Edited by Frank Fagan and Saul Levmore
Chapter 2: Legislating crisis
For the last several years, the congressional budget process has jumped from self-created crisis to self-created crisis. Debt limit, shutdown, sequester, potential withholding of congressional pay, and others beyond that – all of these crises coming in quick succession and requiring Congress to take action to avert a problem. The result has been measurable damage to the economy and federal agencies. There is a common element to each of these crises. In particular, Congress sets an undesirable event to occur at a later time – hence, prompting the possible ‘crisis.’ This chapter represents an exploration of these devices, and a modest defense of some of them, despite the recent chaos in Washington. In particular, in legislating crisis, Congress may be addressing some of its other failings. These devices can serve constructive purposes by allowing Congress to not fully specify the way legislation will work in the future given the transaction costs involved in doing so; allowing it to better coordinate negotiations and, specifically, set timelines; and allowing it to then enforce its deals. Thus, in some cases, the threat of crisis may be better than the alternative of none. Keywords: timing rules, budgetary crisis, lawmaking deadlines, negotiation theory
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.