ABSTRACT

Among many provisions, budget resolution and reconciliation procedures were key macrobudgeting tools to control the federal budget. At the very beginning of the congressional budget-review process, budget resolutions set targets for aggregate totals in four main areas: total revenues, total new budget authority and outlays, the deficit or surplus, and the debt limit. Section 302 (a) of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 directs the House and Senate Budget Committees to allocate spending totals in budget resolutions among the various House and Senate committees. (Chapter 2 in Part I provides more details about budget committees.) After appropriations committees receive their spending allocations, they subdivide them among their subcommittees in a section 302 (b) report. According to section 311 of the Congressional Budget Act, points of order will be raised against measures that exceed the budget totals in budget resolutions (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 2010; Keith 2004, 4-12; 2008, 12-20; Keith and Schick 2003, 23-84; Saturno 2004, 3-5; 2008, 4-9; Schick 2007, 52-83, 118-61).