Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Political Science

Committee Chair

Jeffrey S. Worsham

Committee Co-Chair

Neil Berch

Committee Member

John C. Kilwein

Committee Member

Jason A. MacDonald

Committee Member

Odd J. Stalebrink


Federal budget reforms initiated by the executive branch of government have been unsustainable. A commonality of these failed reforms is that they lack the support of Congress. The objective of this research is to determine whether the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART), the most recent executive-initiated budget reform, was supported by Congress. The scope of this research includes an exploration of historic budget reforms, initiated from 1921 through 2008, to provide insight into previous reform sustainability.;Budget reforms provide context from which to view the power struggle between the executive and legislative branches of government; the tension of separate institutions sharing power. This research also offers insight into the extent that the U.S. separation of powers structure interferes with the implementation of government-wide performance measurement systems at the federal level.;Using data obtained from congressional committee hearings this research finds little congressional interest in PART; legislators were primarily indifferent to this executive tool. Generalizing congressional PART sentiment, results indicate that legislators with more business experience are more likely to be supportive of budget reforms making them important stakeholders to include in the next effort at reforming the budget process. Legislators with greater seniority and those who receive more campaign contributions from political action committee are more likely to resist reform.;The research demonstrates that reforms that are the product of cooperation between both executive and legislative branches are more likely to be sustained; legislating budget reforms is key to sustained executive-initiated reforms. In addition, analyses of historic budget reforms show that the legislature has been the driver of budget reforms, not the executive.