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Some experts argue that the first and most important place for congressional reform is its power of the purse. With regular order a distant memory, annual budget proceedings failing to live up to the basic framework of the 1974 Budget Act, the ever-expanding role of the president in spending decisions, and regular threats of federal government shutdowns, some fear the legislative branch has lost its ability to oversee and control our nation's finances.

Senator James Lankford joined us to discuss these issues and some of his specific solutions including the recently passed bipartisan "Taxpayers Right-to-Know Act" and his proposed "End Government Shutdowns Act." Thereafter, our panel of experts discussed those ideas and much more.


  • Hon. James Lankford, United States Senator from Oklahoma
  • G. William Hoagland, Senior Vice President, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Matthew B. Lawrence, Associate Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law
  • Molly Reynolds, Senior Fellow - Governance Studies, Brookings Institution
  • Moderator: Ilya Shapiro, Vice President and Director, Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute


As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.