Excerpt from Budget Process: Testimony of Hon. Robert H. Michel, Former Senator Henry Bellmon, and Former Representative Willis D. Gradison: Hearing Before the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, One Hundred Third Congress, First Session
The overall deficit targe... ts are in effect nullified because they are adjusted every year to re¿ect economic and technical changes. Now, in theory, under the current budget process, Congress has sufficient controls over spending decisions with the budget resolu tion setting overall priorities, which are then enforced through overall limits, committee allocation, and points of order, as actual spending and revenue legislation moves through the Congress, and the statutory debt limit provides an additional hurdle that has to be increased when annual deficits add to the overall debt. Of course, we are getting to that point this week.
Now, in theory the discretionary caps and pay-as-you-go rules should provide an additional layer of control, and finally in theory, there should be no spending that has not been authorized by law, but in fact the existing process does not provide the control over budgetary decisions that was originally envisioned when these vari ous processes were put in place. I would like to go through just a few of the reasons why I believe the congressional budget process has become so ineffective, and my comments are directed primarily at the House, if you Senators will forgive me, because I know its proceedings better than I know your body.
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