WASHINGTON - The Concord Coalition said today that a new budget process reform bill co-sponsored by Senate Budget Committee Chair Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Budget Committee member Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) proposes reforms that would address some of the most vexing problems plaguing the current budget process.
The Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act is also co-sponsored by Senators Grassley (R-IA), Kaine (D-VA), Crapo (R-ID), King (I-ME), Graham (R-SC), Coons (D-DE), Barrasso (R-WY), Blunt (R-MO), Johnson (R-WI), Perdue (R-GA), Kennedy (R-LA), Cramer (R-ND), and Braun (R-IN).
“This legislation comes at a time when the budget process is clearly broken and partisan tensions run high. Senators Enzi, Whitehouse and their fellow co-sponsors are bucking both of these trends and demonstrating a timely and exemplary standard of leadership, “ said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition.
Among the proposed reforms are moving the budget to a two-year cycle, setting debt-to-GDP targets in the budget resolution and establishing a special enforcement process for these targets, creating a mechanism for conforming the debt limit to the budget resolution levels, and enhancing reporting requirements to promote transparency. It would also establish a new procedural option to encourage budget resolutions with substantial bipartisan support.
“The co-sponsors understand that budget process reform is not a panacea for the monumental fiscal challenges we face as a nation, nor is it a substitute for making real choices on taxes and spending,” Bixby cautioned. “But creating a process that minimizes short-term brinkmanship and refocuses attention on long-term planning would help facilitate a discussion about how best to address these challenges. This legislation would move the budget process in a very positive direction.”