Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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List of Tables

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pp. viii-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

This book began as a graduate paper for a seminar on separation of powers taught by Jeffrey K. Tulis at the University of Texas at Austin, and I will always be deeply thankful for the many ways he helped to nurture and shape my ideas. I was also very fortunate to have been one of Walter...

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Introduction: Congressional Delegation of Power—Now More than Ever

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pp. 1-8

In numerous policy debates over recent decades Congress has openly questioned whether its powers are vital to advancing the national interest or, rather, serve to thwart it. Through such diverse delegations of power as fast-track presidential trade authority, military base-closing...

Part I: Delegation of Power and Representation

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1. Origins and Significance of Delegation of Power

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pp. 11-25

Congress was designed over two hundred years ago with the assumptions that members would fight for their institution and that budget powers would be especially dear to the hearts of legislators. When legislative behavior turns out differently on both counts in recent...

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2. Reforming the Reforms: A Brief History of Congressional Budgeting

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pp. 26-48

Although this book focuses on the past three decades of budget reform, an important question is how these recent cases fit, or not, with patterns evident in the overall evolution of the process. In this chapter, I argue that congressional budget reforms in the last thirty years continue a...

Part II: Institutional Self-Diagnosis and Budget Reform, 1974-1996

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3. 1974 Budget Act: Congress Takes Control

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pp. 51-81

The 1974 Budget Act is a rare example of Congress viewing its own power as crucial to budget control. In this way, the 1974 reform is a stark contrast to subsequent episodes of congressional budget process changes in the 1980s and 1990s, which emphasized reduction of...

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4. Congress Attacks Deficits (and Itself) with Gramm-Rudman-Hollings

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pp. 82-128

The 1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act and its Gramm-Rudman-Hollings amendments a decade later were very different responses to similar institutional self-diagnoses. As Chapter 3 emphasized, the framers of the 1974 budget reforms acknowledged...

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5. Old Problems and New Tools of Self-Restraint: The Budget Enforcement Act of 1990

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pp. 129-164

Congress revisited the federal budget process, and the related issue of how to discipline itself better, just three years after Gramm-Rudman-Hollings II was passed in 1987. In their discussion of the 1990 Budget Enforcement Act (BEA), James A. Thurber and Samantha L. Durst...

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6. Stop Us Before We Spend Again: The Line-Item Veto Act of 1996

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pp. 165-214

Movements to reduce Congress's budgetary power continued through the mid-1990s, even as annual deficits began to decline and the parties switched their institutional dominance. After Republicans gained a majority in the House and Senate in the 1994 off-year elections, a...

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Conclusion: Understanding Delegation of Power

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pp. 215-224

In the 1980s and 1990s, the policy problem of the deficit became fodder for a Republican-led attack on Congress as the symbol of an irresponsible federal government. Even though presidents put their own spending and taxation pressures on the federal budget, they often...

Notes

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pp. 225-266

Bibliography

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pp. 267-271

Index

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pp. 272-286