Mitchell, Byrne Reintroduce Major Budget Reform Legislation
WASHINGTON - Congressman Paul Mitchell (R-MI) and Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) today reintroduced the Protecting Our Children’s Future Act to replace the broken Congressional budget process in an effort to rein in spending, control the national debt, and make the process work more efficiently.
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: “The American people are sick and tired of politicians just talking about problems. They want to see us take action to solve problems, and that is why I am proud to support the Protecting Our Children’s Future Act. This commonsense reform bill would update the way Congress handles taxpayer money and bring much needed transparency and accountability to the budget process. The current process is designed to benefit government bureaucrats and insiders. Under our new bill, we will make the federal government work again and actually serve the American people.”
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 – further ensuing Congress complies with its legal obligation to produce a federal budget;
- Impose a modern budget timeframe that more accurately reflects the Congressional and Presidential calendar;
- 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.