The Case for Congressional Budgeting


Joachim Wehner is a senior lecturer in public policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on political economy, in particular public budgeting and fi scal policy. He is the author of Legislatures and the Budget Process: The Myth of Fiscal Control (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).


William Howard Taft and Frederick A. Cleveland’s vision of executive budgeting clashes with the unique status of the U.S. Congress among the world’s legislatures, and its proponents may exaggerate the potential for presidents to act as fiscal guardians. This article advocates more congressional budgeting by reinstituting effective fiscal rules and strengthening the role of the budget committees. These mechanisms would enhance fiscal discipline and aid consolidation.