Legislative Entrenchment and Federal Fiscal Policy
43 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2018
Date Written: February 5, 2018
This article examines the problem of legislative entrenchment through a particular focus on federal fiscal policy. The conventional academic debate about legislative entrenchment centers on hard entrenchment, but hard entrenchment is highly improbable – perhaps simply impossible – under the constitutional framework for federal legislation. By contrast, soft entrenchment is far more common. Of particular importance for fiscal policy is the incidental soft entrenchment induced by the structures of legislative organization, such as the congressional committee system and institutional voting procedures. Such structures bring stability to the federal budget process, to social-welfare entitlements, and to tax expenditures. Weakening those structures in order to make fiscal policy more flexible may compromise internal legislative stability, legislative information, and legislative dealmaking.
Keywords: legislative entrenchment, fiscal policy, legislative organization
JEL Classification: H11, H50, H60, K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation