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Congressional And Presidential Budgeting Process Essay

1413 words - 6 pages

Throughout history there has been much concern over issues regarding the national debt and
government spending. The United States has had its ups and downs with the national debt and the
balancing of the budget. As a multitude of changes have been made to improve the budget system many
believe that too much control over the budget is vested with the president and the executive branch. While
the Congressional Budget and Reform Act of 1974 awarded Congress added power and influence in
response to this concern over the budget process, the president still has an advantage in the budgetary
The budget process begins with the formulation of the president’s budget or executive
preparation, in which all agencies are required to submit their budget requests to the president. The
Office of Management and Budget(OMB) which is the largest office within the Executive Office of the
President administers instructions, policy guidance, and tentative budget ceilings to help facilitate
departments and agencies fabricate their budget requests. These budget requests are then reviewed and
overhauled by the OMB in conformance to the directives from the president. Agencies in disagreement
with the OMB’s adjustments have the option of appealing to the president in which the president usually
concurs with the OMB. The president then sends the budget to Congress which communicates the
president’s discretions and priorities on issues regarding matters of overall size, possible effects on the
economy, and allocation of funds among major agencies and programs. (Anderson, 2006) The budget proposal also includes volumes of supporting information intended to persuade Congress of the necessity and value of the budget provisions. This budget reflects the president’s biased opinions and preferences to various departments and agencies demonstrating leverage on the president’s behalf.
The president has numerous other advantages in the budgetary process. When appropriations
bills are transmitted through Congress to the president for approval, the president can veto the bill if it is
not in his best interests. The president also has the ability of using his veto power as a threat to veto a bill
which in turn induces Congress to assemble a bill that is suitable to presidential objectives. Although the
president no longer has item-veto authority which allows the president to reject or reduce parts of bill
while approving the rest, the president has the ability to place a signing statement on the bill. A signing
statement is a written comment issued by the president at the time of signing legislation that can involve
claims by the president that he believes some part of the legislation is unconstitutional and therefore
intends to ignore it or to implement it only in ways he believes is constitutional. (Library of Congress, 2010) Some believe this is an abuse of presidential power and should not be exercised due to its...

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