House Budget Committee Process Proposal Would Not Restrain Those Areas of the Budget that Have Contributed Most to the Deficits
Publication Date: March 2004
Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Keywords: Federal budget; Economic projections; Fiscal future; National debt
Budget process legislation that the House Budget Committee approved March 17 fails to address those areas of the budget that have contributed most to the return of deficits in the past few years. The legislation purports to resurrect the Budget Enforcement Act, which successfully enforced fiscal restraint in the 1990s, but fundamentally alters the BEA rules by exempting tax cuts from any fiscal discipline.
In addition, like the budget process legislation of the 1990s, the bill that the Budget Committee approved would allow emergency spending to be exempt from its discretionary spending caps. The bill also specifically excludes from the spending caps the cost in 2005 of supplemental funds for “contingency operations related to the global war on terrorism.”