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Deficits in the Congressional Budget Process and the Gramm/rudman/hollings Act: Congress' Statutory Failures at Budget Control

Glencross, Dana Baker
This study proposed an examination of the Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 to ascertain whether or not the intent of the 1974 act had been implemented with special regard to spending controls, and what effect the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (the Gramm/Rudman Act) had on the efforts of Congress to control spending, namely, the deficit. The basis for this work included a review of the budget process, a description of the two budget acts, their legislative histories, and any relevant literature on the subject. The Gramm/Rudman act was then tested for its future likelihood of bringing spending controls within the designs of Congress; this was impaired by the fact that the act is so new as to have f~w scholarly appraisals. Based on available data, the act was assessed as probably achieving the secondary intent of the act--deficit reduction--but was not seen as likely to achieve its ultimate purpose of a balanced budget. Further study of the 1985 act is warranted.