Budget Resolution Principles for Fiscal Year 2021

The Congressional budget resolution should establish national priorities in a responsible manner. Congress should follow these principles to craft a budget:

Put forward a real budget

  • The most important part of a budget resolution is to have one.
  • In the 45-year history of the budget resolution, either the House or Senate Budget Committee has always passed a budget resolution.

Set responsible fiscal goals and develop a plan to achieve them

  • Select budget targets that result in a declining debt-to-GDP ratio.
  • Set revenue and spending levels to meet those goals.

Include specific plans to address spending and revenue

  • Suggest spending reforms to slow the growth of health and other mandatory spending and to increase revenue.
  • Include reconciliation instructions for assumed mandatory savings and revenue.
  • Limit discretionary spending to reasonable, but realistic, levels.

Enforce the PAYGO requirement that legislation does not add to the deficit

  • Require full offsets for any revenue reductions or mandatory spending increases.
  • Maintain and strengthen PAYGO and other rules restraining legislation that would increase the deficit over the medium or long term.

Rely on credible and realistic assumptions

  • Use economic assumptions based on Congressional Budget Office estimates.
  • Evaluate legislation from a current law baseline.

Improve the budget process and budget enforcement

  • Enforce spending and revenue levels in the budget resolution.
  • Limit abuse of the Overseas Contingency Operations designation and of Changes in Mandatory Programs.
  • Incorporate interest effects in CBO and Joint Committee on Taxation cost estimates.
  • Advance budget process reforms.

Anticipate negotiating with the other chamber

  • Recognize divided government as an opportunity for bipartisan consensus.
  • Prioritize governance and our shared fiscal future over partisan messaging.