All the President's Budgets: Who should be setting federal budget priorities?

Article I Initiative

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On May 30, 2019, the Federalist Society's Article I Initiative hosted a panel at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. The panel discussed "All the President's Budgets: Who should be setting federal budget priorities?"

The power of the purse is often cited as central to the framers' design for the legislative branch. Each year, however, the modern Congress waits for the executive branch to complete and deliver its annual budget before beginning its own formal budgeting process. Why has this sequence developed? What are the costs and benefits for the executive to prepare extensive budget priorities that, in recent years, are largely ignored once announced?


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


  • Molly Reynolds, Senior Fellow of Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution
  • Steve Redburn, Professorial Lecturer in Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University
  • Moderator: Anne DeCesaro,  Republican Staff Director, Worker and Family Support Subcommittee, Committee on Ways and Means, US House of Representatives
  • Introduction: Nathan Kaczmarek, Director, Article I Initiative | Director, Regulatory Transparency Project, The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies