To read this content please select one of the options below:

The evolution of the federal budget process

Barry Anderson (Congressional Budget Office)
Sandy Davis (Budget Analysis Division)
Theresa Gullo (Budget Analysis Division of The Congressional Budget Office)

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management

ISSN: 1096-3367

Article publication date: 1 March 2003



The federal budget process is a compilation of many rules and procedures, enacted primarily over the past century. Initially neutral as to budget outcome, that process, by the mid-1980s, had evolved to emphasize reducing the deficit. And the budget enforcement procedures put in place to control deficits, combined with robust economic growth, helped to produce historic budget surpluses by the end of 1990s. But in 2001, the economy slowed significantly. The budgetary effects of that slowdown, of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and other factors, brought a return of the deficit in 2002--- ironically, just as the budget enforcement framework put in place to control deficits expired. Now, lawmakers face the question of what new framework should take its place. This article discusses the evolution of federal budgeting, emphasizing the major characteristics of each period and what factors drove reform efforts at each stage.


Anderson, B., Davis, S. and Gullo, T. (2003), "The evolution of the federal budget process", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 239-250.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2003 by PrAcademics Press

Related articles