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Welcome to the National Budgeting Roundtable


Recently Added Content: 

  • Summaries of the Oct. 18 event at Brookings and co-hosted with NAPA are now available on the 'Activities and Events' page, as well as the full video of the webcast. 
  • The most recent House Budget Committee working paper has been added to the 'latest news' page. It is entitled 'Growing Risks to the Budget and the Economy and focuses on: 1) an unsustainable fiscal path; 2) an economy mired in slow growth; and 3) pro-growth reforms, not more of the same
  • Paul Posner and Steve Redburn's 'Memo to National Leaders' on reforming the federal budget process has been posted on the 'Activities and Events' page. They discuss the necessity to: 1) budget for national goals; 2) strengthen the budget committees; 3) establish a multi-year budget framework and process; 4) budget for tax expenditures and mandatory programs; and 5) revisit the use of budget concepts. 
  • Paul Krawzak, of Congressional Quarterly, writes about the implications for budget process reform regarding the upcoming election. There are some indications that Republicans could tie an agreement to increase the debt limit in March to budget process reform. 
  • Information regarding an event on Oct. 18, hosted by Brookings and the National Academy of Public Administration. Esteemed panelists will provide insights as to how to turn budget process reform into political reality. 
  • Two working papers have been added to the 'New Ideas for Federal Budgeting: Working Papers Series' page. Alan Jacobs' paper examines budgeting for the future, while Alan Rhinesmith's examines budgeting for emergencies after the financial crisis. 
  • Two recent publications have been added to the 'Roundtable Member Work on Budget Process' page. Harry Stein examines the value of investments in 'Budgeting for Public Investments and Economic Growth, while Sandy Davis and Bill Hoagland hosted an event at the Bipartisan Policy Center on Evidence-Based Policymaking. 
  • The House and Senate Budget Committee have been active promoting budget process reform in recent weeks. The House Budget Committee has published a series of working papers, ranging from general budget process reform proposals, to regulatory budgeting and budget enforcement effectiveness. The Senate Budget Committee recently hosted an event with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget in which Chairman Enzi and several Roundtable members spoke on various process reform proposals. 
  • Recent (September) congressional budget committee hearings have been updated. The House Budget Committee has held recent hearings on CMMI scoring assumptions, growing risks to the budget and the economy, and restoring trust for families and working-age Americans. The Senate Budget Committee recently invited the Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Dr. Keith Hall, to discuss oversight of the CBO. 

Mission Statement: 

With the help of many others, we want to transform the process used by the federal government to develop and enact budgets. We believe the current process is so broken, and the context has changed so dramatically since the last major overhaul, that only a fresh rethinking of the way the government budgets will bring about the kinds of changes needed.

A project to reform the nation’s budget institutions and procedures must draw proper lessons from U.S. experience and that of others – good and bad. 

Budgeting deploys today’s public resources as required to carry out strategies and policies promising to increase the nation’s ability to survive inevitable social and fiscal shocks and to take most advantage of expected and unexpected opportunities to thrive, grow, and fulfill the dreams of its citizens. Developing greater government capacity to plan and choose wisely will be a long process – requiring new analytical capacities and ways of thinking; new decision structures capable of applying that analysis; and changes in institutions, culture, and how leaders, administrators, and the public approach the essential task of constructing and enacting the federal budget. 

Reforming the way we budget is just one aspect of a broader project to strengthen the U.S. government’s capacities to deal with future challenges. Success in reforming the way budgets are constructed and executed depends on whether these and other reforms address deeper problems weakening democratic governance and thereby our ability to cope with the full range of challenges the nation faces. Ultimately, the two sets of political problems must be addressed as one.

Our members represent a wide range of experiences and ideological preferences, ranging from academic institutions, think tanks with right and left leanings, as well as well-respected, nonpartisan governmental institutions such as the Congressional Budget Office and Government Accountability Office. The specific reform proposals suggested by the research on the site are not necessarily endorsed by the group as a whole, but can instead be viewed as 'ideas worth considering' as we move towards reforming the federal budget process.