Issue Brief posted September 9, 2016
A Better Way Forward on the FY 2017 Continuing Resolution
The budget process, specified in the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, calls for Congress and the President to reach agreement on 12 separate annual appropriations bills before the fiscal year (FY) ends on September 30. In recent years, Congress and the President have failed to enact these bills as standalone measures, leaving the federal government to operate on a series…
Backgrounder posted September 6, 2016
The Implications of Regular Lame-Duck Sessions in Congress for Representative Government
Barring exceptional circumstances or strict exigency, Congress should not consider any major legislation or presidential nominations during a so-called lame-duck session—that is, between each November election and January 3, when a new Congress forms. Doing so undermines representative government by weakening the accountability link between the American people and their…
Backgrounder posted July 7, 2016
Causes of the Federal Government’s Unsustainable Spending
In all but five of the past 50 years, the budget of the United States has been in cash deficit. For example, in 2015, the federal government ran a cash deficit of $438 billion—after collecting $3,250 billion in revenues and spending $3,688 billion. The continuous level of deficit spending has increased public debt, which, during the same period, rose from 33.7…
News Releases posted March 15, 2016
Heritage Statement on House Budget Resolution FY 2017
“This budget is not a serious effort to tackle our mounting debt caused by wasteful spending. Once again Congress promises future spending cuts in return for higher spending today. That’s no longer acceptable. The future cuts never come.
“The House Budget Committee now proposes to hike spending by $30 billion above the level established by the Budget Control Act and $57…
News Releases posted February 9, 2016
Heritage Statement on President Obama's Proposed Budget
“Our debt now stands at $19 trillion—more than $125,000 for every tax-filing household in America. Americans who balance their own budgets understand that our nation is on an unsustainable spending path.
Today, the President submitted another unserious budget that does nothing to stop Washington’s reckless spending and debt.
Congress must act now by cutting wasteful…
Backgrounder posted December 4, 2015
Important Policy Riders for the FY 2016 Appropriations Bills
The Constitution unequivocally grants Congress the exclusive power to appropriate funds for the “necessary and proper” operations of government. James Madison wrote in The Federalist No. 58 that providing budgetary powers to Congress was a critical element in maintaining individual rights: “The power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and…
Issue Brief posted October 28, 2015
Analysis of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015
The federal budget is on a dangerous trajectory and immediate corrective action is required. The U.S. national debt is at $18.1 trillion. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), if the government remains on its currently planned course, it will spend $7 trillion more over the next 10 years than it will receive in taxes, piling on even more debt.