Senate Committee on Budget

Chair: Bernie Sanders


Grade for the 117th Congress

0 Investigative Oversight Hearings

5 Policy/Legislative Hearings

15 Total Hearings

Last updated: April 28, 2024, 2:24 p.m.

Created in 1974, the committee is one of the youngest in the Senate and one of the least active. Its primary responsibility is to pass the annual Budget Resolution, which sets the overall spending limits for the upcoming fiscal year. (This resolution is not a law to be signed by the president.) Once this process is completed in the spring of each year, the committee’s work is largely done. It monitors compliance with the resolution by the Appropriations and other committees, and holds hearings on the economy and performance of government agencies. The committee can also initiate the reconciliation process, which is occasionally used to pass major tax legislation, such as President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. It has no subcommittees.

Since the 111th and 112th Congresses (2009-12), under Chair Kent Conrad (D, N.D), the committee’s hearing schedule has steadily shrunk under Democratic and Republican chairs, from 33 in the 113th Congress (2013-14) to just 13 in the 116th (2019-20), under Chair Mike Enzi (R, Wyo) . That’s one of the fewest for any Senate committee.

The bulk of the committee’s hearings are usually on legislative and policy oversight. In the 116th Congress, 8 of the committee’s 13 hearings were legislative and policy. That figure is also among the lowest for a Senate committee.

Despite its light workload, the committee held three investigative oversight hearings in the 114th Congress and one in the 115th, but none in the 116th Congress. The last was in March, 2018, looking into findings by the Pentagon’s Inspector General that the financial reports of the Defense Logistics Agency contained $1 billion of inaccuracies.


111th Congress: Kent Conrad (D-ND)

112th Congress: Kent Conrad (D-ND)

113th Congress: Patty Murray (D-WA)

114th Congress: Mike Enzi (R-WY)

115th Congress: Mike Enzi (R-WY)

116th Congress: Mike Enzi (R-WY)

117th Congress: Bernie Sanders (D-VT)

Current Congress

We are 100% of the way through the 117th Congress

Senate Committee on Budget

0 Investigative Oversight Hearings; 0% historical maximum
5 Policy/Legislative Hearings; 17% historical maximum
15 Total Hearings; 33% historical maximum

Committee History

Number of Hearings
Committee Hearing Performance
Investigative/Oversight Policy/Legislative Total Hearings Score Grade
111th Congress 0 24 47 88% B+
112th Congress 0 30 48 100% A
113th Congress 0 19 33 66% D
114th Congress 3 13 20 62% D
115th Congress 1 12 16 44% F
116th Congress* 0 8 13 33% F
117th Congress 0 5 15 24% F
Historical average 0.6 15.9 27.4

* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 []

Number of Hearings

--- Historical Average

Hearings held by the
Senate Committee on Budget

Date Hearing Title Committee Category