House Committee on Budget

Chair: John Yarmuth

A

Projected Grade for the 116th Congress*

* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 [oversight-index.thelugarcenter.org/covid-19-statement]

0 Investigative Oversight Hearings

12 Policy/Legislative Hearings

29 Total Hearings

Last updated: Sept. 12, 2020, 4:47 p.m.

The committee’s main job is to draft the annual Budget Resolution that sets revenue and spending levels for the coming fiscal year. By law, the resolution must be enacted by April 15, so most of the committee’s work happens in the first months of each calendar year. (However, the target date often slips, and some years no budget resolution is adopted.) It also reviews the president’s annual budget request to Congress, as well as supplemental and emergency requests that come up during the year.

With 36 members, the committee is moderate-sized for the House. Annual budget debates allow some members to achieve high profiles in the media, and a few have gone on to the administration as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Unlike most other House committees, members are limited to three terms (four for chair and ranking member). Waivers are available, but they must be approved by a vote in the whole House. There are no subcommittees.

In recent years under GOP leadership the committee has done much of its work behind closed doors, and has held few public hearings. Under the leadership of Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and former vice presidential nominee, the committee held only four hearings during the final two years of the Obama administration (114th Congress), and only eight in the prior Congress (2013-14). Activity picked up under Chair Steve Womack (R, Ark.) in the 115th Congress (2017-18), with 15 hearings, still a low figure compared to earlier Congresses.

In the four Congresses prior to Rep. Womack becoming chair, the committee held no investigative oversight hearings. However, upon taking the gavel in 2017, Rep. Womack held two investigative hearings to attack Obama-era policies. The first, in January 2017, was entitled, “The Failures of Obamacare: Harmful Effects and Broken Promises.” The second, in May of 2017, “Failures of Fiscal Management: A view from the Comptroller General,” was called to review a lengthy report from the Government Accountability Office on the gloomy long-term budget outlook. It was held the day after President Trump called for a government shutdown to curb spending.


Chairs

111th Congress: John Spratt (D-SC)

112th Congress: Paul Ryan (R-WI)

113th Congress: Paul Ryan (R-WI)

114th Congress: Tom Price (R-GA)

115th Congress: Diane Black (R-TN)

116th Congress: Steve Womack (D-AR)


Current Congress

We are 100% of the way through the 116th Congress

House Committee on Budget

0 Investigative Oversight Hearings; 0% historical maximum
12 Policy/Legislative Hearings; 88% historical maximum
29 Total Hearings; 100% historical maximum

Committee History

Number of Hearings
Committee Hearing Performance
Investigative/Oversight Policy/Legislative Total Hearings Score Grade
111th Congress 0 17 30 100% A
112th Congress 0 11 26 75% C
113th Congress 0 5 8 28% F
114th Congress 0 0 4 6% F
115th Congress 2 8 15 70% C-
116th Congress* 0 12 29 103% A
Historical average 0.3 8.8 18.7

* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 [oversight-index.thelugarcenter.org/covid-19-statement]

Number of Hearings

--- Historical Average

Hearings held by the
House Committee on Budget

Date Hearing Title Committee Category