Last Friday I spoke to more than 200 Republican House Members at the House Republican retreat in Baltimore. I was one of three on a panel on the budget, chaired by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.
I will post separately about my presentation and my thoughts on the retreat, but I was struck by the enormous impact of having 96 new Members in this year’s freshman class (87 R and 9 D). I realized that many of these freshman find themselves immersed in substantive and strategic discussions about the budget, the continuing resolution, and the debt limit before they have had an opportunity to learn the basics of the budget process.
I have therefore written this memo for them. I hope you might find it useful, too. Here it is as a PDF.
Stanford, California Sunday, January 16, 2011
MEMORANDUM FOR NEW MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
FROM: KEITH HENNESSEY
SUBJECT: INTRODUCTION TO THE FEDERAL BUDGET PROCESS
As a new Member of the House you will cast several important early votes on budget issues. This memo is a crash course on the federal budget process. I assume you’re starting fresh.
You will need a deeper understanding than I provide here to participate in the budget process. I’ll help you build the puzzle frame and show you what the picture on the box looks like, and over time you can assemble the rest of the puzzle. This memo therefore leaves out many important but, I think, secondary process elements that you can learn later.
This is a process memo. If you find this helpful, please let me know and I’ll write more about the substance of particular fiscal issues.
(photo credit: cjbrenchley)