Class Two -- Tuesday, January 5th, 2016 | Howell E. Jackson | August 19, 2015


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Class Two -- Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Original Creator: Howell E. Jackson Current Version: Howell E. Jackson Show/Hide

This class is an introduction to the modern budget process that began with the 1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act. The “Seven Year Budget War” between Presidents Johnson and Nixon and Congress culminated in the watershed 1974 statute that introduced the present-day budget process. The first reading, excerpts from Allen Schick's “Seven Year Budget Wars,” chronicles the battles between the executive and legislative branches that led to the 1974 Budget Act. The second reading, Train v. City of New York, 420 U.S. 35 (1975), addresses the legality of President Nixon's decision to “impound” certain spending. Finally, please read Chapter One of “Fiscal Challenges,” “The Congressional Budget Process” by William Dauster, as an overview of the aftermath of the 1974 Budget Act and the modern-day budget calendar.

Team Assignment (Teams B, F & J): Please write a short (3-5 page) memorandum describing how the 1974 Budget Act addresses the problems underlying the Seven Year Budget Wars.

Background readings: Chapters 5 and 6 of Schick's “The Federal Budget” are assigned for further details on the roles of the President and Congress in modern budgeting . Copies of the book are available in the Cop and on reserve in Langdell Library. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning budget think tank, also puts out an excellent “Policy Basics” overview of the annual budget process, which is available below.


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December 30, 2015

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Howell E. Jackson

James S. Reid, Jr. Professor of Law

Harvard University

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