The Power of the Purse Strings: Do Congressional Budget Procedures Restrain?


In an era of unprecedented budget problems, can Congress establish legislative procedures to facilitate making politically difficult budget decisions? If we keep fixing the process, why are the policies and politics so fouled up? This book provides an extensive answer to these questions. Focusing exclusively on the House of Representatives, the author assesses whether current congressional budget procedures, namely the 302 process and reconciliation, have been created, designed, and maintained to achieve greater budget restraint. He defines the critical concept of procedural budget restraint as a procedural outcome in which spending decisions are less than what would have occurred in the absence of the procedure.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 1994


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