As the national debt closes in on an astonishing $23 trillion, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and committee member Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., introduced bipartisan legislation that would reform our broken budget process and help address the federal government’s skyrocketing debt and deficits.
In what would be the first extensive reform of the budget process in 45 years, the Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act would create a productive and effective budget process focused on long-term fiscal planning and accountability.
Enzi said this monumental legislation would help avoid the fight surrounding the debt limit and encourage bipartisan collaboration in tackling our growing debt and deficits. A modern budget process would create a reliable financial future for the United States and prevent disastrous overspending situations from hurting generations to come, he said.
“These reforms will promote sound decision-making and remove roadblocks that currently obstruct responsible budgeting,” Enzi said. “We need to be focused on creating a robust system to manage our country’s finances, while also improving fiscal transparency and boosting oversight and accountability in the congressional budget process. This bill won’t fix all our fiscal challenges, but it will provide information that will make obvious the important next steps in restoring our broken budget process.”
One of the biggest changes included in the bill would be shifting the budget resolution to a two-year cycle, similar to how Wyoming plans its budget, but spending bills would still be passed annually. The bill would also call for more involvement from Senate spending and taxing committees, including requiring detailed spending and revenue plans to better inform budget development.
In order to keep Congress in check and accountable for meeting its budgetary targets, the legislation would provide fiscal transparency to the public by requiring up-to-date information from the Congressional Budget Office and require a debt-to-GDP ratio goal with a deficit-reducing focus. It would also make it harder for Congress to alter the budget it passes by requiring the support of at least 60 senators, including at least 15 members of the minority party, for any future changes.
For more information about the Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act, click here.