US Senate Budget Committee Leadership Supportive of Biennial Congressional Budgeting

October 5, 2011 11:14 am

by Nathan · 5 comments

The US Senate Budget Committee’s Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) have indicated support for the idea to move the congressional budgeting process from annual to biennial that is similar to a bill co-sponsored by Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson:

Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) indicated at a hearing on Tuesday of their committee that they were prepared to support a transition to biennial budgeting, similar to the proposal from Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in their Biennial Budget Appropriations Act, S.211.

“Chairman Conrad and Ranking Member Sessions’ support is a critical step forward for biennial budgeting,” Shaheen said. “Nobody understands better than they the challenges of producing an annual budget and the value in a more thoughtful approach that allows for greater accountability and oversight. I appreciate their willingness to examine this proposal fully and lend their support.”

“I am very pleased that Chairman Conrad and Ranking Member Sessions have signaled their support for fixing our broken-down budgeting process through implementing a biennial budget,” said Isakson. “I have advocated this change every year since arriving in the Senate because it will provide much-needed oversight in the appropriations process and shift the paradigm in Washington to focus on how much Congress can save rather than on how much Congress can spend.”

Isakson and Shaheen introduced S. 211 earlier this year. It would switch Congress from an annual spending process to a biennial, two-year cycle, dedicating one year to passing spending bills and the other year to scrutinizing federal programs. Since 1980, Congress has only twice completed the entire appropriations process before October 1.

Ken October 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I’d like to see this happen. Hopefully, it brings about a more thoughtful, strategy-wise budget process.

Calypso October 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm

And retaliatory government shutdowns could last twice as long! Might not be so bad after all.

joe October 5, 2011 at 11:17 pm

So what they are saying is “We are too incompetent to do our jobs every year, so let’s do it every other year.” Why not every five years, or better yet, a ten year plan? Oh, to heck with a budget, just spend, spend, spend.

Ken October 7, 2011 at 1:22 am

Because the US House elects members to a 2-year term and they can’t obligate future Congresses.

SmyrnaModerate October 6, 2011 at 9:53 am

I just wish there would be a requirement that Congress could not adjourn itself for any breaks or vacations after August 1st until the budget is passed. If they were forced to stay there, maybe they’d actually come to an agreement on something…

Comments on this entry are closed.