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The reformed congressional budget process is no longer new. This fact alone invites an assessment of the experience of budgeting under the procedures enacted in 1974. But there is a more pressing reason for undertaking such an assessment. Today, there is widespread unhappiness with the congressional budget process. In recent years the deadlines of the budget process have repeatedly not been met, resulting in incomplete budgeting and the proliferation of proposals to abolish or reform the budget procedures enacted in 1974.

Consequently, this paper will first outline the reformed budget procedures and establish the goals of the 1974 Budget Act. The second section assesses whether the goals of budget reform have been achieved. In short, the answer is a negative one. The third section explains why the goals of budget reform have not been met, and the final section evaluates the main proposals advanced for changing the budget process.