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Presidential Influence on Congressional Appropriations Decisions

Kiewiet, D. Roderick and McCubbins, Mathew D. (1986) Presidential Influence on Congressional Appropriations Decisions. Social Science Working Paper, 601. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

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We investigate the extent to which possession of the veto allows the president to influence congressional decisions regarding regular annual appropriations legislation. The most important implication of our analysis is that the influence the veto conveys is asymmetrical: it allows the president to restrain Congress when he prefers to appropriate less to an agency than they do; it does not provide him an effective means of extracting higher appropriations from Congress when he prefers to spend more than they do. This asymmetry derives from Constitutional limitations on the veto, the sequencing of the appropriations process provided by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1920, and the presence of a de facto reversionary expenditure level contained in continuing resolutions (Fanno, 1966). We find strong support for this proposition in a regression of presidential requests upon congressional appropriations decisions.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
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Additional Information:We thank Roger Noll, John Padgett, John Ferejohn, Thomas Schwartz, John Ledyard, Keith Krehbiel, Thomas Gilligan, and Barry Weingast for comments and criticisms. Jeff Dubin provided valuable econometric advice. We also thank David Lowery and Samuel Bookheimer for providing us with their budgetary data, and Eric Claus, David Fallek, and Marla Davison for research assistance. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 1984 meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, D.C. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant SES-8421161. Published as Kiewiet, D. Roderick, and Mathew D. McCubbins. "Presidential influence on congressional appropriations decisions." American Journal of Political Science (1988): 713-736.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Budget appropriations, Government spending, Funding, Veto, Appropriations legislation, Credible threats, Congressional resolutions, Federal budgets, Statistical estimation
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:601
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170913-161141071
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81428
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:15 Sep 2017 18:02
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:42

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