Senator Isakson Introduces Biennial Budgeting Legislation

Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) has proposed a bipartisan bill to combat the federal government’s fiscal problems. This bill, titled Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act aims to achieve this end by converting Congress’ annual appropriations process to a two-year budget cycle.

Isakson will make this legislation his first bill in the new Congress. Senator Isakson is quoted in a newser sent out by his office earlier this week:

“I’m proud to join Sen. Shaheen in reintroducing this bipartisan, commonsense legislation that would change the paradigm of Washington’s broken budget system. With our national debt surpassing $18 trillion and growing, it is imperative that we rethink the way that we do things in Congress. I have pushed biennial budgeting every year I’ve been in the Senate since 2005 because this new system would increase oversight and reduce spending, making our federal government more efficient and more accountable to taxpayers.”

This bill would require the president to submit a two-year budget at the beginning of the first session of a Congress. Members of Congress would then need to adopt a two-year budget resolution and two-year appropriations bills during that first session. The second session of a Congress would in turn be dedicated to the consideration of authorization bills and oversight of federal programs.

Isakson will be partnering with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), who will be leading the charge  on this legislation on behalf of various Senate Democrats. This sponsor list of this legislation is comprised of 21 other Senators namely, Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Deb Fischer, R-Neb., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Angus King, I-Maine, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., James Lankford, R-Okla., Joe Manchin, D-W.V., John McCain, R-Ariz., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, David Perdue, R-Ga., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, David Vitter, R-La., and Mark Warner, D-Va.

You can watch Senator Isakson and Senator Shaheen discuss this legislation on the Senate floor in this video:

5 comments

  1. jiminga says:

    Current federal law requires a budget but we haven’t had one in six years. Passing a new law requiring one is redundant, sort of like passing a law making breaking the law illegal. Just more DC kabuki theater designed to make us thinkCongress is actually doing something.

    • androidguybill says:

      Biennial budgeting is done in several states, including Texas. If it would get us away from CRs, that would be good.

  2. Kent Kingsley says:

    Mr. Isakson states the 18 trillion dollar debt as part of his justification for the need to go to biennial budgeting. He further states he will reduce spending. Nothing that I have seen insures reduced spending nor does it reduce our national debt. If the biennial budgeting bill includes the requirement to have a balanced budget, then we would have something worth passing.

    It appears to me to simply be an attempt to reduce the workload and reduce the self imposed stress of passing a budget annually by Congress. Unless someone can point to how this bill balances the budget and/or reduces the national debt this bill is much to do about nothing.

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