University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Thomas R. Carper
Congressional Papers

See below for collection citation and reference information.

I.C.9. Issue Files -- Economics and Finance, 1986-1992

+ Series I.C.9. -- Scope and Content Note
+ Series I.C.9. -- Contents List

Extent: 2.25 linear ft.

Boxes: 32 - 34

Contents: Correspondence, notes, memoranda, publications, floor statements, fact sheets, news clippings, drafts and copies of bills, testimonies, and reports.

Arrangement: Alphabetically by topic.


The Economics and Finance series covers issues relating to the federal budget, including the Balanced Budget Amendment, Expedited Rescission, and taxes. The intent of the amendment was not to mandate a balanced budget for every single year but rather to increase the incidence of balanced budgets during periods of sustained economic growth. The amendment accommodated exception to the rule under unusual circumstances such as incidents of war, recession, or other state-of-emergency situations. The overall goal of the Balanced Budget Amendment was to address repeated unfulfillment of presidential promises to balance the budget. In light of accelerated federal spending in the 1980s, even a concerted effort to balance the budget appealed to Carper and his colleagues. In much of his writing on the subject, Carper called for fellow members to tackle this tough task in hopes of strengthening the fiscal situation for the present as well as the future. Information pertaining to Carper's efforts to bring about a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution can also be found in Series I. TC Personal Files.

Carper twice sponsored legislation for expedited rescission. In 1990, Carper sponsored H.R. 3800, the Expedited Consideration of Proposed Rescission. In the 102nd Congress, Carper sponsored H.R. 2164, the Expedited Rescission Act of 1992. Power of rescission allows the president to cancel or eliminate amounts in budget authorization bills. Unlike line-item veto, where Congress must act affirmatively to put back into effect an item that the president has vetoed, rescission only required a simple majority vote for Congress to overturn a presidential rescission. Rescission allowed whole or partial reductions in appropriations and spending; it did not require rescinding the disputed expenditure in its entirety.

The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 allowed the president to withhold or delay spending of funds. Rescission, on the other hand, was a permanent cancellation of funds. When Carper came to Congress in 1983, President Ronald Reagan strongly supported rescission authority for the president, as did his successor, George Bush. Congress, however, had been reluctant to give the Executive Office this authority. Carper felt the power was necessary to control "pork barrel" legislation, or spending that benefitted a legislator's home district. Carper also argued that executive rescission powers would hold Congress accountable for the "pork" it tried to pass in the appropriations process, providing for a more responsible government. H.R. 3800, Carper's 1990 bill, never made it out of the House. H.R. 2164, Carper's 1992 effort, passed in the House and was referred jointly to the Senate Committees on the Budget and Government Affairs. It did not pass out of the committees.

Other files in this series deal with general budget information and a variety of tax issues, most notably luxury taxes. Tax Reform files document President Reagan's 1985 tax plan and the reactions of credit unions and real estate agents opposed to aspects limiting certain types of accounting methods and exemptions.

Related Series:

+ Contents List for Series I.C.9. Issue Files--Economics and Finance

+ Return to Index Page for Thomas R. Carper Congressional Papers

+ Guide to Other Political Papers at the University of Delaware Library

+ Return to List of Manuscript Finding Aids by Title

citation and reference information:

Thomas R. Carper
Congressional Papers

1979 - 1993
(bulk dates 1982 - 1992)

Manuscript Collection Number: 399
Accessioned: Gift of Thomas R. Carper, 1992, 1998-1999
Extent: 84 linear ft. and oversize material
Content: Legislation, correspondence, reports, documents and publications, memoranda, speeches, photographs, audio-visual material, newsletters, news clippings, and ephemera.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: November 1997 - December 1999 by Rebecca J. Altermatt with assistance from Rob Costello; edited by L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin.

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