Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) and Congressman Paul Mitchell (R-MI) are introducing 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.
The legislation, known as the Protecting Our Children’s Future Act of 2018, incorporates many ideas from the Debt Ceiling Working Group established by House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“Instead of just continually saying that the Congressional budget process is broken, it is time we take action to fix the problem,” Byrne said. “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.”
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 unlimited amendments but only a simple 51 vote majority needed for passage in the Senate;
-Require that salaries for Members of Congress be withheld if Congress fails to pass a conferenced budget resolution by June 30th of the first session of Congress;
-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 made it harder to pass funding bills on time;
-Shift most mandatory spending to discretionary with the exceptions being Social Security Old Age and Survivors benefits, Medicare, TRICARE, and veterans programs; and
-Implement zero based budgeting in an effort to ensure all programs and expenditures are reviewed at the beginning of each budget cycle.