Why We Need to Reform the Budget Process

Alex Durante /

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call Photos/Newscom

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call Photos/Newscom

In a new paper, “Why Congress Needs a New Budget Process,” Heritage’s Patrick Louis Knudsen documents the historical breakdown of the budget process and exposes the fundamental flaws in the process itself. These flaws, he notes, call for a new process that not only compels lawmakers to produce timely and responsible budgets, but also reinforces and strengthens constitutional government.

Here are a few reasons why the Budget Act of 1974 needs to be reevaluated:

Knudsen notes that a range of incremental reforms have been proposed to correct existing flaws but cautions that they may only add more layers to an already complicated process. “The deeply degraded state of congressional budgeting strongly suggests a need to start from a clean slate,” he writes.

A new budget process should focus on reducing spending, controlling the administrative state, and enhancing Congress’s constitutional role as the policymaking institution of the federal government. Only these reforms will enable legislators to respond to our current fiscal challenges.

Alex Durante is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please click here.