Introduction to the Federal Budget Process
Publication Date: December 2004
Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Keywords: Federal budget; Economic projections; Fiscal future; Tax code
The way in which Congress develops tax and spending legislation is guided by a set of specific procedures laid out in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. The centerpiece of the Budget Act is the requirement that Congress each year develop a “budget resolution” setting overarching limits on spending and on tax cuts. These limits apply to legislation developed by individual congressional committees as well as to any amendments offered to such legislation on the House or Senate floor.