Case #460.1

Legislating the New Federalism: The Congressional Budget Process and Block Grants for Health Programs (B: Sequel)

Publication Date: January 01, 1982
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In 1981 President Reagan presented Congress with a proposal to cut federal non-defense spending significantly by distributing the expenditures to the states in the form of block grants. The case examines the attempts of Republican leaders to implement this proposal through the budget reconciliation process, and in particular traces the fate of block grants for health care. Part A and its sequel study the efforts of Republican leaders to use the budget reconciliation act to achieve administration goals. Part B and its sequel follow the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee as it scrutinizes a particular set of block grants--the health grants. Part C and its sequel outline the efforts of House and Senate conferees to settle their differences on the health block grants. The Note on the Congressional Budget Process explains the creation and mechanisms of the current budget process, while the Note on Block Grants for Health Programs describes the Reagan block grant proposal, particularly in regard to health expenditures.

Learning Objective:
The case may be used to illustrate both the intricacies of congressional politics and the importance of congressional procedure in policymaking. More specifically, it may be used to examine how a shift in federal institutional relationships affects the product of government. Finally, the case provides a comprehensive overview of the congressional budget process.

Other Details

Case Author:
Stephanie Gould, Paul Starobin
Faculty Lead:
Stephanie Gould
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States
Funding Source:
U.S. Office of Personnel Management; U.S. Departments of Commerce, Defense, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor