The Public Debt and Foreign Loans
Nov. 15, 1926  Rising Cost of Government in the United States
Feb. 05, 1925  Four Years Under the Budget System
Budget Process
Congress Actions
Deficit, Federal Debt, and Balanced Budget