Legislation to reform Congress’s broken budget process reached a milestone today, as the Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act of 2015 now enjoys the support of a bipartisan majority of the House. With the bill receiving support of over 218 Members of Congress, there is enough support for passage on the House floor, an important development as Congress approaches another funding deadline. Congressmen Schrader (OR-05) and Ribble (WI-08) introduced the bill in March.
“When I chaired the Budget and Appropriations Committee in the Oregon Legislature, we operated with a biennial budget system, and it worked very well. There is no reason we should not be doing the same in this body,” said Congressman Schrader. “We’re facing budget crisis after budget crisis and by adopting this bill we would able to avoid stress and uncertainty, not only for our government, but for the American people who expect us to do our jobs.”
“America is a tremendous economic engine, and our federal budget needs consistency, reliability, and thorough oversight to function efficiently. I introduced the Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act to take budgeting out of election years and force Congress to conduct better oversight of federal agencies,” Congressman Ribble said. “As our government teeters on the brink of yet another unnecessary funding cliff, I am proud to announce that this sensible reform now has over 218 bipartisan cosponsors, and I am hopeful that we can continue to push forward together in getting our nation’s fiscal house in order.”
The legislation calls for Congress to adopt a two-year, biennial budgeting cycle, wherein during the first year Congress would pass a budget resolution to apply to the next two years. In the second year, the Congress would be free to focus its attention on oversight of agencies and programs, reauthorizations and emergency appropriations.
A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and currently has 25 cosponsors.
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