The Budget Enforcement Act in 1991: Isometric Budgeting


Address for correspondence: Department of Administrative Sciences, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA 93945.


The immediate effect of the Budget Enforcement Act (BEA) of 1990 was to cancel a pending $110 billion sequester and to change the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit targets. These and other changes allowed Congress and the administration to escape responsibility for increases in the deficit if discretionary spending was kept within the caps and no new entitlement programs or revenue enhancements were added. This assumption and others relating to the empowerment of the Appropriations Committees and the new authority of the OMB are explored in this article.