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Parties, Rules, and the Evolution of Congressional Budgeting

Lance T. LeLoup

“The topic of LeLoup’s book is important, the study is well designed, the interpretations of events are smart, and the writing is crisp.” —C. Lawrence Evans, College of William and Mary

“Lance LeLoup’s study will appeal to scholars in budget policy, political parties, and executive-congressional relations.” —Dennis Ippolito, Southern Methodist University

Parties, Rules, and the Evolution of Congressional Budgeting traces how Congressional macrobudgeting has fundamentally changed the way in which Congress frames and enacts budget choices. Included in the analysis are the 1974 Budget Act, the Reagan tax cuts in 1981, Gramm-Rudman-Hollings mandatory deficit reduction plan of 1985, the Bush and Clinton deficit reduction packages in 1990 and 1993, the balanced budget agreement in 1997, and the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003.

Analyzing the transition from a fragmented to a more centralized process reveals that macrobudgeting has restructured congressional rules and institutions, changed the way congress legislates, enhanced congressional capacity, and altered how Congress negotiates with the president. Lance T. LeLoup finds that rule changes and new institutions have contributed to growing partisanship in Congress by empowering party leaders and emphasizing the importance of budget votes for party reputation. With steadily increasing partisanship, this study presents evidence that divided government has significant consequences for both the budget process and budget outcomes.

Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches, this book provides a historical institutional perspective on the evolution of congressional budgeting over three decades. It addresses important questions about national politics and developments in Congress, particularly concerning rules, the role of parties, and the consequences of divided government. The book concludes by considering what the findings might imply for national budgeting and deficits in the coming decade.

Lance T. LeLoup is Edward R. Meyer Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.

Aug 2005
Political Science/Government/Legislative Branch
304 pp. 6x9

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