Mitchell, Byrne Introduce Major Budget Reform Legislation
WASHINGTON - Congressman Paul Mitchell (R-MI) and Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) today introduced legislation to fundamentally reform the broken Congressional budget process in an effort to rein in spending, control the national debt, and make the process work more efficiently.
Rep. Mitchell and Rep. Byrne both served on the Debt Ceiling Working Group, formed last year by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to come up with ideas to control federal spending. The legislation, known as the Protecting Our Children’s Future Act of 2018, incorporates many ideas from the working group.
Congressman Mitchell said: “For too long, our government has been bogged down by short-term spending bills that are bad policy and bad politics. This is a direct result of Congress not having the adequate tools to budget and appropriate effectively. It’s time we fix our nation’s antiquated, broken budget process with a more practicable system that runs on realistic timelines. The Protecting Our Children’s Future Act will allow Congress to responsibly budget for the future and rein in out of control spending – one of the top reasons I ran for Congress.”
Congressman Byrne said: “Instead of just continually saying that the Congressional budget process is broken, it is time we take action to fix the problem. The Protecting Our Children’s Future Act represents a wholesale reform of the way Congress handles taxpayer money and brings the process in line with the realities of today’s federal government. We cannot continue to govern from one budget crisis to the next, and this legislation would ensure Congress is able to better exercise the power of the purse while also reining in wasteful spending.”
Among the various reforms, the bill would:
- Move to biennial budgeting in an effort to create a more realistic timeframe for the budgeting and appropriations process;
- Subject all appropriations bills to the reconciliation process, resulting in a 51 vote majority needed for passage in the Senate if bills comply with the budget;
- Withholds pay for Members of Congress if Congress fails to pass a conferenced budget resolution on time – removes the incentive for Congress to not comply with its legal obligation to produce a federal budget;
- Impose a modern budget timeframe that more accurately reflects the current Congressional and Presidential calendar;
- Repeal the Budget Control Act caps that have hurt military readiness and been used by Democrats as leverage for wasteful spending;
- Shift most mandatory spending to discretionary with the exceptions being Social Security Old Age and Survivors benefits, Medicare, TRICARE, and veterans programs, taking almost all spending off autopilot; and
- Implement zero based budgeting in an effort to ensure all programs and expenditures are justified by agencies from the ground up at the beginning of each budget cycle.
Click here to read the Protecting Our Children’s Future Act of 2018.
Click here for additional information on the Protecting Our Children’s Future Act.